Au Psy492 M7 A3 E Portf Brito A.Doc


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Au Psy492 M7 A3 E Portf Brito A.Doc

  1. 1. Professional Portfolio <br />Course Project: Professional Work Samples<br />Course Code: PSY492<br />Adriana Brito <br />October 19, 2009<br />In order to demonstrate my Cognitive abilities I would like to present an assignment that I had in a Cognition and Learning class in 2007. <br />The assignment was about a group of students who should complete a research and summarize their findings on the status about the endangered species in question. The teacher reminds them that the ultimate goal of the project is not only to raise awareness around the plight of the species, but also to propose and promote a solution to protect and repopulate the species. The solution for protection and repopulation must be reasonable and demonstrate consideration for the species’ environment and governmental stakeholders. <br />The assignment wanted us to:<br />Describe the problem solving process that Maria’s students have to engage in to propose a solution. <br />Relate the process of reasoning and problem solving to concepts that have been covered during this week. <br />A solution becomes apparent only when the problem solver’s perception of the problem changes. Maria’s students will have to brain storm their solution for the endangered species. Maria gave them enough information about how to find their sources for the task she asked. They will need to spend some time discussing possible solutions and then take a break of a few days. Mulling over of the problem may allow for the space they need to conjure up the one key insightful solution. At times, individuals might be unaware of how close they are to finding a solution. This is because the conceptual shifts that precede forming a solution are often sudden and unanticipated. <br />A means- end analysis strategy should be used in order to avoid that the students feel overwhelmed by the amount of research that they have to do. As beginners, Maria’s students can employ a general problem solving strategy that follows the five steps covered by the acronym, I.D.E.A.L (Argosy Online, 2007). They will have to identify the problem from different angles, define and represent the problem by finding the relevant information and excluding all that is irrelevant. They will have to explore possible strategies like using verbalization, and as I said before, they will have to subdivide the problem. Also, they will have to anticipate outcomes and evaluate the results by checking for evidence that confirms their solution. Again, they will have to make sure that everything that they have done has reached the best solution. Once they have established sub goals, putting together the information that will proof the species’ plight, they can present their essay. <br />Individuals systematically generate different possibilities for a given situation. Maria has used a very appropriate method of reasoning with her students: expository teaching. The focus of this approach is to encourage meaningful learning based on explanation (Argosy Online, 2007).<br /> In the expository-teaching approach, Maria provided an analogy and explained what it meant for her students. She also provided students with a model for analysis of an analogy. Students learned as they assimilated the information provided by their teacher-directed strategy. As our book Cognitive Psychology says: “Using such a deductive approach is appropriate, when you want to teach relationships among several concepts. This type of instruction often uses concept maps that support new information. Students must understand the use of the concept map. Teaching through deductive reasoning is most appropriate for students of 10 years age and older.” Maria’s students are older than that and they can assimilate this technique very well. <br />Reference: <br />Argosy University (2007). Cognition and Learning – Module 7<br />In order to illustrate Communication skills and Interpersonal Effective I will use one work. <br />Characteristics of Effective Email Communication<br /> The evolution of computers during the last decades has changed the industrialized parts of our world dramatically. While the computer originally was used only as a calculator, it now has evolved to a communications device that links people to each other and to information.<br /> In this essay, we provide an analysis of effective email communication based on the importance of the content in an email message, proper grammar, and the subculture that has developed because of electronic mail. Electronic mail, also known as email, is one of the most well known computer applications today. Email facilitates communication by its high speed, asynchronous, and computer processability, and provides opportunities to increase productivity, worker satisfaction, and organizational viability (Rice & Bair 1984; Safayeni, Lee & MacGregor 1988). Among Internet users, email is considered as the most important application on the Internet (Katz & Aspden 1997). <br /> A recent report estimated that over 7 trillion emails were sent worldwide last year! Spam messages are jamming in-boxes across the globe and the average office worker now gets between 60-200 messages a day. (Jon Keel, 1998) As email has become a more common form of communication, we have become deluged with both the number of emails and the amount of content in the emails both wanted and unwanted. This has made communication via email less effective. As more people used email and became more familiar with it, they also became more comfortable using it and very few took the time to learn how to communicate effectively through email. <br /> The widespread uses of email and usenet interfaces from Netscape and Microsoft have enabled the linking of web addresses within the body of posts. In addition to conversing one-on one, users now increasingly refer, via an automated link, to web-based resources. Granted, users don not communicate with each other directly through the web, they must always return to a communication (e-mail) program to exchange comments. <br /> At a first glance e-mail and instant massages appear to lack the richness of other channels. They do not communicate the tone of your voice, posture, gesture or facial the desired expression. The e-mailers can choose the level of clarity or ambiguity, serious or humor, logic or emotion. There is one risk that should be mentioned and that is misinterpretation.<br /> One of the risks of communicating by email is that without the important messages encoded through facial expression and tone of the voice, the receiver may misunderstand the sender's intention. The use of sarcasm, irony, anger, criticism, complaints or even humor should be avoided. <br />Another misunderstanding is the wrong use of grammar and/or misspelled words. The use of comma is a great example. The same sentence can have a whole different meaning if the comma is misplaced. The massage would be different entirely.<br />The sentences below provide an example of a possible misunderstanding due to incorrect grammar.<br />I detest liars like you; I believe that honesty is the best policy. <br />I detest liars; like you, I believe that honesty is the best policy. <br /> Another example is misspelling a word. It can make no sense if the word is written incorrectly. An example is provided below of the meaning being unclear due to a misspelled word:<br />The police of this company is to be honest.<br />The policy of this company is to be honest. <br />People may not understand the message and confusion will arise when misspelled words are used. <br /> The first and probably most important characteristic of good email communication is having a clear and concise subject. When people open their email program they see who the email is sent from and the subject. A subject that just says, “Hey” or “Urgent, Need your Input” does not properly describe what it is that is being communicated. A subject of “Want to go to movies Friday Night with the Gang?” Or “March 6, 9AM Management meeting – Need your ideas” are much more effective subjects for communication. It is also important the content matches the subject. A subject asking about going to the movies should not be connected with a long email complaining about a romance that is on the rocks. <br /> Viewing text on a computer can be hard to read or the reader may not have a lot of time, so the email content should be concise and not much more than an entire screen. If there is a lot of information that needs to be communicated through an email, often an attachment that is easy to print and conveniently formatted would be much easier than for the user to try and scroll back and forth through the email to get the information. Setting an email program to wrap the text at 75-80 characters per line will help many other email programs to read the email easier without having to use the scroll bar from left to right. All capitals are hard to read and considered rude because many think it is like “yelling” via email. <br /> Even though email communication often seems conversational because of the speed with which the communication is able to travel, it is more effective to have the content of the email formalized so there are fewer misunderstandings in phrases that may not as common to the reader. Proper formatting with line breaks and paragraphs can make it much easier for the reader to understand. <br /> If a response is needed, it is best to phrase a question so you can get the answer you want. For example, if you take several paragraphs to talk about the movies you might want to see on Friday night and you end it with “Wanna go?” you may not get the reply of which movie and what time is desired. On the other hand, after describing the movies, you ask “Which movie and time sounds good to you? or if you are not able to go what would be a better time?” would probably get an answer that would be more accurate and would not require further emails to clarify the communication. <br /> When responding to an email, make sure you quote what you are replying to. For example, if you just write “Sounds Great!” in a reply the sender may not know what you are talking about. “Would you like to get coffee tomorrow at 6am? <br />Sounds great!” makes a lot more sense. For clarity and length it may be beneficial in a email conversation that has gone back and forth several times to edit or remove some of the old text and leave only text that is being currently discussed. <br />Limited use of pronouns is another characteristic of successful email communication. When writing or replying to an email, using more proper names and less pronouns will clarify who the writer is talking about and give less chance of misunderstanding. For example, “John got up and gave a demonstration about how his manager talked to his workers. He showed him how to better communicate with them,” seems confusing and it is not clear if John or his manager is being talked about. <br />With the advent of new programs, fonts and graphics, it is very important to remember to limit or not use fonts, colors, small programs or graphics unless you know the receiver has the ability to see, read or use them. Formatting an email may turn messy for the reader if their email programs are not compatible. When formatting does not properly work for the receiver, it can make the email communication very hard to understand and not effective. <br />Any weblinks inserted into an email should be tested by the sender before sending the email. If the link requires any login information the sender should include that information as well in the email. It can hinder communication and even make the reader skip over important information contained in the links if they cannot connect to the link. <br />One of the reasons email use has grown so quickly is the speed at which the communication can happen and yet still be on each person’s time. The way that this can be a characteristic of good communication is if all parties involved in the communication can reply in a reasonable amount of time. Therefore, it is important to check email regularly and respond as soon as possible so email communication can utilize this effective characteristic. If someone sends an email on Wednesday asking four people if they would like to see a movie on Friday, it will not be effective communication if one person responds late Thursday and the other responds Friday after the movie would have started. <br />E-mail has become a huge part of our technology-packed culture with the ease reliability, and speed of itself. Nevertheless, more than just being a part of our culture, email has shaped our culture as well. Some may even venture to say that email has created it’s own culture and language – whether this be beneficial or detrimental to business, personal, and all other types of communication remains the opinion of the millions of people who use email every single day. <br />In addition to email becoming its own form of communication in our culture, it has developed its own etiquette. Similar to the “rights” and “wrongs” of face-to-face communication, sending an email, especially in a business setting, requires the user to obey the etiquette of email. As mentioned previously in this report, in order to communicate effectively through email, one must use the proper language and proper format to ensure that the message that the sender is trying to convey is not lost. If the sender is unaware of these email rights and wrongs, the recipient of the message will often make a judgment about that person. Suler (2004) wrote: “Like any subculture, the world of emailing has developed a unique language, if you appropriately use the parlance; you are demonstrating your knowledge of belonging to the subculture” (2004). <br /> There are so many acronyms and abbreviations used in email that often times a message can be misunderstood or not understood at all. These abbreviations have developed for just the same reasons that email became so popular so quickly – the speed and efficiency of communication (Suler, 2004). Having the appropriate knowledge of these abbreviations is a must for any person who wants to communicate effectively within the subculture that is email. <br /> Another important cultural influence of email is related to business and how our culture is using email at work. One of the major benefits of email is that it supposed to help us be more connected with our co-workers and clients. Email helps us quickly send a message when the time to make a call or go visit a client is not available. Some argue, however, that the subculture of email is a lazy one. “The communication hierarchy goes something like this: face, voice, email, text. Top to bottom, each requires less focused commitment, involves less interactivity and includes fewer of the core cues of communication: facts and feelings”(Duffy, 2007). Email may give us a reason to ignore a client or coworker who is not one we want to visit or even talk to during the day – just send a quick email message and it is assumed that communication has happened. <br />The culture of email can affect negatively our personal and business relationships by “taking the human element out of communication” (Duffy, 2007). A person’s facial expressions and emotions cannot be seen via an email message. As a culture, we have attempted to add “emoticons” to further convey expressions through email. For example, we will put a smiley face at the end of something that is meant to be funny. Unfortunately, no text will ever be able to replace the body language and emotional expression part of face-to-face communication. In fact, email can often escalate a situation by communicating ineffectively the senders point. “Comments in email are often seen as curt and sometimes harsh” (Duffy, 2007). Two people sending email back and forth to each other could be extremely angry or not at all angry at each other and not even know it! It is interesting that in these types of situations, a phone call or face-to-face meeting is needed in order to clear up the confusion.<br />There are many characteristics of an email to remember so that email is an effective form of mediated communication. As discussed in this paper, grammar, punctuation, spelling, content, use and respect of time and understanding of current culture when used effectively are just some of the characteristics that make email an effective form of communication.<br />References:<br />Crystal, (2006) Effective Email Writing Proper Email Writing is Essential for Your Success, published Sep 28, 2006, retrieved from<br />Duffy, M. (2007) why your lazy email habit is bad for business. Advertising Age, 78(47), 24-24. From <br />Friedman, David (2004) Eight Tips For More Effective Email Communication , Every Monday Volume 3 Issue 7, retrieved from<br />Katz J. & Aspden P. (1997): Motives, Hurdles and Dropouts: Who is on the and off the Internet and why. Communications of the ACM, 40(4), 97-102. Sunday, January 14, 2007 <br />Keel, Jon (1998) 15 Top Tips for Effective Email Communication, retrieved from<br /><br />MindTools, Effective Email - How to communicate powerfully by email, Retrieved from <br /> on February 21, 2008<br />Rice R. & Bair J. (1984): New Organizational Media and Productivity. In Ronald E. Rice & Associates: The New Media: Communication, Research, and Technology, pp. 185-216, CA: Sage Publications.<br />Sherword, Kaitlin Duck (2001) A Beginner's Guide to Effective Email Revision 2.0, Retrieved from<br />Suler, J. (2004) The Psychology of Cyberspace: Email Relationships. Retrieved from <br /> <br />With the purpose to demonstrate my understanding of Ethics and Diversity issues in Psychology I will use a discussion question from my Human Resource Management class <br />Module 2 – Assignment 1<br />Human Resource Management – MGT411<br />Professor Bonnie <br />Adriana Brito<br /> The verdict in the case of Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc was sexual discrimination, or sexual harassment and the case was submitted. In the Dictionary the definition for sexual harassment is: Unwelcome and often intimidating verbal or physical sexual advances. <br />Sexual harassment often carries with it threats of employment reprisals if such advances are refused (Argosy, 2008). The federal government and courts have defined sexual harassment as illegal employment discrimination (Mathis & Jackson, 2008).<br />Normally sexual harassment is between two different genders. Contrarily, in this case scenario it was between men – man, for that reason made the point so debatable. <br />Sexual harassment can occur in many different workplace relationships, for instance; between supervisors and employee, between employees, customers and employee and many more (Argosy, 2008). <br />Usually, gay and lesbian workers have not found much in the law to protect them from discrimination and harassment in the place of work. Times are changing; nevertheless, and an increasing number of employers are finding themselves accountable for providing a workplace that's free of harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation. <br />In the article of examining the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA), they say that fairness for gay and lesbian individuals in the work place is critically compromised based on the employment discrimination they experience, as well as being denied promotion, harassment, fired, even denied a job. Although Title VII does not list sexual orientation as a protected class, local and state governments are approving laws to protect homosexuals from discrimination and harassment in the work place (Examining the Employment Nondiscrimination Act). <br />Discrimination toward sexual harassment or sexual orientation harassment brings many concerns and conflicts to an organization. The organization that does not take proper actions against sexual harassment or sexual orientation harassment is account liable for its actions or better saying non-actions. <br />There are some legal aspects that were created to give employees equal employment rights. The law of Title VII was created to protect workers from being discriminated against based on their race, gender, color, religion and national origin (Argosy, 2008). The same goes for the decision of hiring, promoting or termination of these employees. An organization has to be aware of this law and put in practice in order to avoid lawsuits or other kind of complications. <br />Another legal aspect would be The Civil Rights Act. When a sexual harassment complaint is file, the EEOC that supervise any complains about sexual harassment in an organization, revise all the records. After that, the employer is asked to respond. In conclusion, the best way of avoiding sexual harassment is to prevent it (Mathis & Jackson, 2008). Employers have to communicate with their employees that there would be no tolerance in regard sexual harassment. Also, the employer has to take immediate action when an employee complains about this issue and seek investigation. By choosing not to take any actions toward this issue, organization will be facing fines to state and federal governments and damages to employees (Oncale v. Sundowner). The case in article Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc; was a sexual harassment case based on one of the sexual harassment types the Hostile Work Environment. In an aggressive work atmosphere, the harasser generates a hostile, difficult and stressful work place (Mathis & Jackson, 2008). That was exactly what happened with Oncale. He felt threatened and quit his job even fearing for his life. This kind of attitude will affect the employee’s behavior and even his/her efficiency. <br /> <br />Reference:<br />Argosy University, (2008). Human Resource Management: Module 2<br />Mathis, R.L. & Jackson, J. H. (2008). Human Resource Management (12th Ed.) Mason, Ohio: Thomson-South Western<br />Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc. - Oral Argument<br />ONCALE v. SUNDOWNER OFFSHORE SERVICES, INC. (96-568)83 F.3d 118, reversed and remanded.<br /><br />Examining the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA): The Scientists Perspective<br /><br />With the intent to demonstrate skills in research I will present an assignment from my Interpersonal Effectiveness class related to a research that I did about communicating and listening. The assignment is a reflection. <br />My Reflection<br /> Besides being the most common form of communication, listening is perhaps a more appreciated skill than speaking (Alder, Rosenfeld & Proctor, 2007). Effective listening requires certain techniques. I tried to incorporate as many techniques as I could in a conversation with a colleague that I feel very comfortable with at work. Some techniques used in the conversation for my reflection were Questioning, Empathizing, Supporting, and Advising as they were the easiest to be used since they are intrinsic in my personality. On the other hand, Silent Listening, Paraphrasing and Evaluating for me were the most difficult for me to incorporate. <br /> Each method has its own characteristics, giving the listener some advantages or disadvantage in the process itself. The method of questioning helps to clarify the meaning of the speech; it also helps the speaker to better explore his/her thoughts. For example, in the conversation I had with Inez, I questioned her about what she was explaining me to make sure that her explanation was exactly what I understood. She responded very positively to that method, assuring me that I was acknowledging the explanation correctly. Empathizing will take you to a position of identity with the speaker. The sentiment of empathy involves genuine concern and agreement. Some responses can be verbal or non verbal. For instance, nodding, eye contact and even as simple a word as “Wow” were used in the conversation. The speaker understood the method used as a response of complicity. Another method that is simple for me to use is the Supporting one. There are several types of Supportive responses. In each one there is no question of the value of receiving support, especially when the speaker is facing a personal problem. With Inez, she was facing discrimination at work and I gave her my support for the situation. She was very touched with the kind words. Sometimes to make oneself available for the person’s need is more effective in the process of recovery. Advising is intrinsic in me but unfortunately sometimes given when not solicited, although not in Inez’s case. She asked me to give my opinion and advice. After talking about the issues she was facing she agreed that there are some actions to be taken but she will think about it before doing anything. There is a natural excitement to tell people how to act in a specific situation that you are not involved. Sometimes advising can harm the person in question. In a way it is easier because you do not suffer the consequences of the final action. Responsibilities are avoided for the adviser. <br />Silent Listening is the most difficult technique for me to apply in a conversation. I tried to be quiet and let Inez talk but I had the impulse of interrupting her to give my advice. Sometimes she was upset with my interruption, and in those cases I apologized and stayed quiet. My nonverbal responses come automatically, the supportive attitude is natural. To be a quiet listener, for my personality, would be associated to sadness or disapproval, even an avoidance strategy. I understand that sometimes to be quiet is the best answer one can give. However, I still have a long way to go to incorporate this technique in my being, so I can respond more professionally and rationally to the listener in matter. Silent listening is a technique that many could benefit from it if used more often (Alder, Rosenfeld, Proctor, 2007). <br />Reading this chapter about the paraphrasing method really opened my eyes for a whole new perception of communication. A good communication can be judged by the understanding of the message or dialogue between two or more people. If the listening process is misunderstood the communication will not be complete. When both sides could understand the conversation, communication is then created. The paraphrasing in a way helps you to make sure that the message is being transmitted and being understood. Even though I am not accurate with this technique I started to introduce this method in my communication skills. Inez was very upset about the episode about the discrimination and when I interrupted her using paraphrasing technique she became somewhat more relaxed. This technique breaks the heat of a discussion; you show much more commitment to mindful listening when you reiterate the speaker’s communication. Even though I had a good response using it in my conversation with Inez, I am not familiar with this technique, but using it in conversation I know that I can only benefit from its method. <br />Evaluating was another difficult method to use in the conversation. You do not always you have knowledge of the subject discussed in a conversation or even have enough understanding to pronounce yourself. Normally when in a conversation that I am not familiar with the topic, I am quiet listening very attentively. Mistakes will occur, if evaluation occurs without the proper analysis and knowledge. When the speaker requests your evaluation, chances are that your response will be better received. For instance, even though I never suffer any discrimination, I could put myself in her place and understand the severity of the subject involved. In addition, if using evaluation method, it is recommended to be truly helpful and not as a critical remark.<br />In this whole process of conversation I kept in my mind trying to use all methods and at the same time listen what the speaker was saying. For me, this was the most difficult task. There was a time that I was lost and could not remember what we were talking about. Inez could notice that something I was different and asked me if I was ok because I looked a little tense. I was trying to avoid the explanation because it was going to ruin my reflection. I was impressed to see how easy is for a person to interact with someone if just listening. People sometimes need to be heard. <br /> Trying to use so many techniques in one single conversation was very hard. In future conversations, I will try to focus more in a couple of techniques like paraphrasing, supporting, advising. This will help me to spotlight the conversation and sincerity will be expressed easily. <br />Reference:<br />Adler, R.B., Proctor II, R. F., & Rosenfeld, L.B. (2007) The process of interpersonal communication, Interplay. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc. <br />In order to apply knowledge in psychology I would like to illustrate with an assignment that I did in the class of Children and Violence. The assignment explains the issue to be addressed by the child-adoption specialist. <br />Adoption<br />Cindy and George decided to adopt 5-year-old Dusan, who is an orphan from Croatia. Cindy was able to review Dusan’s background at the adoption agency. She determined that Dusan’s parents died in the war. Dusan’s father was a resistance fighter, and his mother attempted to save her children from insurgents. At the tender age of four, Dusan witnessed his mother’s rape and murder, and the brutal killing of his two older sisters. The report indicated that the only reason Dusan survived was that his mother fell on him as she died. The impact knocked him unconscious. He was found, approximately a week later, still inside the house, malnourished and dehydrated. Cindy and George decide to meet a child-adoption specialist for a local community agency to determine the developmental and psychological issues that Dusan might face. They also want to increase his resilience. How would you address these issues if you were the adoption specialist? As you all review this question, think of the child's age at the time of the exposure to violence. Specifically, how might the trauma affect his development in all domains?<br />Once Cindy and George are seeking adoption they also have to be prepared to deal with all the psychological issues Dusan will face during his growth. Dusan had witnessed a lot of brutal acts against his family. Children who have witnessed that kind of trauma are often wounded psychologically, and the wounds are likely to stay with them well into their adult life (Argosy online, 2009). Cindy and George had already started in the right track by seeking professional help for their future child. Once they have already mentioned that they want to increase Dusan’s resilience, some strategies can be implemented. Before mentioning the strategies we have to explain that because of the unknown length of time involved and uncertainty about how long Dusan had been exposed to war the strategies required for applying resilience would be different. <br />Mike Wessells says that the greatest consequence he experienced in everyday life in a child that had experienced the devastation of war was the loss of hope. Unfortunately, when a child loses hope they just surrender forgetting about their future (APA Online, 2009).<br /> The loss of his family gives Dusan a significant stress, especially since the biggest mediating factor in how he copes is a solid family relationship (Impact of Armed Conflict in Children). To have adoptive parents that would be able to foster resilience and reinforce support to Dusan will be crucial for his psychological recovery. <br />The early age when the event happened may increase the effect over Dusan’s life. Some researchers believe that the younger the child the more traumatic the effects (Argosy Online, 2009). This is because the older the child the easier it will be for him or her to detect a danger situation, and also to understand a war context and help family members in case of an emergency.<br />Strategies like being very caring in Dusan’s emotions would be strongly recommended for Cindy and George. Thoughts like feeling responsible for his family death or guilt for surviving while others died, anxiety, fear, concerns about safety and worry with danger, regression in his behavior (specially for being younger), are expected from Dusan. It will be important for him to obtain care for his emotional problems that may result from being a spectator to the murder of his mother and sisters. <br />Another way to help Dusan recover from that horrible experience will be having a routine. Keeping a routine may give him a sense of stability and he would not feel so vulnerable.<br />Even though all those strategies should be implemented and attention to Dusan’s emotions Cindy and George have to be persistent and love him unconditionally. Dusan will feel accepted, stable and that he is secure in his new environment. I would also recommend therapy for him to keep on helping in that long process of coping with his horrific experience. <br />Reference:<br />Argosy University (2009). Children and Violence –<br />Children in the hit of war - Volume 32, No. 8 September 2001 <br /> <br />Impact of Armed Conflict on Children<br /><br /> <br />One of my works that I would like to use as a demonstration of my knowledge foundation on the field of psychology would be an assignment that I did in Maladaptive Behavior and Psychopathology in which I develop an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Treatment Plan.<br />Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Treatment Plan<br />When describing Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) it is important to clarify the meaning of it. To be obsessive is to have an obsession, such as persistent thoughts, ideas, impulses, or images that seem to occupy the individual’s consciousness. Compulsion, on the other hand, is a repetitive and rigid behavior or mental act that an individual experience the urge to perform in order to avoid or decrease anxiety (Comer, 2010). You can say that OCD is taking place when a combination of an obsession and a compulsion is present. The patient may realize that his obsession is not reasonable and he may try to ignore or stop them. Instead this only increases his distress and anxiety causing a lot of distress and interfering in daily activities. <br />Obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms include both obsessions and compulsions. Some of its symptoms are:<br />Hand washing until your skin becomes raw <br />Counting in certain patterns <br />Making sure all your canned goods face the same way <br />Fear of being contaminated by shaking hands or by touching objects others have touched <br />Doubts that you've locked the door or turned off the stove <br />Intense distress when objects aren't orderly or facing the right way <br />Impulses to shout obscenities in inappropriate situations <br />Avoidance of situations that can trigger obsessions, such as shaking hands <br />Replaying pornographic images in your mind <br /> When an individual can identify some of those symptoms in his/ her life it is suggested for him or her to seek help. In the website “Design Thinking” an individual will find more details about OCD and how they can get their life back on track. They also offer a free private consultation by phone where you can have the facility to address your concerns immediately. Another website that offers so much other information in regard symptoms, mental Health professionals how to choose them, what kind of treatment they offer and much more can be found in this web site named “”. Another resource for help that can be used is to watch a movie that has OCD as their motive. “As good as it gets” (stars Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt); “Matchstick Men” (star Nicolas Cage); “It is not me is my OCD” a documentary about OCD.<br />Also, books can help to better understand OCD. The list is immense but I will recommend some as: <br /> Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders: A Comprehensive Clinical Guide by by Lorrin Koran; Obsessive Compulsive Disorders: A Complete Guide to Getting Well and staying well by Fred Penzel, Ph.D.<br />There is a hotline to call OCD:<br />UOCD Hotline Phone: 1-800-639-7462<br />To get more information there is also a website to different kinds of Behavior Disorder : Understanding Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.<br />There are several treatment options available for individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder, such as: medication, psychotherapy, and neurosurgical treatment.<br />When treated with medication, individuals with OCD will benefit from certain psychiatric medication. This treatment approach is directed towards a specific receptor deficit. The first-line medication prescribed in individuals with OCD is a medication that targets serotonin. Some common serotonin medication can be fluoxetine (Prozac), Fluvoxamine (Luvox) (Comer, 2010). One of the benefits of antidepressant treatment is that it balances the level of serotonin in the brain.<br />When treated by using psychotherapy the one that has the most positive response is behavioral therapy. The behavioral focuses on modifying or " unlearning" those maladaptive behaviors that causes psychological discomfort. " Exposure and response prevention" technique, a graduate exposure to the stimuli that create tension will be used, also the prevention of the engagement into typical response that cause temporary relief. The exposure will be held in safe, comforting, and confidential settings where the individuals face their anxiety or distress causing stimuli, either direct or through imagination. The " exposure and response prevention" technique is based on the idea that the therapeutic effect is achieved as the individual confronts their fears and discontinue their escape response. The goal of this technique is to make the individual to get used to something that used to produce anxiety or distress to him/her. <br />Last but not least is the neurosurgical treatment. This is a limited option to a small number of individuals with OCD when they don't respond to other treatment options and their symptoms are severe and refractory. <br />References:<br />Comer, R., J. (2010) Abnormal Psychology. (7th ed.). New York: NY: Worth Publishing<br />Design Thinking -<br /> -<br />Understanding Obsessive Compulsive Disorder -<br />Student Self-Appraisal of Learning <br />After twenty years of waiting to return to studying I finally can start seeing myself with my Bachelor’s Degree. To pursue a degree in Psychology was a long journey but I would say a successful one. <br />I got married, moved a lot, had children, and two years ago I could go back to school. During my two years in Argosy Online University I thought I would face some difficulties in getting practice once I was studying online. To my surprise the classes were all illustrated with practical subjects, the assignments were related to real situations where the student should take actions towards the issue presented. I could never expect that I would achieve so much with practical information in an online course. Argosy went beyond my initial expectations. During these years I would talk about my achievements and aspirations with friends and family. I would share my experience in very interesting classes that I had during my course as Industrial/ Organizational Psychology, Interviewing Techniques, Human resource Management, Organizational Behavior, Organizational Leadership in Organizations, and Cultural Diversity in the Workplace. I am mentioning those classes in particular because those are related to my major. By sharing all my experiences with my friends I could not expect that they could actually be paying attention to my speech for their own interest. One of my friends invited me to become a consultant in a very prestigious firm which helped me even more with hands on practice.<br />While I was working as a consultant in that firm I could put on practice many theories that I had learned in Argosy. I planned for the organization necessities; I used interview strategies to choose the perfect candidate, and gave training for new employees. By using those techniques I could help the improvement and performance of the firm and employees.<br />When the project finished I received many complements about my performance, the way I innovated the company’s ideas of performance with my new techniques and fresh ideas. <br />Having the opportunity to be part of Argosy Online program opened my professional horizon. I know that I will always be learning new subjects, and techniques, because people change and so their necessities, but I can say that Argosy had gave me roots, and prepared me to explore and face the challenges that will arise in my professional career. <br />