Frequently Asked Questions About What We Can Learn From Evolutionary Psychologists

For many centuries, the human body has evolved to adapt to and survive in its environment. And as humans’ physical realm evolved, so did the human brain. Have you ever wondered how our ancestors thought and reason in their time?

Evolutionary psychology is a field of psychology focused on studying how the human mind evolved to survive. It states that what shaped human personality and individual differences in the natural need to adapt and reproduce.

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Evolutionary psychology’s history started when Charles Darwin got interested in the theory of evolution. His curiosity how organisms emerge, evolve, and tend to be so well-suited in their natural habitats.

With this, the theory of evolution via natural selection was his conclusion to all questions. 

To begin, here are some critical concepts in evolutionary psychology:

The body’s automatic response to a perceived threat is where you either face it or run from it. This situation can either be a physical danger or a stressful circumstance.

During a situation like this, the body is on high alert. It manifests through faster heart rate, tensing of muscle, cold sweating, etc.

  • Kin Selection 

This theory states that humans’ conscious or unconscious genetic relatedness influences behavior. Hence, we favor our blood relatives over strangers.

At the same time, we back our immediate relatives over distant relatives. In essence, this is to ensure that our genes will survive through or immediate kins’ survival.

  • Reproductive fitness 

It is the measure of reproductive success along with environmental adaptation. For instance, men or women will act a particular way to increase the odds of reproduction.

  • Parental Investment 

There is a difference in the way parents invest energy and resources in their offspring. Meaning, the sex that supports more (usual females) focuses on mate quality. On the other hand, the sex that invests less (usually males) seeks quantity.

But in today’s world, how exactly do evolutionary psychologists apply this approach in their practice? To give an example, here are some notable topics studied in modern evolutionary psychology:

  • Romantic and sexual jealousy. These links to the fear of jeopardizing potential reproduction
  • Group social behavior, wherein, as humans, we’re accustomed to living among smaller groups.

For more in-depth information, here are some frequently asked questions on this topic.

 Who is the founder of evolutionary psychology?

Charles Darwin most probably deserves to be referred to as the founder of evolutionary psychology, being the first recognized evolutionary psychologist. His theories laid the foundation for the area of study that would arise after over a century.

Why is evolutionary psychology important?

Evolutional psychology is as important as neuropsychology – and they are equally compatible as well. Evolutionary psychology helps in identifying psychological adaptations and their fundamental evolutionary functions.

Neuropsychology, on the other hand, helps in identifying the immediate presentations of these adaptations.

How does evolutionary psychology explain human behavior?

According to the records from evolutionary psychology, our ancestors with the psychological edge handed down a range of behavioral attributes to the future generation. This resulted in a general population of descendants that then developed adaptive behaviors.

Is evolutionary psychology scientific?

As most witnesses have claimed, evolutionary psychology is mainly based on assumptions instead of evidence. Because of this, it is controversial whether or not it should be recognized as something scientific.

What are the principles of evolutionary psychology?

The main principles of the theory of evolution include:

  • More children are born than they can survive.
  • Individuals of the same species are not identical.
  • Traits are handed down from generation to generation.
  • Only those who survive, those who are capable of acquiring resources, get to reproduce.

What is the focus of evolutionary psychology?

Briefly speaking, evolutional psychology is mainly about how evolution has formed an individual’s mind and behavior. This is valid for any species with a nervous system, although most research in evolutionary psychology focuses on human beings.

How do you become an evolutionary psychologist?

It is typically required to get a doctor’s degree in psychology, or perhaps a discipline related to it like biological anthropology or evolutionary biology, to start a career in evolutionary psychology.

Why is evolutionary psychology criticized?

A common statement said about evolutionary psychology is the fact that its assumptions and concepts are not refutable.

For instance, one concept states that humans’ social behavior is funneled by certainly evolved predilections chosen because they boosted reproductive attainment throughout the history of human evolution.

What are the three main criticisms of evolutionary psychology?

The three frequent criticisms about evolutionary psychologists are that they:

  • Absolve humans from being responsible for their sexual behaviors
  • Begin with an effect and then work backward toward an explanation
  • Do not acknowledge cultural and social influences
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What are the basic concepts of evolutionary perspective?

The three fundamental principles of evolution, which emerged in 1970, are heredity, differential fitness, and variation. They continue to be the conceptual foundation for the evolutionary theory through natural selection.

Where do evolutionary psychologists believe people get their behavior patterns?

Evolutionary psychologists suggest that individuals acquire behavioral patterns from adaptive organisms as they transmit their genes to future generations.

Where do evolutionary psychologists work?

Most evolutionary psychologists concentrate exclusively on research. Institutes, state or federal agencies, private laboratories, or research facilities may hire them. Research tends to center around biological subjects like physical attraction and reproductive methods.

Where can I study evolutionary psychology?

Below are some locations where to study evolutionary psychology:

  • Michigan State University
  • Lakehead University in Ontario, Canada
  • Integrative Anthropological Sciences, Department of Anthropology
  • The University of Michigan Evolution and Human Adaptation Program
  • Developmental and Evolutionary Psychology, Department of Psychological Brain Sciences

What is the evolutionary perspective?

Evolutionary psychology is a theoretical psychological approach that tries to explain useful psychological and mental traits – language, memory, and perception – as adaptations.

Conclusion

In many ways, evolutionary psychology integrates the paradigms of both social and biological sciences.

Evolutionary psychologists believe that our ancestors’ evolutionary adaptation continues to shape our behavior today. To understand behavior, these psychologists trace its genetic and socially influenced roots.

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While many criticisms are surrounding the field, we can’t deny the contributions of evolutionary psychology. With their knowledge and expertise, evolutionary psychologists contributed significant learnings.

For example, it paved the way to understand that the best way to change a behavior is to understand its mechanisms. And these mechanisms are best understood by studying our history. 

Moreover, many refer to evolutionary psychology as something regressive, deterministic, or even sexist and racist. However, evolutionary psychologists think otherwise.

For them, studying our evolutionary past helps uncover some necessary facts. It reveals how both desirable and undesirable human characteristics came and continue to be.

Evolutionary psychologists stress that their approach ushers in and causes the discovery of new facts. This is contrary to being established later to fit a known fact.

To further understand the field, here are some key ideas and arguments of evolutionary psychology:

  • The cognitive mechanism behind our behavior developed from our adaptation.
  • Because it’s impossible to study it directly by observing the brain, it uses functional analysis. Here, we start with a hypothesis about our ancestors’ problems and infer which cognitive adaptations occurred to address them.
  • Cognitive adaptations are not to solve problems in our current environment. Instead, these adaptations are for solving recurrent issues of our ancestors’ adaptive evolution.
  • The human mind is a complex set of cognitive mechanisms or domain-specific modules. These modules define human nature, trumping our individual, societal, and cultural differences.

In essence, evolutionary psychology revolves around finding the link between language, memory, perception, and adaptation.

Ultimately, it aims to uncover the human mind’s evolutionary roots. Knowing this shapes our thinking and behavior and applies the appropriate adaptive changes to our lives.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Be A Therapist

A healthy body is important in avoiding chronic diseases. Moreover, it allows an individual to enjoy a full quality of life. However, good health does not come overnight. It is a healthy lifestyle product through regular exercise, a well-balanced diet, and good sleeping habits.

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But as much as it is important to care for the physical body, it is likewise necessary to look after the mental health. For this aspect, especially for serious conditions, it can be nearly impossible to recover without external help. Thus, therapists exist.

Therapists are licensed professionals dedicated to helping people achieve wellness, peace of mind, and rehabilitation. Sometimes called counselors, these professionals are an essential part healthcare system. They take responsibility for an individual’s mental state.

Becoming a licensed therapist requires having both a bachelor’s degree and a post-graduate one. The bachelor’s degree should be in programs specific to psychology, health therapy, or rehabilitation sciences.

Being an area-specific therapist, however, is a different story. Most of the therapists with specialization undergo further education. Through that, they gain more knowledge about the respective fields and specialties.

In most cases, health institutions provide or require training for aspiring therapists before hiring them.

To provide help in all possible ways, therapists practice in a wide range of themes and areas.

Dance Movement Therapy (DMT)

Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) strives to help individuals obtain physical, emotional, and psychosocial wellness. Therapists in this field use movements and dance to help manage stress and alleviate some mental health conditions’ psychosocial effects.

It also tries to alleviate chronic fatigue and facilitating weight loss for overweight and obese individuals.

Art Therapy

Art Therapy is a contemporary therapy style that uses art interpretation and aesthetics to help soothe a client’s overarching mental or emotional state. These professionals must have a comprehensive definition and understanding of different art mediums.

Mental Health Therapist

Mental Health Therapist is a professional dedicated to improving the mental health and emotional state of an individual.

Also known as psychotherapists, MHTs usually begin by assessing their client’s probable illness. After that, they provide a corresponding psychotherapeutic measure that might include activities that can ease distress.

If you or anyone you know is interested in becoming a therapist, better check these handy FAQs to identify what type of therapist suits you!

What is dance therapy used for?

Dance therapy is a tool for minimizing stress, preventing disease, and mitigating mood. It can also be beneficial for mental and physical health.

Dance therapy strives to help individuals obtain physical, emotional, and social integration. Generally, it encourages self-awareness. It also fosters the expression of feelings in a safe environment.

How is dance therapy different from regular dancing?

Dance therapy focuses on the movements, including breath, postures, and gestures. Micro and macro movements within the treatment are forms of communication.

It also aims to create a change in behavior and thought process by changing body movements. Dance class primarily emphasizes the dance form or dance routine to uplift mood and provide health benefits.

What education and training are required to be a therapist?

The first step you must take to become a therapist is to earn a bachelor’s degree. It must be related to the therapy field. Typically, it takes four years. After that, you must take a master’s degree. Some people also take a higher level, which is the doctorate.

What training is required to be an art therapist?

To be an art therapist, an individual must earn a master’s degree in art therapy. If not, counseling or any field inclined to art therapy.

Furthermore, you need to accomplish the required curriculum. Pursuing art therapy also requires an internship or practicum. The requirement is 700 hours under professionals’ supervision.

What degree do you need to be a dance therapist?

It requires an undergraduate and master’s degrees. It should relate to the therapy field to be a dance therapist. Moreover, it should pass the qualifications of the American Dance Therapy Association. There is also advanced training that must be ADTA approved.

Is a counselor the same as a therapist?

No. There is a difference between a counselor and a therapist’s tasks. Usually, counseling can be more short-term as compared to treatment. Psychotherapy also focuses on a vast range of issues. There can also be a difference in the degrees taken by the counselor and therapies.

How much education does a counselor need?

Counselors must have an undergraduate degree related to the psychology or therapy field. Taking a course inclined with those fields can be more beneficial if you want to pursue a master’s degree. For some jobs, you might need a master’s degree to begin the practice.

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Is being an art therapist a good job?

Yes, being an art therapist can be satisfying and fulfilling work. For some, seeing their client’s transformation through art therapy is a fulfillment. By calming their feelings through art, you can change their behavior and communicate with them.

Perfect if you have a passion for artistic expression and the improvement of other people’s well-being.

Do you need to be good at art to be an art therapist?

Being an art therapist requires a strong and in-depth understanding of visual art. There are various art forms, such as painting and sculpting. With that, the art therapist must have experience with different art mediums. Through this, they can guide the client in a creative method.

How do you become an expressive art therapist?

You will need a master’s degree in counseling. It should focus on expressive arts therapy from an approved and the authorized university. Some institutions provide studies or programs in expressive arts to utilize in coaching and consulting.

What major does a therapist need?

To become a therapist, you must need to accomplish a bachelor’s degree. You will also need to start formal training in graduate school. Having a major in social work or psychology can be an advantage in graduate school.

What kind of therapist can I be?

There are various types of therapists in the industry. A mental health professional can help with a specific mental health concern. There are therapies dedicated to intimate, familial, and personal development.

Moreover, there are more types of treatment for different kinds of problems. Learning what interests you can help determine what kind of therapists you want to be in the future.

How do I become a mental health therapist?

To become a mental health therapist, you must earn a bachelor’s degree in the therapy field. Before practicing therapy, you must have a master’s degree or even a doctorate. Additionally, they require clinical experience with a supervised engagement with clients.

What are the 3 types of counseling?

In a myriad of specialty areas in counseling, there are three primary types. These are school and career counseling, mental health counseling, and substance abuse counseling.

What are the 3 types of therapy?

There are many therapy types. But the three known forms are

  1. Psychodynamic therapy,
  2. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, and
  3. Humanistic therapy.

The difference between the three therapy types is their approach to treating their clients.

Conclusion

Being a therapist is a great job with a lot of personal and social benefits. There might be plenty of educational requirements, but these are necessary to ensure that individuals get the best possible help. 

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Therapists have different working locations available. A business or a private company usually entails a bigger monetary advantage and benefits. Another favored working option would be the Therapeutics division at established clinics and hospitals.

Make sure to look for a working environment that best suits your values and lifestyle to avoid disinterest and eventual burnout.

Also, do not confuse therapists with counselors, as they actually differ in some factors.

Therapists usually have a broader service to emulate spiritual and emotional assistance to clients for a longer duration. If you are planning to have faster and immediate advice, you better go for counselors instead.

Counselors provide you relief and a plan of action in dealing with some of your basic rages in emotion, such as anger. Meanwhile, therapists do more and usually deal with cases of occasional or prevailing anger issues.

The latter can provide better health if coping with mental health conditions that generally persist for a longer time.

We hope that this article helped you better understand the steps needed to become a therapist. Knowing the different types of therapists and what they do, we hope you find one that suits you. 

Helping someone deal with their mental health condition will surely not be a walk in the park. For the most part, it might even seem to be an uphill battle. But with hard work and patience, the role of a therapist is surely rewarding.

After all, nothing beats the satisfaction of helping someone while doing your passion.