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Postmodernism & Psychotherapy:
Understanding the Essential

6 CE Credits/Hours - Online Course - $69.00

Developed by Louis Hoffman, Ph.D.

This course includes materials consisting of:

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General Course Description

This course explores the impact of postmodernism on the contemporary practice of psychotherapy. The primary focus is on the application of postmodern ideas and approaches to therapy into clinical practice. Additional focus will be given on how postmodernism can be integrated with a variety of therapy orientations. This course will also examine how postmodern times may influence clients and the reasons why people enter therapy. Finally, the limitations of postmodernism, along with potential correctives for future development, are discussed.

The articles in this course provide a panorama for postmodernism. Initially, the important terms and concepts frequently used in the postmodern literature are identified. As postmodernism begins its formal delineation in philosophy, an overview of postmodern philosophy is developed by comparing and contrasting it with premodern and modern philosophy and clarifying common misconceptions. For many, the first step in understanding postmodernism is unlearning the inaccurate information which is often taught about this theory. Next, the course addresses postmodern trends in various disciplines and the emphasis on interdisciplinary dialogue. Several articles build upon this trend by integrating postmodernism with other psychotherapy perspectives. The course concludes by bringing together these previous themes to apply postmodernism more directly to psychotherapy and ethics.

Educational Objectives

This course will teach psychotherapists to:

1.    Differentiate among the major philosophical paradigms of premodernism, modernism and postmodernism.

2.    Define important postmodern concepts and terminology, including realism, metanarrative and epistemological pluralism.

3.    Explain the central tenets of postmodernism as they apply to psychological practice.

4.    Interpret the impact of postmodernism on clients living in postmodern times.

5.    Integrate important postmodern themes and sensitivity into clinical practice.

6.    Critique the limitations and potential dangers of postmodernism.

Course Syllabus

Overview of Postmodernism

  • Overview of Important Terminology
  • Central ideas of Premodernism, Modernism and Postmodernism
  • Common Misperceptions and Misrepresentations of Postmodernism
  • The Influence of Postmodern Culture & Its Relation to Postmodern Theory
  • Postmodern Themes in Various Academic Disciplines
  • The Importance of Interdisciplinary Dialogue in Postmodern Theory

Applications of Postmodern Theory

  • The Understanding of the Self in Postmodernism
  • An Existential-Integrative Postmodern View of the Self
  • Postmodernism in Humanistic Psychology
  • Postmodernism's Role in Addressing Religious and Spiritual Issues in Therapy
  • Postmodernism and Critical Psychology
  • Postmodernism, Diversity and Pluralism
  • Postmodernism and Existential Psychology

Synthesizing Postmodern Theory and Psychological Practice

  • Understanding Specializations in Psychology from a Postmodern Perspective
  • Understanding the Theoretical Orientations in Psychology from a Postmodern Perspective
  • Applications of Postmodernism into Psychotherapy
  • Postmodernism and Ethics
  • Postmodern Ethics for Psychotherapy and Counseling


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