On Woman’s Embodied Self

Body studies is a growing area of interest to scholars in sociology, women’s studies, and other disciplines in the humanities. But although many psychological theories are relevant to this field, psychology has not yet contributed to it in a substantive way. Joan C. Chrisler and Ingrid Johnston-Robledo hope to bridge the gap with their new book, Woman’s Embodied Self: Feminist Perspectives on Identity and Image. This book discusses women’s complex relations with their bodies and how attitudes toward the body affect women’s sense of self.


The authors write:

Our goal is to define problems in embodiment, examine them through the lenses of various psychological theories (e.g., objectification theory, stigma theory, terror management theory, stereotype embodiment theory), review the research to date on these problems, and suggest ways to help women and girls to achieve a healthy embodiment.

The authors argue that the body is a text on which women’s social location is written. Many different factors limit, constrain, or undermine women’s healthy embodiment. These include sexism, stigma, gender stereotypes, consumerism, medicalization, and the pressure to have a sanitized, sexualized, youthful, thin, healthy, and attractive body. By challenging and resisting negative sociocultural messages that promote body dissatisfaction and unhealthy beauty practices, mental health professionals and lay readers alike can help women and girls achieve a positive embodied self.

 

 

Giving Thanks

by Chris KelaherRKelaher

As the fourth Thursday in November approaches, thoughts in the United States inevitably turn to Thanksgiving. (Canada beats us to the punch by marking Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October.) This national day of gratitude, whose roots trace back to a post-harvest feast shared by Pilgrims and Native Americans in 1621, was first pronounced a national holiday by Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War and has long been a staple of American cultural life. The holiday conjures up images of turkey and stuffing, parades and pie, airport delays, Black Friday shopping, and endless football. But the real star of the feast is thankfulness, or gratitude. So, what exactly is gratitude, and what does in mean in a psychology context?  cornucopia2

Here is the definition presented in The APA Dictionary of Psychology (American Psychological Association, 2013):

Gratitude n. a sense of thankfulness and happiness in response to receiving a gift, either a tangible benefit (e.g., a present or favor) given by someone or a fortunate happenstance (e.g. a beautiful day).

It is only in relatively recent years that the concept gratitude has received much attention by psychology researchers, but it is now an area of growing attention, due at least in part to its prominent role in positive psychology. It also is an area of interest within subfields such as personality, religion and spirituality, and happiness studies, among others.

Using the search term “gratitude” in APA’s PsycNET database brings up 1,017 results, including 129 books or book chapters. For example, Robert D. Carlisle and Jon-Ann Tsang contributed a chapter on “The Virtues: Gratitude and Forgiveness” to 2013’s APA Handbook of Psychology, Religion, and Spirituality, edited by Kenneth Pargament. (See link below.) Tsang and Carlisle define gratitude in this way: ““a positive emotional reaction to the receipt of a benefit that is perceived to have resulted from the good intentions of another.”

  • Other recent books of interest to those who study gratitude include Philip C. Watkins’ Gratitude and the Good Life: Toward a Psychology of Appreciation (Springer, 2014) and Salman Akhtar’s Good Stuff: Courage, Resilience, Gratitude, Forgiveness, and Sacrifice (Jason Aronson, 2013.)

Several recent psychology books also include individual chapters devoted to the topic of gratitude. A partial sampling:

  • Anthony Ahrens, Courtney Forbes, and Michael Tirade contributed a “Gratitude” chapter to Guilford Press’ Handbook on Positive Emotions (2014).
  • Michael Furlong et al’s Handbook of Positive Psychology in the Schools 2ed includes the chapter “Gratitude in Schools: Benefits of Students and Schools” by Giaconda Bono, Jeffrey J. Froh, and Rafael Forrest.
  • 2014’s Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Positive Psychology in Interventions (Acacia C. Parks and Stephen M. Schuler, eds.) includes a chapter on “Gratitude Interventions: A Review and Future Agenda,” by Tara Lamas, Jeffrey J. Froh, Robert A. Emmons, Anjali Mishra, and Giaconda Bono.

Thanks to these researchers and others like them, we are developing a much better understanding of gratitude. It has benefits on both ends—for people who receive thanks or appreciation, of course, but also for those expressing thanks. For example, Carlisle and Tsang tell us that “gratitude provides information

about the value, cost, intentionality, and role-independent nature of a benefit from another person.” It promotes pro-social behavior, and researchers have also identified links between gratitude and other positive traits or circumstances, such as life satisfaction, happiness, optimism, empathy, and hope.

 

In the words of Robert Emmons, a leader in the field and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Positive Psychology, “Gratitude works. It has the power to heal, to energize, and to change lives.” So go forth, be grateful, and enjoy your Thanksgiving.

 

You can read more about the benefits of gratitude via the links below.

http://www.apa.org/pubs/books/4311506.aspx

http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2015/04/grateful-heart.aspx

http://www.apa.org/science/about/psa/2012/01/research-gratitude.aspx

http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2012/08/health-benefits.aspx

 

 

 

 

 

Teacher Appreciation Day

Happy Teacher Appreciation Day! Over the years, our authors have written quite a lot for teachers. Here’s just a sampling:

APA book: College Teaching: Practical Insights From the Science of Teaching and Learning

College Teaching: Practical Insights From the Science of Teaching and Learning

This book is for beginning instructors as well as those who have been teaching at the college level for many years. Author Donelson Forsyth applies direct classroom experience with best practices from the science of teaching and learning.

Chapters address planning, lecturing, leading discussions, student-centered teaching methods such as collaborative or experiential activities, testing and grading, helping students through feedback and guidance, managing classroom dynamics, using technology effectively, and evaluating and documenting one’s contributions as a teacher.

Brief research analyses show why certain techniques work better than others. Through lively examples and prompts to continually personalize the material, readers learn how to structure their teaching and what to do to ensure their students are treated fairly.

 

APA book: Favorite Activities for the Teaching of Psychology

Favorite Activities for the Teaching of Psychology

The most popular activities from APA’s successful Activities Handbooks for the Teaching of Psychology are gathered together and updated in this book of teachers’ favorites. The lesson plans, which encourage active learning and involve the whole class, have stood the test of time and proven themselves to be entertaining, effective, and easy to plan.

Contributed by psychology teachers nationwide, the activities are most appropriate for courses at the college undergraduate or high school level, yet many are also applicable to more advanced classes. Both beginner and experienced teachers will appreciate the wide variety of teaching techniques described, including demonstrations, experiments, discussions, and simulations.

Each lesson plan is presented in an easy cookbook format that lists materials needed, timeframe, instructions, and discussion items. The activities are grouped by topic and cover history, statistics, and research methods; the brain and sensory processes; perception; states of consciousness; learning and memory; thinking, problem-solving, and language; motivation and emotion; developmental psychology; personality; psychological disorders and treatments; social psychology; and race, gender, and multiculturalism. Busy teachers will find themselves turning to this book over and over again for inspiration.

 

APA book: Activities for Teaching Positive Psychology: A Guide for Instructors

Activities for Teaching Positive Psychology: A Guide for Instructors

Positive psychology is a rapidly expanding area of study that is of great interest to students at the graduate, undergraduate, and high school levels. But the field is so broad that teachers who want to cover all the bases when designing a positive psychology course may have difficulty locating and selecting materials.

Activities for Teaching Positive Psychology addresses this problem by presenting a comprehensive set of fun, interactive classroom activities devised by contributors who are experienced teachers as well as leading scholars in their areas.

Chapters cover all the topics typically included in existing positive psychology textbooks, emphasizing the hands-on experience that makes positive psychology courses so powerful. Extensive reading lists point interested readers towards a fuller understanding of the topics.

The book is a rich source of ideas for all teachers of psychology, from novice to experienced instructors.

 

APA book: Teaching Ethically: Challenges and Opportunities

Teaching Ethically: Challenges and Opportunities

In this book, editors R. Eric Landrum and Maureen McCarthy identify four broad areas of concern in the ethical teaching of undergraduate psychology: pedagogy, student behavior, faculty behavior toward students, and considerations in the diverse classroom. Together with their team of experts, they provide evidence-based advice and case studies that illustrate the application of relevant ethical principles.

Ethical teachers need to reflect on commonly accepted practices and make individual decisions about responsible teaching behaviors, such as honoring individual differences and respectfully challenging beliefs. Other challenges examined in this book include grading, textbook adoption, honor systems, online instruction, and conducting and using research on pedagogy to improve classroom practice. Infusing the undergraduate experience with ethics is the focus of chapters on supervising student internships, coauthoring research with students, and modeling appropriate professional boundaries.

 

APA book: Evidence-Based Teaching for Higher Education

Evidence-Based Teaching for Higher Education

Over the past two decades, a growing body of scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) has emerged. This empirical study of teaching methods, course design, and students’ study practices has yielded invaluable information about how teachers teach and learners learn. Yet, university faculty members remain largely unaware of the findings of SoTL research. As a result, they tend to choose their teaching techniques and tools based on intuition and previous experience rather than on scientific evidence of effectiveness.

This book synthesizes SoTL findings to help teachers choose techniques and tools that maximize student learning. Evidence-based recommendations are provided regarding teacher–student rapport, online teaching, use of technology in the classroom (such as audience response systems, podcasting, blogs, and wikis), experiential learning (such as internships, teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and in-class research projects), students’ study habits, and more.

In order to stimulate future SoTL research, the book also recommends numerous areas for future investigation. It concludes with advice for documenting teaching effectiveness for tenure review committees.

January Releases From APA Books!

 

ethical choices

Ethical Choices in Research  

Managing Data, Writing Reports, and Publishing Results in the Social Sciences

by Harris Cooper

If you conduct original research and publish the results, this book is for you. Following the course of a typical project, Harris Cooper describes the ethics—and etiquette—behind each stage. He anticipates ethical problems that occur in the early stages of planning research, the middle stages of data management and report preparation, and the final stage of publications. At each stage, he emphasizes the value of early planning to meet one’s professional responsibilities as a scientist.

 

 

 

cultural complexitiesAddressing Cultural Complexities in Practice 

Assessment, Diagnosis, and Therapy

THIRD EDITION

by Pamela A. Hays

This third edition is richly illustrated with case material and includes up-to-date information on the DSM-5, ICD-10, and upcoming ICD-11, plus new sections on working with people in poverty, children, and transgender people; and trauma-informed care.  Each chapter includes a Key Ideas summary and practice exercises, making it ideal for personal education or group use.

 

 

internationalizing

Internationalizing the Undergraduate Psychology Curriculum 

Practical Lessons Learned at Home and Abroad

Edited by Dana Gross, Kenneth Abrams, and Carolyn Zerbe Enns

Building on the foundation laid by the APA-sponsored book Undergraduate Education in Psychology: A Blueprint for the Future of the Discipline (Halpern, 2009), this book offers teachers of psychology what they need most to internationalize the undergraduate curriculum: clear approaches to studying psychology across cultures, practical ideas they can use in the classroom, resources that connect students to the world beyond their home campus, and expert advice on how to develop and administer study abroad programs.

 

 

positive psych

Positive Psychology in Racial and Ethnic Groups 

Theory, Research, and Practice

Edited by Edward C. Chang, Christina A. Downey, Jameson K. Hirsch, and Natalie J. Lin

 

For the first time, leaders in the field have come together to provide a comprehensive reference that focuses specifically on how a culturally-informed approach to positive psychology can help capitalize on the strengths of racial minority groups and have a greater potential to positively impact their psychological well-being.

 

 

psychoanalytic theory

Psychoanalytic Theory and Cultural Competence in Psychotherapy

by Pratyusha Tummala-Narra

While psychoanalytic scholars often address specific aspects of diversity such as gender, race, immigration, religion, sexual orientation, and social class, the literature lacks a set of core principles to inform and support culturally competent practice. This approachable volume responds to that pressing need. Drawing on the contributions of psychoanalytic scholars as well as multicultural and feminist psychologists, Tummala-Narra presents a theoretical framework that reflects the realities of clients’ lives and addresses the complex sociocultural issues that influence their psychological health.

 

 

 

psychtherapy teaching

The PsycTHERAPY® Teaching Guide

The PsycTHERAPY®Teaching Guide provides practical ideas on how to use APA’s video database of streaming psychotherapy demonstrations in a variety of classes, in clinical supervision, and in other training contexts.

On the surface, PsycTHERAPY is simple to use: Find a video and learn as you watch a master clinician demonstrating psychotherapy. However, professors in clinical psychology and counseling have discovered many different uses for PsycTHERAPY, including teaching personality theories and psychopathology classes, training researchers on how to code therapy sessions, and augmenting empathy training for psychotherapy students.