Assignment Guidelines 1

| February 5, 2016

Assignment Guidelines 1
Minor Assignment (600 words for HPS308 and for HPS788) (worth 10% of unit grade)
Due Date: 07 December 2015 by 5pm via dropbox
File must be submitted in either word (.docx) (NOT .doc) format or pdf.
There is NO 10% allowance on word-count.
“Love’s Executioner” Reflection Paper:
Irvin Yalom is a celebrated therapist and author, who utilises existential therapy as the basis
for his counselling interventions. In his most well-known book, he presents ten cases (one to
a chapter), often with startling insight into both his clients, and himself.
In this assignment, you will be reading and discussing the case entitled “Two Smiles”. You
should also read the prologue of the book. You only need to focus on the first section of the
reading and not the second which focuses on separate case studies.
For the case in Yalom’s book, write 600 words covering two tasks described below. While
these two aspects can be addressed separately or in an integrated fashion, both must be
discussed with relation to the case (see rubric).
The first intent of this assignment is to give you an excuse to do some reflection on the
material, particularly in terms of how it contrasts with your view of therapy and how it
changes (or doesn’t change) your understanding of the therapeutic process (e.g., why and
how is it surprising, how does it contrast with views of therapy you have from your
psychology study to date including this unit, and from other sources of knowledge that you
have regarding therapy). As such, you should also take care to relate the material back to your
more general knowledge and understanding regarding psychotherapy. Note that this is about
your reflections – don’t spend too long just describing what happens in the case except to
illustrate this.
The second goal is that, when reflecting on the piece, you should also consider how the
theory underlying the approach relates to what happens in the case. As such, relate how the
material relates to one or more of the four existential givens that Yalom discusses in the intro,
and how he demonstrates that “it is possible to confront the truths of existence and harness
their power in the service of personal growth” (p. xiii, Prologue). Briefly consider how the
basis for this therapy contrasts with your understanding of at least one other approach you
have heard about – if it does (e.g., CBT; psychodynamic). Parts of this chapter focus
heavily on hypnotherapy – however, your task is to focus on an existential approach to
Generally, please also consider the tone of the piece. While reflection may involve relating
this material to your own experience, this should be in order to make a point or reflect on a
transformation of your understanding of therapy (i.e., this is not a diary of your reactions; and
please avoid any revelation of negative incidents or situations in your own present or
past, or the use of this piece as an exercise in therapeutic writing!).
Assignment Guidelines 2
Finally, you should consider consulting online resources if you are new to the process of
reflective writing. For example, is a good
A few fine details (no marks, but please keep to them!)
As a short piece, you do not need to use a formal essay structure (intro, body, conclusion),
but the reaction should be written in full paragraph format (i.e., no dot points), in APA style
(12-point font, double spaced). You do not need to reference papers outside of the given
chapter; however, if you do, you will need to include a formal reference list (reference list is
not in the word count, but in-text citations are included in the word-count as usual).
To save words, you do not need to formally reference the given chapter. However, if you
directly quote the chapter (quotes are included in the word count), please also give the
relevant page number of the quote.
Below you will also find a “Marking Rubric”. This document is what the markers will be
using to assess your assignment so it is marked in a consistent manner, and so that you can be
as clear as possible about the requirements of the assignment.
Access to book
The book is available in hardcopy and as an e-book via the Deakin University Library
(although it’s a worthwhile purchase if you are interested in being a therapist!). If you have
the printing allowance available, we recommend you print the chapter/prologue to PDF or to
hardcopy to save having to repeatedly go through the library system to access it.
Assignment Guidelines 3
HPS308/HPS788 Rubric for Assignment 1
Criteria Inadequate (0-49) Pass (50-59) Credit (60-69) Distinction (70-79) High Distinction (80-100)
ULO3: Explain the way the theoretical perspective adopted by a clinician can influence the manner of explaining how a psychological disorder develops and how it is treated, and how personal insight is necessary
in therapy to be an effective clinician…
Write a reaction piece
demonstrating the
following levels of
• Level 1 (Reporting)
‘What happened’
• The student describes, reports
or re-tells what happened in the
case with minimal
transformation, few added
observations or insights
regarding therapeutic processes.
• The student describes prior
knowledge, feelings, attitudes
and new feelings and attitudes
with little/no reference to the
case or regarding therapeutic
• Level 2 (Responding)
‘How did I respond’
• The student references the
case in some way, e.g.,
discusses their responses, but
with little evidence of
transformation or
conceptualisation of
knowledge or insight regarding
therapeutic processes.
• The student makes
observations or
judgements regarding
therapeutic processes, but
little further inference or
detail as to the reasons for
their judgement are given
Level 3 (Relating)
‘Making connections’
• The student identifies
aspects of the case and
connects them to prior/
current knowledge or
experience of therapy.
• The student notes the
value of the new
information –
significance regarding
therapeutic processes
Level 4 (Reasoning)
‘Discovering meaning’
• The student integrates the data into
an appropriate relationship, e.g., with
theoretical concepts, personal
experience, involving a high level of
transformation and conceptualisation
regarding therapeutic processes.
• The student demonstrates a
broadening of their own perception
and understanding regarding
therapeutic processes.
• Level 5 (Reconstructing)
‘Application and awareness of higher
level thinking’
• The student displays a high level of
abstract thinking to generalise and/or
apply learning from the case in a way
related to therapeutic processes.
• The student draws an original
conclusion from their reflections,
extracts general principles,
formulates a personal theory or takes
a position on an issue related to
therapeutic processes.
In considering the
theoretical underpinnings
and relationship to other
? The student does not consider
the theoretical underpinnings of
the therapy and/or does not
sufficiently contrast it with other
? Inadequate/ incomplete /
incorrect discussion.
? The student notes either
how the case considers the
theoretical underpinnings of
the therapy and/or how it
contrasts with other
approaches in a limited
? Partially inadequate/
incomplete or incorrect
? The student considers
both how the case
considers the theoretical
underpinnings of the
therapy and how it
contrasts with at least one
other approach.
? Discussion is adequate
but lacking in depth
? The student discusses both how the
theoretical underpinning of this
approach to therapy is illuminated by
the case, and contrasts with at least
one other approach.
? Justification is comprehensive, wellintegrated
and articulated
? The student thoroughly examines
both how the theoretical
underpinning of this approach to
therapy is illuminated by the case,
and contrasts this with at least one
other approach.
? Comprehensive & excellently
articulated coverage demonstrating
insight into nuances.

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