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are all original, and intended to enhance your understanding of the therapy process.

Many photos represent universal shapes (as in my logo: circle, square, triangle). They are also meant to reflect universal themes about how we integrate head, heart, and soul in the therapy process of increasing self-awareness.

That is, many pictures include color (representing emotion), shapes ( representing our cognitive processes) and other soulful elements such as showing perspective and depth, highlighting differences and contrasts, and illustrating paradox and reflection.

 

You are here: GUIDING VALUES - Scientific Method, Chaos, Complexity

The Scientific Method, Chaos Theory and Complexity Theory

So much of psychology is about understanding ourselves in the context of an increasingly complex world. As a Psychologist, I‘ve been trained scientifically, to think about my work in a methodical fashion. Hence, when i look over the work I’ve done over the past more than 30 years, I believe that the 2 following theories have provided the most consistent conceptual foundation.

The scientific method makes observations, explores cause and effect, searches for patterns, and tries to predict the future in a valid and reliable way. Clinical Psychology does not do focussed experiments in the same way done in other areas of psychology, or science. But clinicians are still trained to ask (you) questions (hopefully important ones!), collect the data (the “research”), describe patterns and themes, sometimes even construct with you a hypothesis as seems relevant, and test out these ideas over time.

You can view this as the reductionist approach to science. Things are broken down into smaller pieces in order more carefully to study them. However, you can miss the Big Picture if, for example, we talked only about you, and not consider you with a partner, you in a family, you in a group or organization.

Hence, we consider Stephen Hawkings comment that the science of the 21st century will be one of complexity. Since the introduction of computers into our lives, both Complexity Theory and Chaos Theory have become important paradigms for understanding the Big Picture, how the parts fit into the whole.

Chaos Theory says that small and simples parts can result in complex outcomes, ones not necessarily predicted if we examined the parts alone.

Complexity Theory is the inverse. It says that simple systems can generate simple outcomes. For example, the billions of differentiated cells in your body work in an integrated way as a single unit.

Thus,  I integrate each of these approaches in how we’ll talk about the small stuff and about the Big Picture We’ll talk about how you’re feeling right now, review your past , and how it got you to the present. and ask how you wish to move into your future goals.

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Guiding Values