Thursday, October 24, 2013

It's a school project

It's a school project...  that I finished very quickly ...because I was busy.  :)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

How Tara Became Tara (Introduction)

Tara grew up moving all over the United States, but she calls California home since it is the place she still feels connected to on account of her family who still lives there.

After graduating high school Tara was employed at Green Ridge Services, a wind turbine energy plant.  She also started attending courses at a local community college until her first daughter was born.  When Tara went back to work she talked/begged her way into a Field Biologist job even though she had not finished the schooling.  She spent ten years catching injured hawks and eagles and she grew to love being outside.

Following her husband's job, Tara and her family moved to Aarhus, Denmark.  Her fourth child was born there and instead of coming home after the two years they moved to Hamburg, Germany.  Traveling all over Europe with four children proved to be a very exciting and interesting time, but Tara is happy to be back in the United States and is enjoying the New England lifestyle.

Currently she also works at a local nature center leading field trips with local elementary schools.   She loves animals and has cats, guinea pigs, and chickens.  Her life is a bit chaotic, but she seems to have a good handle on it and seems to be enjoying every minute of it.

Family Beams with Pride (Psychoanalytic)

by "Alfred Adler"   

Thankfully, Tara had wonderful parents who provided her with a loving and supportive environment to grow up in.  She can't even think of a time when she heard her parents fighting.  This has led her to become the agreeable person she is today.  She proved to be a somewhat difficult child, perhaps due to the fact she is a first born (Burger, 2011), but overall she seems to have succeeded in life.

Tara is continually striving for superiority, which is a strength and weakness in itself.   Everything she does is seems as if it's been done in an effort to make her feel like she has won.  This is an asset when trying to run a family of six.  It ensures Tara gets everything done and very rarely does something fall through the cracks or get forgotten.  Feeling as if it's a "game" of some sort, enables Tara to have continual feelings of "winning" and makes it enjoyable for her.  As Tara says, "Winning might not be everything, but it sure is more fun!":

However, this competitive need for superiority can also be a weakness since it sometimes leads to unnecessary stress.  If things are piling up Tara can become very stressed until they are finished or become less overwhelming.  Since she has four kids she feels a huge amount of success at the end of the day when each kid has sucessfully been "taken care of": taken to and picked up from all activities, fed and bathed, read to and sung to, homework finished, school activities done.  When things get out of control and she gets behind, she will write a list and start fresh the next day... overcoming any remaining obstacles.

As I've said of my past studies, "I began to see clearly in every psychological phenomenon the striving for superiority."  (Burger, 98)  Tara displays this her striving for superiority stems from the fact that there was a time in her life when she could not care for herself or her children.  She needed help from her parents and help from her friends.  I believe it's this that spurs her on with a stream of determination.

As I noticed last week, Tara was feeling very overwhelemed with an upcoming huge house renovation project involving an 800 pound steel beam in her home.  This beam also arrivedwith eight family members and happened over the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday.  This meant she would have to make a big dinner for well over 20+ people all while her entire house was being gutted and a steel beam was being installed.

She got overwhelmed and went to bed.  The next day she woke up, made a list and started checking things off.  As each thing was checked off she "won".  Her own mother would have been so proud, because she would have reacted the same way and pulled off the holiday dinner without any problems.  In the end the steel beam was installed and the family had a wonderful holiday!

Party of Dreams (Psychsocial)

by "Sigmund Freud"

A while back I published "The Interpretation of Dreams".  Dreams are the way our id can communicate with us.  For this reason I chose to analyze one of Tara's recent dreams.  Her dreams, like everyone elses', are a way for her unconscious thoughts to surface.  However, dreams often occur in a symbolic fashion rather than being straight forward and obvious.  (Burger 53)

Tara had a recent dream in which she had a big party to celebrate the pond near her house.  It was described to me like a "birthday party for the pond".  During her dream she said she was preparing the food and it was becoming overwhelming with the amount of things she had to carry back and forth to the pond.  She told me that when she woke up in the morning she felt exhausted, as if she had really been up all night preparing food and cleaning the house for a party near the pond.  Perhaps this is in regards to the large event she recently had to prepare for, but it was not a party to celebrate the pond.  This could indicate her id was trying to give messages, but her conscious thoughts were too focused on her upcoming event to allow the id to get any thoughts in....  all the id could "say" was pond.

Giving the id a chance to surface is a healthy thing.  In a healthy individual the id, ego and superego all work together.  (Burger 46)  It is a weakness if one takes too much control.  As with Tara, the needs of her awake days are perhaps too strong and intruding on her dreams which were meant to be a time for the subconscious thoughts to be heard.  If this went on for a prolonged time it could cause unnecessary stress.

On a smaller level, it is a good strength that Tara has such focus to a task she is responsible for, but it still needs to be put into perspective.

Moving Well Overall (Feminine)

by "Karen Horney"

After speaking with Tara she seemed like a confident individual who was seemingly coping with life successfully.  However, I would have to argue that she does indeed have some potentially neurotic needs when it comes to her need for perfection.  Just last week she spent a solid five hours over the course of three days painting a single side of a closet door.  She had to make every brush stroke perfect.  This is a need that she needs to withdraw from ...especially since she has an entire house with closets to paint.

At least Tara's self-realization of herself is fairly accurate.  She seems to have an accurate conception of who she seems to be and she seems to understand that there is no such thing as being perfect.  So while she may feel the need to paint her closet perfect, this is a weakness in that she has wasted her time, but on a positive note Tara realizes this perfectness is not something that a person can achieve.  Wanting to be perfect is not a productive goal; it's an impossible one and therefore will only result in disappointment.

I do in fact spend most of my time researching and analyzing those with various neurosis so I found Tara to be a bit dull.  She doesn't tend to fall into one of my specific categories of moving toward people, moving against people or moving away from people.  (Burger 120)  She seems to be moving quite well overall.

Keep Going Tara (Cognitive)

by "Albert Bandura"

Our minds are continually procession information when we make decisions.  It's not something that we even think about.  Our minds also produce our behavior based on our own self-regulation.  I have found that Tara continually rewards herself for completing tasks and this is a result of her self-regulation.  (Burger 345)

Tara has made an important change in her self-efficacy this past year by enrolling at Rivier University.  Her efficacy expectation was always too low and as a result she didn't believe she could manage the additional responsibilities.  However, Tara has since developed an outcome expectation that said she could do it and as a result one year ago she signed up for her first course on her way to a degree in Elementary Education.

Tara received her efficacy expectations from vicarious experiences.  She saw many other adults going back to school and decided they were not any better qualified to succeed than she was.  (Burger 355)   This positive self-efficacy is a definite advantage for Tara.  It has caused her to further her education, but it could also cause some problems if it doesn't work out.  I can start to see her doubting the vicarious experiences that had once originally given her the confidence.  I feel that she is doubting herself every time a difficult and time consuming class comes along and that her success will be compromised if she does not re-focus.

The Conditioned Tara (Behavioral)

by "John Batson"

I've always said that personality is the end product of our habit systems.  This means we are conditioned through various inputs to respond in more or less predictable ways.

I published an article called, "Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It."  (Burger, 2011). I've always believed that science cannot study mental states since they are intangible and can't be measured.  How can it be science unless one can measure the overt behaviors.  This is where conditioning is helpful because it helps us SEE how a person thinks.

Over the course of Tara's life she has been programmed to respond a certain way.  This is a strength when the programming is productive, but a weakness when a less desirable response has been programmed.  An example that could go either good or bad could be Tara's volunteering help.

While watching her son's soccer coach struggle with 15 young boys she offered her help and now she has an added stress of running soccer practices and games.  Tara has been programmed to offer to help if she is physically able to.  She may emotionally not be able to handle another commitment, but her instinct to help often takes over and offers her help.  This is actually a somewhat productive response, but offering her time to too many other people often leaves her overwhelmed when it comes to dealing with her common family activities.  This is a response that I can see in Tara's oldest daughter as well.  It is good Tara is trying to explain to her daughter that there is too much of a good thing.

This conditioned response that Tara has is an asset for the groups and people she associates with, but it also makes her feel happy to help others.  However it can be a weakness if it ends up causing more problems in her own life.