Lev Vygotsky, a Russian psychologist and philosopher in the 1930s, is most often associated with the social constructivist theory. He emphasizes the influences of cultural and social contexts in learning and supports a discovery model of learning. this type of model places the teacher in an active role while the students' mental abilities develop naturally through various paths od discovery.
Vygotsky's theory presents three principles:
1. Making meaning - the community places a central role, and the people around the student greatly affect the way he or she sees the world.
2. Tools for cognitive development - the type and quality of these tools (culture, language, important adults to the student) determine the pattern and rate of development.
3. The Zone of Proximal Development - problem solving skills of tasks can be placed into three categories: Those performed independetly by the learner. Those that cannot be performed even with help. Those that faal between the two extremes, the tasks that can be performed with help from others.
The social cognition learning model asserts that culture is the prime determinant of individual development. Humans are the only species to have created culture, and every human child develops in the context of a culture. Therefore, a child’s learning development is affected in ways large and small by the culture–including the culture of family environment–in which he or she is enmeshed.
- Culture makes two sorts of contributions to a child’s intellectual development. First, through culture children acquire much of the content of their thinking, that is, their knowledge. Second, the surrounding culture provides a child with the processes or means of their thinking, what Vygotskians call the tools of intellectual adaptation. In short, according to the social cognition learning model, culture teaches children both what to think and how to think.
- Cognitive development results from a dialectical process whereby a child learns through problem-solving experiences shared with someone else, usually a parent or teacher but sometimes a sibling or peer.
- Initially, the person interacting with child assumes most of the responsibility for guiding the problem solving, but gradually this responsibility transfers to the child.
- Language is a primary form of interaction through which adults transmit to the child the rich body of knowledge that exists in the culture.
- As learning progresses, the child’s own language comes to serve as her primary tool of intellectual adaptation. Eventually, children can use internal language to direct their own behavior.
- Internalization refers to the process of learning–and thereby internalizing–a rich body of knowledge and tools of thought that first exist outside the child. This happens primarily through language.
- A difference exists between what child can do on her own and what the child can do with help. Vygotskians call this difference the zone of proximal development.
- Since much of what a child learns comes form the culture around her and much of the child’s problem solving is mediated through an adult’s help, it is wrong to focus on a child in isolation. Such focus does not reveal the processes by which children acquire new skills.
- Interactions with surrounding culture and social agents, such as parents and more competent peers, contribute significantly to a child’s intellectual development.
How Vygotsky Impacts Learning:
Curriculum–Since children learn much through interaction, curricula should be designed to emphasize interaction between learners and learning tasks.
Instruction–With appropriate adult help, children can often perform tasks that they are incapable of completing on their own. With this in mind, scaffolding–where the adult continually adjusts the level of his or her help in response to the child’s level of performance–is an effective form of teaching. Scaffolding not only produces immediate results, but also instills the skills necessary for independent problem solving in the future.
Assessment–Assessment methods must take into account the zone of proximal development. What children can do on their own is their level of actual development and what they can do with help is their level of potential development. Two children might have the same level of actual development, but given the appropriate help from an adult, one might be able to solve many more problems than the other. Assessment methods must target both the level of actual development and the level of potential development.
Vygotsky, L.S. (1962). Thought and language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. (Original work published 1934)
Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). Mind in Society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
A paper by James Wertsch and Michael Cole titled “The role of culture in Vygotskyean-informed psychology”. This paper gives an accessible overview of the main thrust of Vygotsky’s general developmental framework and offers a contrast to the Piagetian approach.
This is an introduction to some of the basic concepts of Vygotskyean theory (culturally-mediated identity) by Trish Nicholl.
This is a site for Cultural-Historical Psychology and provides a periodically-updated listing of Vygotskyean and related resources available on the Web.
This is a 1997 paper by P.E. Doolittle titled “
Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development as a theoretical foundation for cooperation learning” and is published in Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 8 (1), 83-103.
Jean Piaget is a Swiss psychologist who began to study human development in the 1920s. His proposed a development theory has been widely discussed in both psychology and education fields. To learn, Piajet stressed the holistic approach. A child contructs understanding through many channels: reading, listening, exploring and experiencing his or her environment
Piaget work has identified four major stages of cognitive growth that emerge from birth to about the age of 14-16.
A child will develop through each of these stages until he or she can reason logically.
Birth to 2 years
|Infants use sensory and motor capabilities to explore and gain understanding of their environments.|
2 to 7 years
|Children begin to use symbols. They respond to objects and events according to how they appear to be.|
7 to 11 years
|Children begin to think logically.|
11 years and beyond
Children begin to think about thinking. Thoughts is systematic and abstract.
The learner is advanced through three mechanisms.
1. Assimilation - fitting a new experience into an exisiting mental structure(schema).
2. Accomodation - revising an exisiting schema because of new experience.
3. Equilibrium - seeking cognitive stability through assimilation and accomodation.
1896 - 1980
Dr. C. George Boeree
Jean Piaget was born in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, on August 9, 1896. His father, Arthur Piaget, was a professor of medieval literature with an interest in local history. His mother, Rebecca Jackson, was intelligent and energetic, but Jean found her a bit neurotic -- an impression that he said led to his interest in psychology, but away from pathology! The oldest child, he was quite independent and took an early interest in nature, especially the collecting of shells. He published his first “paper” when he was ten -- a one page account of his sighting of an albino sparrow.
He began publishing in earnest in high school on his favorite subject, mollusks. He was particularly pleased to get a part time job with the director of Nuechâtel’s Museum of Natural History, Mr. Godel. His work became well known among European students of mollusks, who assumed he was an adult! All this early experience with science kept him away, he says, from “the demon of philosophy.”
Later in adolescence, he faced a bit a crisis of faith: Encouraged by his mother to attend religious instruction, he found religious argument childish. Studying various philosophers and the application of logic, he dedicated himself to finding a “biological explanation of knowledge.” Ultimately, philosophy failed to assist him in his search, so he turned to psychology.
After high school, he went on to the University of Neuchâtel. Constantly studying and writing, he became sickly, and had to retire to the mountains for a year to recuperate. When he returned to Neuchâtel, he decided he would write down his philosophy. A fundamental point became a centerpiece for his entire life’s work: “In all fields of life (organic, mental, social) there exist ‘totalities’ qualitatively distinct from their parts and imposing on them an organization.” This principle forms the basis of his structuralist philosophy, as it would for the Gestaltists, Systems Theorists, and many others.
In 1918, Piaget received his Doctorate in Science from the University of Neuchâtel. He worked for a year at psychology labs in Zurich and at Bleuler’s famous psychiatric clinic. During this period, he was introduced to the works of Freud, Jung, and others. In 1919, he taught psychology and philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris. Here he met Simon (of Simon-Binet fame) and did research on intelligence testing. He didn’t care for the “right-or-wrong” style of the intelligent tests and started interviewing his subjects at a boys school instead, using the psychiatric interviewing techniques he had learned the year before. In other words, he began asking how children reasoned.
In 1921, his first article on the psychology of intelligence was published in the Journal de Psychologie. In the same year, he accepted a position at the Institut J. J. Rousseau in Geneva. Here he began with his students to research the reasoning of elementary school children. This research became his first five books on child psychology. Although he considered this work highly preliminary, he was surprised by the strong positive public reaction to his work.
In 1923, he married one of his student coworkers, Valentine Châtenay. In 1925, their first daughter was born; in 1927, their second daughter was born; and in 1931, their only son was born. They immediately became the focus of intense observation by Piaget and his wife. This research became three more books!
In 1929, Piaget began work as the director of the International Bureau of Education, a post he would hold until 1967. He also began large scale research with A. Szeminska, E. Meyer, and especially Bärbel Inhelder, who would become his major collaborator. Piaget, it should be noted, was particularly influential in bringing women into experimental psychology. Some of this work, however, wouldn’t reach the world outside of Switzerland until World War II was over.
In 1940, He became chair of Experimental Psychology, the Director of the psychology laboratory, and the president of the Swiss Society of Psychology. In 1942, he gave a series of lectures at the Collège de France, during the Nazi occupation of France. These lectures became The Psychology of Intelligence. At the end of the war, he was named President of the Swiss Commission of UNESCO.
Also during this period, he received a number of honorary degrees. He received one from the Sorbonne in 1946, the University of Brussels and the University of Brazil in 1949, on top of an earlier one from Harvard in 1936. And, in 1949 and 1950, he published his synthesis, Introduction to Genetic Epistemology.
In 1952, he became a professor at the Sorbonne. In 1955, he created the International Center for Genetic Epistemology, of which he served as director the rest of his life. And, in 1956, he created the School of Sciences at the University of Geneva.
He continued working on a general theory of structures and tying his psychological work to biology for many more years. Likewise, he continued his public service through UNESCO as a Swiss delegate. By the end of his career, he had written over 60 books and many hundreds of articles. He died in Geneva, September 16, 1980, one of the most significant psychologists of the twentieth century.
Jean Piaget began his career as a biologist -- specifically, a malacologist! But his interest in science and the history of science soon overtook his interest in snails and clams. As he delved deeper into the thought-processes of doing science, he became interested in the nature of thought itself, especially in the development of thinking. Finding relatively little work done in the area, he had the opportunity to give it a label. He called it genetic epistemology, meaning the study of the development of knowledge.
He noticed, for example, that even infants have certain skills in regard to objects in their environment. These skills were certainly simple ones, sensori-motor skills, but they directed the way in which the infant explored his or her environment and so how they gained more knowledge of the world and more sophisticated exploratory skills. These skills he called schemas.
For example, an infant knows how to grab his favorite rattle and thrust it into his mouth. He’s got that schema down pat. When he comes across some other object -- say daddy’s expensive watch, he easily learns to transfer his “grab and thrust” schema to the new object. This Piaget called assimilation, specifically assimilating a new object into an old schema.
When our infant comes across another object again -- say a beach ball -- he will try his old schema of grab and thrust. This of course works poorly with the new object. So the schema will adapt to the new object: Perhaps, in this example, “squeeze and drool” would be an appropriate title for the new schema. This is called accommodation, specifically accomodating an old schema to a new object.
Assimilation and accommodation are the two sides of adaptation, Piaget’s term for what most of us would call learning. Piaget saw adaptation, however, as a good deal broader than the kind of learning that Behaviorists in the US were talking about. He saw it as a fundamentally biological process. Even one’s grip has to accommodate to a stone, while clay is assimilated into our grip. All living things adapt, even without a nervous system or brain.
Assimilation and accommodation work like pendulum swings at advancing our understanding of the world and our competency in it. According to Piaget, they are directed at a balance between the structure of the mind and the environment, at a certain congruency between the two, that would indicate that you have a good (or at least good-enough) model of the universe. This ideal state he calls equilibrium.
As he continued his investigation of children, he noted that there were periods where assimilation dominated, periods where accommodation dominated, and periods of relative equilibrium, and that these periods were similar among all the children he looked at in their nature and their timing. And so he developed the idea of stages of cognitive development. These constitute a lasting contribution to psychology.
The sensorimotor stage
The first stage, to which we have already referred, is the sensorimotor stage. It lasts from birth to about two years old. As the name implies, the infant uses senses and motor abilities to understand the world, beginning with reflexes and ending with complex combinations of sensorimotor skills.
Between one and four months, the child works on primary circular reactions -- just an action of his own which serves as a stimulus to which it responds with the same action, and around and around we go. For example, the baby may suck her thumb. That feels good, so she sucks some more... Or she may blow a bubble. That’s interesting so I’ll do it again....
Between four and 12 months, the infant turns to secondary circular reactions, which involve an act that extends out to the environment: She may squeeze a rubber duckie. It goes “quack.” That’s great, so do it again, and again, and again. She is learning “procedures that make interesting things last.”
At this point, other things begin to show up as well. For example, babies become ticklish, although they must be aware that someone else is tickling them or it won’t work. And they begin to develop object permanence. This is the ability to recognize that, just because you can’t see something doesn’t mean it’s gone! Younger infants seem to function by an “out of sight, out of mind” schema. Older infants remember, and may even try to find things they can no longer see.
Between 12 months and 24 months, the child works on tertiary circular reactions. They consist of the same “making interesting things last” cycle, except with constant variation. I hit the drum with the stick -- rat-tat-tat-tat. I hit the block with the stick -- thump-thump. I hit the table with the stick -- clunk-clunk. I hit daddy with the stick -- ouch-ouch. This kind of active experimentation is best seen during feeding time, when discovering new and interesting ways of throwing your spoon, dish, and food.
Around one and a half, the child is clearly developing mental representation, that is, the ability to hold an image in their mind for a period beyond the immediate experience. For example, they can engage in deferred imitation, such as throwing a tantrum after seeing one an hour ago. They can use mental combinations to solve simple problems, such as putting down a toy in order to open a door. And they get good at pretending. Instead of using dollies essentially as something to sit at, suck on, or throw, now the child will sing to it, tuck it into bed, and so on.
The preoperational stage lasts from about two to about seven years old. Now that the child has mental representations and is able to pretend, it is a short step to the use of symbols.
A symbol is a thing that represents something else. A drawing, a written word, or a spoken word comes to be understood as representing a real dog. The use of language is, of course, the prime example, but another good example of symbol use is creative play, wherein checkers are cookies, papers are dishes, a box is the table, and so on. By manipulating symbols, we are essentially thinking, in a way the infant could not: in the absence of the actual objects involved!
Along with symbolization, there is a clear understanding of past and future. for example, if a child is crying for its mother, and you say “Mommy will be home soon,” it will now tend to stop crying. Or if you ask him, “Remember when you fell down?” he will respond by making a sad face.
On the other hand, the child is quite egocentric during this stage, that is, he sees things pretty much from one point of view: his own! She may hold up a picture so only she can see it and expect you to see it too. Or she may explain that grass grows so she won’t get hurt when she falls.
Piaget did a study to investigate this phenomenon called the mountains study. He would put children in front of a simple plaster mountain range and seat himself to the side, then ask them to pick from four pictures the view that he, Piaget, would see. Younger children would pick the picture of the view they themselves saw; older kids picked correctly.
Similarly, younger children center on one aspect of any problem or communication at a time. for example, they may not understand you when you tell them “Your father is my husband.” Or they may say things like “I don’t live in the USA; I live in Pennsylvania!” Or, if you show them five black and three white marbles and ask them “Are there more marbles or more black marbles?” they will respond “More black ones!”
Perhaps the most famous example of the preoperational child’s centrism is what Piaget refers to as their inability to conserve liquid volume. If I give a three year old some chocolate milk in a tall skinny glass, and I give myself a whole lot more in a short fat glass, she will tend to focus on only one of the dimensions of the glass. Since the milk in the tall skinny glass goes up much higher, she is likely to assume that there is more milk in that one than in the short fat glass, even though there is far more in the latter. It is the development of the child's ability to decenter that marks him as havingmoved to the next stage.
Concrete operations stage
The concrete operations stage lasts from about seven to about 11. The word operations refers to logical operations or principles we use when solving problems. In this stage, the child not only uses symbols representationally, but can manipulate those symbols logically. Quite an accomplishment! But, at this point, they must still perform these operations within the context of concrete situations.
The stage begins with progressive decentering. By six or seven, most children develop the ability to conserve number, length, and liquid volume. Conservation refers to the idea that a quantity remains the same despite changes in appearance. If you show a child four marbles in a row, then spread them out, the preoperational child will focus on the spread, and tend to believe that there are now more marbles than before.
Or if you have two five inch sticks laid parallel to each other, then move one of them a little, she may believe that the moved stick is now longer than the other.
The concrete operations child, on the other hand, will know that there are still four marbles, and that the stick doesn’t change length even though it now extends beyond the other. And he will know that you have to look at more than just the height of the milk in the glass: If you pour the mild from the short, fat glass into the tall, skinny glass, he will tell you that there is the same amount of milk as before, despite the dramatic increase in mild-level!
By seven or eight years old, children develop conservation of substance: If I take a ball of clay and roll it into a long thin rod, or even split it into ten little pieces, the child knows that there is still the same amount of clay. And he will know that, if you rolled it all back into a single ball, it would look quite the same as it did -- a feature known as reversibility.
By nine or ten, the last of the conservation tests is mastered: conservation of area. If you take four one-inch square pieces of felt, and lay them on a six-by-six cloth together in the center, the child who conserves will know that they take up just as much room as the same squares spread out in the corners, or, for that matter, anywhere at all.
If all this sounds too easy to be such a big deal, test your friends on conservation of mass: Which is heavier: a million tons of lead, or a million tons of feathers?
In addition, a child learns classification and seriation during this stage. Classification refers back to the question of whether there are more marbles or more black marbles? Now the child begins to get the idea that one set can include another. Seriation is putting things in order. The younger child may start putting things in order by, say size, but will quickly lose track. Now the child has no problem with such a task. Since arithmetic is essentially nothing more than classification and seriation, the child is now ready for some formal education!
Formal operations stage
But the concrete operations child has a hard time applying his new-found logical abilities to non-concrete -- i.e. abstract -- events. If mom says to junior “You shouldn’t make fun of that boy’s nose. How would you feel if someone did that to you?” he is likely to respond “I don’t have a big nose!” Even this simple lesson may well be too abstract, too hypothetical, for his kind of thinking.
Don’t judge the concrete operations child too harshly, though. Even adults are often taken-aback when we present them with something hypothetical: “If Edith has a lighter complexion than Susan, and Edith is darker than Lily, who is the darkest?” Most people need a moment or two.
From around 12 on, we enter the formal operations stage. Here we become increasingly competent at adult-style thinking. This involves using logical operations, and using them in the abstract, rather than the concrete. We often call this hypothetical thinking.
Here’s a simple example of a task that a concrete operations child couldn’t do, but which a formal operations teenager or adult could -- with a little time and effort. Consider this rule about a set of cards that have letters on one side and numbers on the other: “If a card has a vowel on one side, then it has an even number on the other side.” Take a look at the cards below and tell me, which cards do I need to turn over to tell if this rule is actually true? You’ll find the answer at the end of this chapter.
It is the formal operations stage that allows one to investigate a problem in a careful and systematic fashion. Ask a 16 year old to tell you the rules for making pendulums swing quickly or slowly, and he may proceed like this:A long string with a light weight -- let’s see how fast that swings.
A long string with a heavy weight -- let’s try that.
Now, a short string with a light weight.
And finally, a short string with a heavy weight.
His experiment -- and it is an experiment -- would tell him that a short string leads to a fast swing, and a long string to a slow swing, and that the weight of the pendulum means nothing at all!
The teenager has learned to group possibilities in four different ways:By conjunction: “Both A and B make a difference” (e.g. both the string’s length and the pendulum’s weight).
By disjunction: “It’s either this or that” (e.g. it’s either the length or the weight).
By implication: “If it’s this, then that will happen” (the formation of a hypothesis).
By incompatibility: “When this happens, that doesn’t” (the elimination of a hypothesis).
On top of that, he can operate on the operations -- a higher level of grouping. If you have a proposition, such as “it could be the string or the weight,” you can do four things with it:Identity: Leave it alone. “It could be the string or the weight.”
Negation: Negate the components and replace or’s with and’s (and vice versa). “It might not be the string and not the weight, either.”
Reciprocity: Negate the components but keep the and’s and or’s as they are. “Either it is not the weight or it is not the string.”
Correlativity: Keep the components as they are, but replace or’s with and’s, etc. “It’s the weight and the string.”
Someone who has developed his or her formal operations will understand that the correlate of a reciprocal is a negation, that a reciprocal of a negation is a correlate, that the negation of a correlate is a reciprocal, and that the negation of a reciprocal of a correlate is an identity (phew!!!).
Maybe it has already occured to you: It doesn’t seem that the formal operations stage is something everyone actually gets to. Even those of us who do don’t operate in it at all times. Even some cultures, it seems, don’t develop it or value it like ours does. Abstract reasoning is simply not universal.
[Answer to the card question: The E and the 7. The E must have an even number on the back -- that much is obvious. the 7 is odd, so it cannot have a vowel on the other side -- that would be against the rule! But the rule says nothing about what has to be on the back of a consonant such as the K, nor does it say that the 4 musthave a vowel on the other side!]
It is hard to say, of Piaget's many works, which are most significant or interesting, but here goes:
The Moral Judgement of the Child (1932 -- one of the first five books), The Psychology of Intelligence (1947, in English 1950), The Construction of Reality in the Child (1937, in English 1954, based on observation of his own children), The Growth of Logical Thinking from Childhood to Adolescence (with Inhelder, 1958), The Psychology of the Child (with Inhelder, 1966, in English 1969), Insights and Illusions of Philosophy
How is psychotherapy done? Are there different techniques?
Some psychotherapies can be delivered in an individual one-to-one setting and others in small groups, including couples, as in marital therapies and families in family therapy.
سابقه فرهنگی - تاریخی روان درمانی
بقراط روان درمانی علمی - تجربی را از پیش خبر داده بود. این روش از اواسط قرن هیجده بطور مستمر در دنیای غرب مورد استفاده قرار داشته است. آنتوان مسمر نخستین کسی بود که روش درمانی خود را استفاده علمی از خواب مصنوعی حیوان نامید. با آن که نظریههای او بیاعتبار قلمداد شدند، روان درمانی علمی - تجربی به شکل هیپنوتیزم ادامه یافت و بعد به لطف نبوغ فروید از شهرتی همگانی برخوردار گردید. در دهههای اخیر روان درمانی علمی - تجربی با استفاده از نظریههای پاولف و اسکنیر و نظریههای شناختی بیش از پیش گسترش یافته است.
انواع روان درمانی
روان درمانی انواع خاص بسیاری دارد و تقسیم بندیهای مختلفی بر مبناهای مختلف برای آن صورت گرفته است. از یک تقسیم بندی که طول زمانی روان درمانی مورد توجه بوده روان درمانی را به دو نوع بلند مدت و کوتاه مدت تقسیم بندی کردهاند. در تقسیم بندی دیگری بر حسب تعداد افراد شرکت کننده در روان درمانی دو نوع روان درمانی فردی و روان درمانی گروهی را معرفی کردهاند. مهمترین تقسیم بندی بر حسب نوع رویکرد مورد استفاده در طول درمان انجام گرفته است. در این دسته روان درمانی مبتنی بر رویکرد روانکاوی ، رفتار درمانی ، شناخت درمانی و روان درمانیهای مبتنی بر روند انسان گرایانه قرار میگیرند.
چه افرادی تحت روان درمانی قرار میگیرند؟
نظر به اینکه روان درمانی یک نهاد متکی بر فرهنگ است اشخاصی که مناسب آن تشخیص داده میشوند در جوامع مختلف متفاوتند. ولی بطور کلی افراد ذیل عمدتا از روان درمانی بهره میبرند:
- روان پریشها: برای این که بتوانند با شناسایی تشویقهای خود در موقعیتی قرار گیرند تا با این استرسها برخورد موثرتری داشته باشند.
- روان رنجورها: اشخاصی که برای روبروشدن با فراز و نشیبهای زندگی تحت تاثیر تجربههای احتمالا ناخوشایند گذشته که به فرآیند رشد و یادگیری آنها لطمه زده است با دشواری روبرو میشوند. این اشخاص و همینطور اشخاصی که تحت تاثیر مشکلات موقت زندگی دچار واکنشهای روانی مثل داغ دیدگی شدهاند بزرگترین میزان افرادی را تشکیل میدهند که تحت روان درمانی قرار میگیرند.
- گروه بعد افرادی را شامل میشود که رفتار و حالات روانی آنها برای خودشان بلکه برای دیگران آزار دهنده است و اغلب از طرف اطرافیان برای درمان هدایت میشوند.
اهداف روان درمانی
علیرغم تفاوتهای قابل ملاحظه کلیه روشهای روان درمانی شش هدف را مد نظر دارند.
- رابطه درمانی را تقویت میکنند. ایجاد یک رابطه درمانی مناسب و قوی از الزامات اساسی در روان درمانی است. بدون بوجود آمدن چنین رابطه تداوم درمان میسر نخواهد شد.
- ایجاد امیدواری در بیمار برای دریافت کمک و ادامه درمان
- روشها و منطق درمانی به بیمار کمک میکند تا با کسب اطلاعات تازه درباره مسائل خود و راههای موجود برای کنار آمدن شناخت بیشتری پیدا کنند.
- ایجاد انگیزش در بیمار
- افزایش احساس تسلط بر خود و زندگی در بیمار
- کاربرد آموختهها در طول روان درمانی در زندگی واقعی
شرایط لازم برای روان درمانی
این شرایط را به سه دسته کلی میتوان تقسیم بندی کرد: شرایط مربوط به موقعیت و مکان روان درمانی ، ویژگیهای روان درمانگر و نوع بیماری.
در شرایط مربوط به موقعیت و مکان روان درمانی اتاقی که روان درمانی در آن صورت میگیرد از حیث آرامش و به دور بودن از هر گونه مزاحمت ، آرایش و لوازم مورد نیاز مورد توجه بوده است. ویژگیهای مربوط به درمانگر در مرحله نخست آشنایی و تسلط او را بر روان درمانی شامل میشود. اغلب روان درمانگرها برای هدایت فعالیتهای خود از چارچوب خاصی استفاده میکنند و این چارچوب اغلب متناسب با شخصیت و علایق آنهاست.
برخی از درمانگرها در کار استفاده از هیپنوتیزم مهارت دارند. بعضی در گروه درمانی موفقترند. برخی به اصلاح شناختهای فرد مبادرت میورزند و جمعی دیگر معتقد به تغییرات رفتاری هستند. ارتباط محترمانه و در عین حال جدی ، سلامت روان و پختگی شخصیت روان درمانگر از دیگر ویژگیهای مهم آنهاست. انتخاب شیوه روان درمانی از سوی دیگر با نوع اختلال تحت درمان نیز مرتبط است. برخی اختلالات همچون ترسها عمدتا با رفتار درمانی بهبود سریعتر و بهتری مییابند و برخی همچون افسردگی با درمان شناختی.
مجریان روان درمانی
از دوران مسمر تا اواسط قرن بیستم روان درمانی از سوی پزشکان ، متخصصین اعصاب و بعدا روانپزشکان مورد استفاده قرار میگرفت. در دهههای اخیر باید به این گروه مددکاران اجتماعی دست اندرکار روانپزشکی و کمی دیرتر روان شناسان بالینی و پرستارهای روانی را اضافه کرد. اما بطور کلی مجریان روان درمانی بسته بر فرهنگ و شرایط دیگر موجود در هر جامعه با اندک تفاوتهایی همراه است.
در ایالات متحده کثرت تقاضا برای روان درمانی موجب گسترش مراکزی که خدمات روان درمانی ارائه میدهند شده است. در ایران این خدمات در بیمارستانهای روانی ، بخشهای اعصاب و روان سایر بیمارستانها ، مراکز دولتی از جمله بهزیستی و درمانهای اخیر در سایر ادارات و کارخانجات که بخشهای مشاوره و روان درمانی دایر کردهاند و همچنین در کلینیکهای خصوصی مشاوره و روان درمانی توسط روان شناسان ارائه میشود.