University of Colorado at Boulder

PSYC 2303      Psychology of Adjustment
Fall, 1994     Continuing Education T/R 7:00-10:00 p.m.
Instructor:    Dr. Wendy Davis  Phone: 442-4484
Office Hours:  Thursdays before class by appointment

Course Purpose: This course is designed to deal with one of the most important topics you could ever study:yourself. We will attempt to answer the questions, What is adjustment? What does it mean to be a well-adjusted? How do you know when you are not adjusting well? How does one live to one's fullest potentials? What can we do when and if we "get stuck"? We will be surveying many of the basic principles of adjustment and growth in order to develop an understanding of the influences which shape our thoughts and behaviors. We will also look at the obstacles and resistances to adjustment and growth.

Course Goals: To give you an opportunity to be truly creative; to expressyour individuality & learn about the process of individuation; to find meaning in the sometimes painful issues and events in life; to practice facilitating a group, learn what makes an environment supportive, as well as to have fun while learning about yourself,each other, and psychology.

Class "PROCESS" Norms: Norms are expectations of how people will behave in relation to one another. Unfortunately, there is a tendency for classroom norms to be somewhat inhibiting. Involvement in learning through discussion is of the utmost importance in this class. Therefore, we will be using the PROCESS norms for groups. As an acronym, PROCESS stands for:

Participation: You are expected to show up in class and participate

in your learning.
Responsibility: Includes coming to class, paying attention, keeping

                up with reading assignments, getting missed       
                materials from fellow classmates or the instructor 
                and working on individual projects.
Openness: And respect for people with differing perspectives since 
          we will be talking about many controversial issues, and 
          simply noticing judgements that may come up.
Commitment: Is first and foremost to yourself; this includes making
            sure that your needs get communicated, and that you   
            maintain your personal integrity.
Experimentation: Is trying out new ways of thinking and doing     
                 things, and questioning yourself and others with 

Finally, Sensitivity to others and Sense of Humor are of utmost importance in this class because we are striving to create a comfortable class environment. If you feel unable to meet the PROCESS norms, you should reconsider taking the class.

These norms, if established and maintained, create a climate that supports active learning and valuing each individual and can lead to each person's success in class. They need to be agreed upon individually and as a class.

Required Reading: These books are merely the skeleton for the class:
1)Handouts (given in class)
2)Two books of your own choosing relating to your semester "MAD Project" (See next section)

Specific Course Requirements and Evaluation: To earn an A in this course you must first believe in yourself and your ability to excel, follow the PROCESS norms and the criteria below, and do outstanding work. Your final grade will be based on the following criteria:

35 points (+5 points for extra work): Making A Difference (M.A.D.) Project and Small Groups: Making a difference means being of service in a way that is effective and impactful. Helping others not only makes a difference in contributing to another's adjustment, but paradoxically empowers the individual helper as well. Begin to think of behaviors or situations that you would want to see improved in yourself and in the local community. You will choose a service project and conduct a 21 day log project that will make a difference in your own and someone else's adjustment. Potential topics will be discussed. You will have a chance to meet in small groups (part of class time) during that period to discuss your projects and come up with a creative group presentation that ties the projects together. Each person will submit a 5 page typed outline summarizing your project, the group meetings and the book. (20 points for the paper, 10 points for the presentation)

30 points Adjustment Log and Portfolio: You are expected to enter in yourjournal/portfolio approximately 4-5 fairly legible pages for each log assignment (there are 10 of them) on your thoughts on the readings, and questions, topics and exercises from class. Part of this assignment includes notes taken in class. Expressing yourself in words and symbols, putting in relevant articles, cartoons, etc. are all integral to the journal. Everything you write is held in strict confidentiality.

Materials needed:--A folder with binder for journal entries and handouts (Note: do NOT hand in your syllabus with journal entries!!)
---blank unlined paper
---colored pencils and markers for your expression ---scissors, a stapler and a good attitude

30 points Midterm paper, (10 pts), Final Summary (5pts) and E.S.P.s (5 points each):
There will be a midterm summary paper (approximately 4-5 pages typed) and in class final summary and 2 related in-class "Experimental Sharing Presentations" (E.S.P. for short) based on what you learned from classes and readings, and focusing on key terms. The class E.S.P.s give each person equal time to share what has been learned from class and to demonstrate an understanding of the course material in a creative and informative way. Note: Make up E.S.P.s are allowed only in the case of major illness or emergency (both documented)

10 points Class Participation: includes attendance and involvement in class, including small groups. You are required to co-facilitate an opening group exercise and short discussion on a class topic. IMPORTANT! You are responsible for any material you miss due to absence (including picking up papers & logbooks ); get materials and notes from fellow classmates. If you miss a class without notifying the instructor, you may lose 1 point. Five points are subtracted for late assignments, unless documentation is provided. You may miss up to 3 classes without penalty.

105 points Total possible; 90 points and up equals an A (about 5 hours of work/week); 80 and up a B, etc. + & - are used.

Brief Course Outline
Reading assignments in parentheses and logs are to be done after that class.

1:Oct.25       Introduction:Inspiration, perspiration & conspiracy:
               What is adjustment?
               (Read syllabus and log guidelines carefully and    
               Reading #1+MAD packet)
2:Oct.27       Self image, self esteem, education & culture:      
               Choices & differences in learning. (Reading #2     
               Please Understand Me)
3:Nov.1        Personality, Individuation, Work & Career (Reading 
               #3:Therapy: Beyond stigmas)
4:Nov.3        M.A.D. Project Contract Due  How do people change? 
               Defenses, Growth & Comparative models of adjustment 
               and therapy (Reading #4:Stress Management)
5:Nov.8        Logs Due  Physical adjustment, body image and      
               awareness (Reading #5:on parenting)
6:Nov.10       Parents, families & love
7:Nov.15       ESP #1 (Reading #6 Gender and Adjustment)
8:Nov.17       Midterm Paper due  Gender (Reading #7:Sexuality &  
9:Nov.22       Sexuality and Pairing (Reading #8:Emotional        
Nov. 24th      Thanksgiving!!
10:Nov.29      Emotional adjustment: Tears, fears, anger and      
               (Reading #9:Learned Optimism:Seligman)
11:Dec.1       Logs Due  Mental Adjustment:Success and creativity: 
               Learned Optimism
               MAD Group meetings
12:Dec.6       MAD Group meeting & Sociocultural Adjustment:      
               Comparisons of Adjustments across cultures &       
13:Dec.8       MAD Project Presentations & MAD paper due
14:Dec 13      Class evaluations & Final E.S.P.
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 1995 15:35:07 -0600 (MDT)
Wendy Davis