My first gluten meal in a long while

Ok so today, while at the rocks markets in sydney I splurged and had gluten for the first time in Ages.

While the meal was lovely, I noticed that the taste wasn’t how I remembered it to be. This time it wasn’t worth it.




Behavioural Therapy


Behavioural Therapy

We are going to look at how habitual habits are formed and how behavioural patterns can be altered with reinforcement. I would just like to inform everyone that up until this lovely piece of information was typed up off slides from you class I had no idea I was spelling Behaviour wrong in every way possible: Behaivour – I know what was I thinking. But I am from Australia so I spell it with a U.

Conditioning: occurs when stimuli and response become linked.

v  Classical Conditioning: when an individual is conditioned to associated a neutral stimulus with a meaningful stimulus. Linear and Short Term

v  Operant Conditioning: When behaviours are increased or decreased dependent on their consequence. More complex, behaviours are influenced by past actions and the consequences.

Ian Pavloc:

v  1849-1936

v  Studied: function of nerves on the heart, function of the primary digestive glands and the thing we are looking at , Conditioned Reflex (classical)

v  Accidental Discovery of Classical Conditioning when studying dogs and the digestion.

Formal Experiment:

  • Food (unconditioned stimulus) naturally made the dog salivate (unconditioned stimulus)
  • Pavlov introduced a bell (conditioned stimulus) to call the dogs for the food
  • After some repetitions the dogs would start to salivate at the sound of the bell alone (Conditioned response)
  • = Classical Conditioning
  • After a while of ringing the bell and not presenting food the response will cease (extinction of conditioned response). But the conditioned response can return spontaneously or when reactivated. Reactivation will also happen when returning to an environment where the conditioning took place, This is the renewal effect, it makes it hard to eliminate conditioned behaviour, especially fear.

John Watson (1878-1958)

  • Ambitious but insecure
  • Became rich through advertising although he had a doctorate through Chicago Uni
  • His theoretical Perspective was that Humans = Animals, He rejected concepts of soul and consciousness. He believed you could predict human behaviour.
  • Watson’s Bio-Psyco-Social View: He minimized biological factors (assumption childhood environment is what is important not hereditary traits) and that Psychological   issues were resulting from learned conditioning. He also thought Socio-cultral factors very important, and believed society should not be based on myths or customs, but instead based on scientific knowledge and human behaviour should be controlled on the outcomes of research.
  • He dreamed of a more rational, new and better soicety
  • Watson’s Human Reseach:
    • He studied babies and introduced the classical condition of learned fear,  “Little albert” – a emotionally stable baby with not much fear. Through the conditioning using loud noises (Uncontrolled stimulus) which made albert afraid (Uncontrolled reaction), Watson was able to induce a controlled fear of white rats. Albert was not afraid of rats (uncontrolled stimulus).
    • Each time albert reached for the rat, Watson made a loud noise.
    • Albert associated the rat (controlled stimulus) with loud noises (uncontrolled stimulus) and the rat began to scare albert.
    • This study shows conditioned emotional response in humans.
    • After the learned behaviour Albert became afraid of all white fury things (so there is a ethical implication here)

Edward Lee Thorndike:

  • 1874-1949
  • Believed psychology should study behaviour not the conscious experience.
  • He developed a theory of learning that was later developed
  • Connectionism: association between stimulus and response > Connection more likely to form if reinforced > Response unit= simple element of behaviour.
  • Theory of Learning:
    • Through research with animals: putting a cat in a puzzle box and inorder to get food the cat would have to escape, he found that the cat got the food only through trial and error. He measured the errors and the time.
    • Law of Effect:
    • Behaviour produces a good outcome is associated with a specific situation
    •  Behaviour> Better state of affairs> increased probability of behaviour occurring again
    • Behaviour> Worse state of Affairs>decreased probability of doing the behaviour again
    • Therefore the better outcome will promote that behaviour more.

B.F. Skinner

  • 1904-1990
  • Edward Lee Thorndike’s student
  • Father of Operant Conditioning: future behaviour is determined by consequences of past behaviour.
  • Focuses only on behaviour
  • Believed we are shaped by our environment and genetic heritage
  • Believed consciousness and emotions are learned behaviours: occurs due to reinforcement and punishment.
  • Operant Response: if consequences are good> repeat behaviour. But if consequence is bad> less likely to repeat.
  • Skinner used both a mouse and a pigeon in a box hooked up to a electric shock and a lever with food. The idea was to positively reinforce target behaviour with the intention of the target behaviour increasing, while the negative target was to punish the bad behaviour so that favourable behaviour was more common.
  • Reinforcing Escape or Avoidance in a situation where anxiety is present:
  •  Run from a brown snake – helpful
  • Cold feet about marriage? Running is not so helpful
    • What affects Operant Conditioning?
    • Reinforcement vs Punishment (positive reinforcement is more effective than punishment)
    • Primary (satisfies biological needs – no training needed as it is instinct) vs Secondary (learned or conditioned, associated with primary) reinforcer
    • Immediate vs Delayed reinforcer ( people want it now, this is true in animals)
    • Small vs Large (perceived benefit must be equal or greater than perceived cost)
    • Shaping (rewarding successful approximations of the target behaviour) : For example you want to teach your cat to play piano. 1. Positively reinforce any behaviour that resembles the target (cat goes near piano). 2.Then the animal is only positively reinforced is a closer approximation is given (the cat puts paw on keys or sits on piano seat). 3. Ultimatly animal is only positively reinforced for doing target behaviour (gato puts paw on key)

Real Life Examples of Our Conditioning:

  • Fear Response: flashing lights in the rear-view mirror while driving
  • Emotional Response: seeing a partner do a common behaviour they use when angry – we react strongly automatically
  • Physiological Response: oven timer goes off predicting dinner, people will feel more hungry
  • Drug Response: smell of coffee may make a habitual drinker feel more alert


  • Preparedness
  • Species Specific Predispositions: cats aversion to water, people generally afraid of snakes.


Characteristics of Behavioural Therapy:

  • Based on scientific research using mainly animals
  • Focuses on how present behaviours relate to present problems
  • In order to reduce problem, client must take action, it is also dependent on clients conditioning
  • Treatment is practical and based on individual needs.

Goal of Behavioural Therapy:

  • Increased positive/helpful behaviours
  • Decease unhelpful behaviours
  • Increase client control though new skills and new situations
  • Creates better conditions for learning
  • Goals should be SMART (Hope you read my other posts on psychology)and mutually agreed on

ABC Model: The way symptoms are maintained by a functional model of behaviour

  • Antecedent – the event that precedes the behaviour – when and where does this behaviour occur?
  • Behaviour –Actual Behaviour: what is the behaviour and why do they do it and what is the function?
  • Consequence – Effect of the Behaviour : what perpetuates the behaviour and what could result in setbacks?

Building Wellbeing:

  • Reinforcement, conditioning and counterconditioning help individuals overcome unhelpful behaviours and increase more productive behaviours.
  • Training provides more options to respond to a stimulus. – increase in control and choice.


  • Insight into effecting learning factors
  • Tailored to each individual
  • Scientific evidence
  • Evidence based therapy


  • Treats symptoms not cause
  • Ignores feelings and emotions
  • Therapist manipulates client
  • Over dependence on animal research – dehumanizing

Transpersonal Therapy

Hope you are ready for this! It is my most favorite Topic Ever. Doesn’t it make you just want to be a better person?

Transpersonal Therapy

This is the study of:

  • The mind’s cognitive processes and emotions.
  • States of consciousness, the higher and expanded.
  • Spirituality  – a transcendent dimension and force
    on the enhancement on the wellbeing and growth of humans.

Pioneer of Transpersonal Psychology:

  • Carl Jung
  • Abraham Maslow
  • Roberto Assagioli
  • Stanislav Grof
  • Anthony Sutich.

Transpersonal Therapy emerged from early : Humanistic, Phenomenological and cognitive psychology. It incorporates the spiritual element of existence in the scientific study of humans. It relates all the supernatural and natural phenomenon. It includes mythical explanations of experiences that can not be explained scientifically. It also incorporates East and West Beliefs.

As a therapy it extends past traditional psychology as the main focus is the mind, body, spirituality and consciousness (Holistic approach in my books). This therapy looks at beyond our individual ego as a person, for example the higher state of consciousness. This can allude to the spirit realm in some contexts. It distinguishes religion and spirituality. The aim of this Therapy is to promote transcendence of the conscious mind through enabling it to reach into the unconscious mind and discover a higher self. This deeper level of thinking is achieved when an individual releases their ego centred perspective. (This is what we all want in the big scheme of things I think, well it is what I want.)

It can be seen as allowing an individual to realise and move towards their true potential to access inherent wisdom and goodness which was blocked by previous learned behaviours which kept them from it. In order to remove the block, the individuals must uncover or rid themselves of a lack peacefulness they must live in their true spirit, access their higher, natural spirit.

Transpersonal Psychology is none of the following:

  • Restricted to religion
  • Ideology or cult – it is open to universal experience
  • New Age
  • In contradiction to other models of psychology

Who would seek this type of Therapy?

  • People who have lost the meaning of life – this is something that really appeals to me, especially at a time when I had lost my purpose.
  • People who have had to change their beliefs about life following a crisis.
  • People who are having trouble understanding life and death
  • People trying to seek understanding of life
  • People facing a spiritual crisis
  • People challenged with taking on a new belief system different to their previous one
  • People having transcendence experiences
  • People confused about spirituality

The three levels of Intervention:

  1. Traditional Therapeutic Intervention:
  • Psychoanalysis and CBT
  • The focus is on the strengthening the ego and promoting adjustment to normalcy
  1. Existential Level:
  • Humanistic and Person Centred
  • Consists of contemplating issues of existence, meaning of life. And the examination of the responses to these issues,
  1. Transpersonal:
  • The individual has transcended past ego and identifies with a higher self and experiences a sense of unity with all life.

Who wouldn’t want to seek this? To me it would be wonderful.

Benefits of this Therapy:

  • Holistic Approach, it looks at the body, mind and spirit as one in the need for wellbeing, growth and healing
  • Assists an individual in accepting new views and attitudes of the word they live in
  • Individual will understand their true potential as a higher spiritual understanding is accessible and become able to harness it.

Effects of This Therapy:

  • Greater sense of peace and greater good
  • A more open view
  • Finding : direction, purpose and meaning of life
  • Sense of Security
  • Increased compassion, patience and understanding

Transpersonal Counselling:

v  Clients are helped to achieve a better self esteem, self confidence and emotion well being as well as improved relationships and more. The client will hopefully gain a more spiritual awareness and a sense of their soul. The aim is to integrate spirituality into everyday life. Practitioners use a variety of Techniques to suit the client. It allows the client to deal with spiritual confusion. Holistic Interventions can include: meditation, contemplation, breath training, inward focusing, yoga.


Difference between Spirituality and Religion:

  • Religion: Obedience to a belief and practices by a organised religion
  • Spirituality: a transcendence experience that can be felt.


  • Ineffable
  • Not fictitious
  • Transcendent reality
  • Focuses on : Gods/Godesses/Higher Beings/ Universal Consciousness
  • The awareness on souls and the afterlife
  • The universal force: energy, omnipresent and harmonious
  • The relationship between soul and spirituality
  • It can be in a philosophical, religious or nonreligious context.
  • The Five Dimensions of Spirituality:
    • Cognitive Orientation Towards Spirituality – perception of spirituality
    • Experiential/Phenomenological Dimension – spiritual experiences
    •  Existential Well Being – the benefits of being spiritually self-aware
    • Paranormal Beliefs – extra sensory power
    • Religiosity – beliefs and attitudes and behaviour associated with religion or dogma.

Questions to Ask a Client about Spirituality:

v  What Religion were you raised with?

  • Are you still Associated with the same religion or philosophy?
  • If not, what religion or philosophy do you follow now?

v  Is your spirituality/Religion important to you?

v  Do you believe in God? Gods?

  • Are you Atheist?
  • Are you Agnostic?

v  Do you Believe that there is a spiritual transcendent dimension?

v  Do you believe individuals have souls? – What happens to these upon death?

States of Consciousness:

v  Normal, Alert, Waking:

  • Cognitive, judgment
  • Emotions
  • Thoughts, perception, emotion and memories that are easy access to the mind

v  Subconscious

  • Repressed thoughts, desires and judgments
  • Temporary or permanent unconscious

v  Transpersonal

  • Beyond, but includes ego
  • Spiritual or pure
  • A sense of direct knowing

Transpersonal Experiences:

v  Near Death Experiences

v  Altered states of consciousness – out of body experiences and intuition

v  Coincidences or synchronicities

Transpersonal Experiences: Altered States of Consciousness:

v  Spontaneous – Natural

v  Drug Induced – Medical or Illicit Drugs

Not Ordinary States of Consciousness:

v  Schizophrenia – auditory and visual hallucinations

v  Dreams – typical or lucid

v  Transcendent Consciousness – Normal

v  Dual Consciousness – everyday and transcendent

Inner Body Experience: Normal mental health and physical sense of self is maintained. Consciousness is perceived as enhanced (awareness of: intuition, inspiration, coincidences), no sense of a soul inside a body.

Intuition: A strong sense of rightness, thinking comes after decision, depends on no analysis or reason. Emotion does not influence or distort. Validated by experience and occurs spontaneously.

Out of Body Experience: normal physical and mental state is lost, alert consciousness is felt, feeling of soul being out of body – and your soul can think, see and feel. Astral Traveling or Near Death Experience. Experienced as real and is frightening and isolating because it is not the imagination.
A soul Traveller, soul travels without body while still alive. A feeling of disembodiedment, it is spontaneous, full awareness of shaking off physical body.

A sneak peek at Nervous System Notes

The structural classification of neurons.

The structural classification of neurons is based on the number of processes found on a cell body.

  • Multipolar = several dendrites and one axon  (this is the most common) for example, spinal motor neurons
  • Bipolar = one main dendrite and one main axon.  An example of this would be the olfactory, inner ear and in the retina.
  • Unipolar = one process only (developed from bipolar) an example of this is the sensory neurons which take the info from the periphery to brain

Axon myelinated in the CNS and PNS.

Myelination is essentially where axons get wrapped in myelin (like a  sheath). This electrically insulates and now the axon can conduct quickly. The myelin sheath is made up of some protein but mainly fat (making it appear white).
In the CNS, the oligodendrocytes cells are the myelin sheaths around more than one axon. No neurolemma is formed as the cell bodies do not wrap around the axons, it is more like an encase
In the PNS, it is the Schwann cells that encircle PNS axons with each cell producing part of the sheath that surrounds the axons during fetal development. In the PNS, the schwann cells wrap around the Axons a lot, with them being the outer most layer while the inner layers are the myelin sheath.

Existential Therapy

Existential Therapy

Humanist existentialism follows these values:

  • Freedom (to behave within or outside social norms)
  • Experiential reflection (to discover what one is becoming or reflect on our behaviour)
  • Responsibility (act or respond to what one is becoming or to decide how to behave )

Existential view on Personality:

A persons personality can be described by the characteristics that influence their thoughts, behaviours and motivations. The idea of personality is not as relevant to this type of therapy since people are considered dynamic creatures who change with experience.

The lack of freedom can be due to a failure to accept responsibility or due to lack of awareness of choice. Awareness of freedom is important for wellbeing.

Be aware of:

v  Capacity for Self-Awareness

v  Freedom and Responsibility – making choices and being accountable for those choices

v  Striving for Identity and Relationships to others – not just doing, being alone, being together

v  The search for the meaning – finding value in living a meaningful life

v  Anxiety as a condition of living – courage to face anxiety

v  Awareness of death and non being – a reminder to live our lives full of meaning

This therapy is aimed at:

v  raising a person’s ability to exercise the freedom to make choices

v  Encouraging the client to question and inquire about superficial limitations

v  Helping the client to be present in reality and find what is important to them.

Goals of Existential Therapy:

v  Gain self-awareness

v  Increase the potential choice

v  Have clients take responsibility for choices

v  Have the client experience reality

v  Have the client recognise the things that block freedom from them

v  Accept the freedom and responsibility that go together.

Existential Therapy focuses on:

v  Health rather than sickness

v  Growth

v  Clients immediate experiences

v  Clients becoming aware of their values and develop purpose in life

v  Client looking at what they used to value

v  Help the Client feel alive.

If you have some free time check out Victor Frankl.

A Sneak Peek at Skeletal Muscle Metabolism

(Insert excuse for being so slow with the anatomy and physiology posts)

Ok as you know, in the stressful time of the last 3 weeks of class I am trying to learn the content, here are some very brief question and answers that will give you a heads up on what i will be posting from my notes when I actually get around to it.


 How do the structural proteins within the sarcomeres support the contractile filaments to provide movement?

Sarcomeres are compartments which house contractile filaments, the structural proteins are one of three types of proteins in the muscle. The structural proteins keep the thick and thin filaments in alignment – this gives elasticity and extension to microfibril, it also links the microfibril to the sarcolemma and extracellular matrix. Some key proteins are : titin, alpha actin, mysomesin, nebulin and dystrophin 

What are the effects of aging on the muscular system?

The skeletal muscles will be replaced with fat if not used around the age of 30. As the individual gets older, their reflexes and strength decrease. In order to keep the muscle and strength you need to use it and continue to use it. Due to aging, a change in fibre may be made to slow oxidative fibres because a lack of use.

You are working in a health care facility and sadly you discover that one of your patients has died. On examination you discover that your patient is quite rigid. Discuss the physiology of this state.

This rigidity is due to the calcium +2 ions, which leak out of the SR and allows myosin heads to bind to actin (think back to muscle contractions, it was a step in the cycle that they attached). The flow of blood has stopped so the ATP synthesis has stopped and the cross bridges can’t detach. When the proteolytic enzymes begin to digest the decomposing cells then the ridged state of the patient will cease.  This state is called rigor mortis, it is when the muscles become ridged, it occurs around 3-4 hours after death and will usually last 24 hours.