Understanding the concept of the theory by answering Questions 1 – 422 – 12 3. Conclusion13 4. Bibliography14 1. Introduction: This movie is about how families and friends cope with a mental illness. With the help of Dr Berman, it is clear how to be able to unravel Lars’s needs in a slow pace. Her focus is on her professional, yet intimate relationship with Lars. The movie teaches us how we should not hope for a life without problems or obstacles but rather see them as opportunities to grow in our capacity to love and be kind. 2.
Understanding the concepts and the theory by answering questions 1 to 48 1. What are your initial thoughts / impressions of Lars? Lars is shy young man, it seems that he wants to be alone and do not want to socialize or interact with anybody, especially his family. It is clear that he was not interested in a close relationship or being part of family. He preferred spending time by himself. 2. How do we know the girl in the choir (Margo) is interested in Lars? Margo looked at Lars in a sweet way during the church. It is obvious that she likes him when you look at her facial expressions. . What kind of communication is referred to in questions 2? Facial expressions and body messages. 4. Why do you think Lars avoids people? Which propositions apply? I think Lars avoids people because he is an introvert and because he lost his parents so early in life and he tries to be accepted but fears rejection. That is maybe the reason of Bianca. He knows that she will never reject him. The proposition referred to is Proposition 5: Need and behaviour. 5. What belief or value does Lars convey when he asks Gus and Karin if Bianca can stay with them?
Proposition/theory? Lars believes that Bianca is very religious and he feels that it will only be right if they sleep separately. I think that Lars thought about Bianca’s morals and he respected her boundaries. Lars’s intentions with Bianca are pure. Proposition 10: values, own and adopted from other people. 6. How does Dr Berman manage to have “sessions” with Lars? What is your opinion of this in terms of person-centred theory? For Dr Berman, a good start off point would be for Lars to keep Bianca’s visits every week in order for her to consult with Lars.
By arranging sessions for Bianca, Lars felt relaxed talking to Dr Berman, as he knew Bianca was nearby. Never once did Lars suspect that Dr Berman purposely got him to keep Bianca’s appointments. Dr Berman created a safe environment where Lars was free to express himself and explore himself in depth. According to my understanding Dr Berman created a safe space (according to Proposition 17). 7. How does Lars’s behaviour change after Bianca arrives? Lars started communicating more. He felt more secure in having company and he shared it with his family. He felt accepted by all people in town as they never once rejected Bianca.
He no longer hides in his flat but communicated more through Bianca. He did not spend so much time alone anymore. Lars started taking steps towards dealing with others, attending family dinners and even parties on the request of Bianca. Lars gradually departed from his baby blanket as he improved himself by dealing with his problems. By the time of Bianca’s funeral, the blanket was gone. 8. Which professional values does Dr Berman portray when she first meets Lars and Bianca? Which propositions/theory applies? Dr Berman accepted Lars as a person, as every person has the right to respect and esteem.
She understood Lars’s problem. Dr Berman acted according to the concept of unconditional positive regard, as she relates to Lars’s needs, feelings and behaviour. Dr Berman seems to really like Lars and has compassion for the situation when she suggested that everybody goes along with him believing that Bianca does exist. Dr Berman applied the person-centred approach. 9. Gus asks Dr Berman: “What is he doing with a delusion? ” Provide a definition of delusion. “A delusion is a false belief, a misleading opinion / idea / impression / illusion – with an actual fact that is firmly maintained”. en. wikipedia. org] Delusion means: An inflexible belief with which a person is preoccupied and to which the person firmly holds, despite the illogical belief and a lack of supporting evidence. They vary in strength, degree and consistency and may represent overstatement of normal tendencies, reason and wishful thinking. 10. Which therapeutic or medical approach do you think Dr Berman’s explanation of mental illness fits into? Motive your answer. Person-centred approach, because Dr Berman focused on Lars’s needs and Bianca. She was putting Lars’s needs first. Dr Berman was responsive.
She respected his values and she involved Lars’s family and friends to go along in order to help him. 11. What do you think is the reason for Bianca being in town? Proposition/theory? Lars’s unwanted feelings are displaced onto Bianca. He is working out a psychological problem. Lars is using Bianca as an transitional object. 12. Dr Berman tells Gus that Bianca is real. What do you think? Which proposition applies? Dr Berman told Gus that Bianca is real. She is a perfectly formed doll. She does exist even though she is not a real human being. Bianca is a real doll and in Lars’s she is a reality.
Proposition 2 : Human perception. 13. Which proposition relates to Lars not owning his behaviour and continuing with this “delusion”? Explain your answer. Proposition 11: (c & d) apply in this case. Traumatic experiences may be conscious or unconscious for one person but may not be traumatic for another. For some reason this experience of Lars does not fit with who he is and are a threat to his self-structure and that is the reason why he denies it into conscious mind. 14. Why does Margo steal her colleague’s action figures? Margo steals her colleague’s action figures to draw Lars’s attention to her in a playful manner.
It seems that Margo also is not fully grown up. She struggles to get Lars’s attention. She tries to flirt with Lars any given time in order to get his attention. 15. What do you think is the meaning of “Golden Calf”? How does this relate to Bianca? The meaning of the “golden calf” could be a struggle or a problem. The church people mentioned that Lars could maybe worships Bianca’s body and that could be the reason of mentioning the “Golden Calf”. 16. Define “projection” according to your study guide. Projection is a manifestation of an image on a surface.
A defence mechanism in which a person unconsciously rejects his own unacceptable viewpoint by displacing his emotions, desires and unwanted feelings to another person. It is when someone is afraid of their own impulses so they move these impulses to someone else. 17. How does Lars project his own experiences onto Bianca when Dr Berman takes a history? When Dr Berman asked about Bianca’s history, Lars said that her parents died when she was a baby. 18. What do you think Lars misses in his life at the age of 27? He wants to belong and have a family. He felt unloved and lonely. He struggles to find love and acceptance.
Lars is looking for something to stop the hurt of being alone. Lars is unsure of himself and who he is supposed to be. We all want to be accepted for who we are. 19. A counsellor who eats during a session would normally be considered unprofessional. What is your opinion of this in terms of person-centred theory? She is totally acting according to the person-centred approach as Dr Berman is real and genuine. She is not pretending. As stated in the study guide: “Congruence lies not in the details of the conversation, but in the totality of the counselling relationship. ” 20. Why does Lars wear layers of clothing?
Which propositions apply? The layers of clothing can be a sort of protection. Lars wears lots of clothing in order to avoid people touching him. Not all people are open to be touched and in Lars’s situation he freezes when somebody wants to touch him. He can’t stand to be touched and flees from emotional intimacy whenever possible. He is scared stiff / terrified when someone tries to touch him. Lars describes it as “painful as a burn”. He don’t want to feel close, he unconsciously avoids getting hurt. Proposition 2: Human perception. 21. What does this teach us regarding touching clients?
It hurts people when someone displays any physical affection. In order to be trusted by client’s, a psychologist or counsellor needs to avoid physical contact. Through this action you will show respect and acceptance. 22. How do we know Lars is nervous about the party? He stands in front of the door for a while before entering and after entering. The way he reacts when people talk to Bianca. He also suggested to Bianca that they could stay home if it would let her feel better. 23. In the scene where Lars is reading to Bianca, he notices Karin rubbing her stomach in the next room. He reads the line: “He needed another hermit to confess him. How is this relevant to Lars’s own needs? Lars tends not to socialize with other people all the time. He is able to make friends, but he choose not allow friendship. He chooses to be alone. 24. Give two examples of how Dr Berman shows congruence when she’s with Lars. Dr Berman let Lars felt at ease. She did not pressure him into answering questions. She never once gave the impression that she thinks Lars was not telling the truth or were judging Lars. According to me Dr Berman seems real and honest. 25. How does Lars defend himself when Dr Berman asks him questions he doesn’t want to answer?
Which proposition applies? He just politely ignores Dr Berman. Proposition 16, defence of self. 26. How do we know that the subject of childbirth is emotionally intense for Lars? Propositions? Dr Berman tells Lars that she lost her husband and he immediately asked if she had children. When she changed the subject and talked about when a baby is born he hyperventilate and says that childbirth is dangerous. Dr Berman tried to assure him that the technology improved since his birth, but he remains very nervous. 27. Why is Lars so fearful about childbirth? He is afraid of losing people he cares for as he lost his mother.
He believes that whoever gives birth, will also die. 28. Why does Gus feel it is his fault that Lars won’t get better? Gus felt that he neglected Lars when he was still young. Gus left home because he could not deal with the heartache that he lost his mother. He felt obligated as he left Lars alone to deal with his distant heartbroken father. 29. How has your opinion towards Lars changed now that you understand him better? Which proposition applies? Lars is a sweet, gentle, yet troubled young man who needs to be taught how to deal with his past and how to accept himself.
He needs to work through his psychological problem and by doing so he order a doll who became his girlfriend. 30. What do you think triggered Lars’s need for Bianca? Lars felt unloved and struggle to find love and acceptance. Unconsciously he like Margo but did not know how to deal with that feeling. Lars’s delusion allows him to function in a way that he never could before. It could also be that Lars attempts to break the shell that he lives in. 31. How does Dr Berman react when Lars tells her that Bianca rejected his marriage proposal? Compare to person-centred theory.
She seemed surprise yet tried not to be to verbal about it. By doing so she encourage Lars to delve deeper for the reason of Bianca rejecting the marriage proposal. 32. Lars talks to Gus about rituals, ceremonies and rites of passage that mark the entry into adulthood. Describe one of these in your culture. “Rites of passage are often ceremonies surrounding events such as childbirth, puberty, coming of age, marriages or death. In Western cultures pregnancy is often celebrated with a baby shower. The first day of school is an especially important rite of passage in Western culture.
There are the processes of baptism in Christian cultures. “ [www. newworldencyclopedia. org] 33. Who is Dagmar? Dr Berman, the psychologist who treated Lars. 34. What is Gus’s reply to Lars about growing up and being a man? Gus explains that being a man is taking responsibility and doing what is right even though it may not be what you want to do. Taking care of others and honouring your word. 35. How do we see Lars growing up and becoming a man” at the bowling alley? Lars took off his glove and touched Margo’s hand. 36. How was this value acquired? Which proposition apply?
Proposition 15 apply as Lars felt more in control. Dr Berman assisted him to overcome his fear of touching and he grew in the process. He became aware of the fact that touching people would not harm him and I noticed that he trusted Margo. 37. Which communication skill does Dr Berman use when she repeats the word “nothing” after Lars says sometimes she says nothing. ” Through her action by repeating the word “nothing” and her silence thereafter gave Lars the opportunity to realise that Bianca was actually a doll and could not speak. Dr Berman wanted to send him a verbal message. 38.
What is the symbolism of Bianca “dying”? Proposition/theory? Lars dealing with his delusion and accepting the fact that the community did not rejected him and that they loved him and wanted him to get better. It was his way of growing up and letting go. He did not need Bianca anymore. He has reached the stage where he could let go of his baby blanket as well as of Bianca. He is finally becoming a man and stood up for what he wants. He was finally admitting that he wanted a real girl, Margo. Proposition 3, wholeness / unity. 39. Explain how proposition 4 applies to the significance of Bianca’s death for Lars’s self.
As a human being, Lars had unconsciously one basic tendency and that was to improve himself. Lars reached his full potential and enhanced himself from being a loner to being with somebody. He worked through his childhood pain. Lars wanted to be a better person, having a girlfriend and being accepted. All that was done – therefore he could get finalisation. 40. How do the members of the community support Lars after Bianca’s death? They attended the funeral, send flowers and food to Gus and Karin’s house. 41. What are the symbolism of the melting ice and the start of spring? (Look for clues in the seven stages of the therapeutic process). Start of spring” could be a symbolism of a person experiencing new feelings, with richness and depth. The “melting ice” could be that the process does not need to be rushed – it needs to be taken slowly because the healing process is natural, slow which could never be hurried. For me the symbolism of this all is the beginning of a new chapter in Lars’s life. 42. Name three characteristics of a person-centred counsellor that Dr Berman possesses. Choose one that you have not yet mentioned. • Respect • Individualisation • Self-determination 43. Explain Proposition 14 and give an example from the movie.
When things happen and when we are in denial about it. It sometimes gives us tension. Take Lars for an example. His mother died when he was born, his father blamed him and unconsciously he felt alone, unloved and actually blamed himself. He needed to learn how to trust himself as well as other people. Everything in us, starts with ourselves. 44. Evaluate Dr Berman’s micro skills for attending (according to theory). Attending behaviours encourage clients to talk and show that the counsellor is interested in what’s being said by having an attentive body language (eye contact, slightly leaning forward, encouraging gestures).
Dr Berman adopted an open posture and faced Lars totally. Through the whole process she maintained eye contact and seemed relaxed. 45. Evaluate Dr Berman’s use of empathy (according to theory). Dr Berman placed herself in Lars’s shoes by telling Lars that her husband also died. She is highly familiar and responsive to Lars’s feelings. According to Carl Roger’s theory, empathy entails by listening and evaluating the immediate present. Empathy is a kind of sensing of the client’s inner world of private personal meanings. Another word for empathy can also be “genuine”. An empathic understanding can be described as a “feeling”. 6. Describe anything about Dr Berman that you believe was not person-centred. Use theory to defend your view. (Please do not refer to my example of eating in question 19) • Dr Berman was taking notes while consulting with Lars – Excessive note taking could be frustrating, therefore it is suggested that a recorder is used to record the conversation and then the facilitator will be able to actively listen to the client. • She was also sitting behind her desk – according to the person-centred facilitation the facilitator needs to pay attention to the setting of the office.
A facilitator need to avoid a desk between you and the client. • At one stage it seems that she was reading while consulting with Lars which was not a good idea as it is of most importance that attention is given to the client. 47. Describe what you believe to be the most significant “reconstruction” of Lars’s self-structure. Refer to theory. According to proposition 15 a person becomes complete, balanced and well-adjusted when they are able to allow all experiences (negative as well as positive) into awareness and integrate them into the self-concept. Lars felt more in control of himself and his life when he was with Bianca. 8. Lars states early in the movie that Bianca was made to help people. Who else did Bianca help, besides Lars? Explain why you think so. She helped the community getting closer to each other. She was a teacher, she taught the community to have compassion, not only for Lars and Bianca, but for every member of the community. We see in the movie that the community took care of each other. She also taught everybody to love each other and have courage to overcome all difficulties. 3. Conclusion The movie emphasizes ones need to trust the client’s natural self-healing potential.
When the “unreal” Bianca is treated by everyone as if she were real, Lars was able to emerge into a real person himself.