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Arnold Lazarus was born in 1932. He was born and educated in Johannesburg, South Africa. “Although Dr. Lazarus grew up in South Africa, he strongly identified with the United States.” (Corey, 2001, chap. 10)
When Dr. Lazarus was a young man he viewed racism and discrimination were the views and acts of the ignorant.
Dr. Lazarus received hi master’s degree in experimental psychology, and later received his Ph. D. in clinical psychology. After college Dr. Lazarus went into private practice in Johannesburg. Later he held many teaching positions at several colleges’ and university.
While Dr. Lazarus was still in graduate school he published a paper in the South African Medical Journal that described a new form of psychotherapy in behavior therapy.
“Lazarus was the first psychologist to apply desensitization techniques for treating phobias in group therapy sessions.” (Alic, 2001, pg. 2) By the 1960’s Lazarus had decided that the therapy movement he had initiated utilizing the stimulus-response mechanisms of behaviorist psychology, was too limited for effective psychotherapy.
In 1971 Dr. Lazarus published a book called Behavior Therapy and Beyond, laid the foundations for what is now known as cognitive-behavior therapy.
As time went by Dr. Lazarus examined long-term results of patients who had undergone cognitive-behavior therapy, he found some inadequacies. He found that patients who suffered from anxiety, panic disorders, obsessive-compulsive problems, depression, and family problems had a high percentage rate of relapse. After he discovered these problems Dr. Lazarus developed a multimodel therapy. The multimodel therapy involves examining and treating seven different but interrelated modalities. The modalities are behavior, physiology, cognition, interpersonal relationships, imagery, sensation, and affect. The goal of multimodel therapy is to provide a complete assessment of the specified to that individuals needs.
Dr. Lazarus was also interested in showing people how to help themselves. Dr. Lazarus published several self-help books.
Dr. Lazarus also created a list of seventeen question created to help you choose the right therapist for you. In the questions you rate the therapist on a scale from one to four. Dr. Lazarus suggests that you shouldn’t use a therapist if you rate them lower than fifty.
I found that Dr. Lazarus is very interested in providing the best therapy for the client as possible. He can admit when he is wrong and he develops better ways to treat therapy clients. I think that one of the most important lessons he has taught people is that you cannot always be right and you need to admit when you are wrong and correct your mistakes. I believe he showed this when he consistently improved his behavior therapy methods.
Dr. Arnold Lazarus
Intro. To Guidance Counseling
October 2, 2001
1. Alic, Margaret, Gale Encyclopedia of Psychology: Lazarus, Arnold Allan (1932-), Retrieved September 28, 2001, from www.findarticles.com
2. Corey, Gerald, Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy, published 2001, Chapter 10, Page 255
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