Alexis Dempsey had often wished that she could understand herself better. But the fight with her boyfriend the previous night really made her wonder what was driving her behavior. For no real reason at all, she had gotten annoyed with him at a party and had begun to criticize him. When he responded by asking her what her problem was, she had gotten really angry. She shouted at him that he was a total loser and hat she didn’t want to see him again. She stormed out of the party and had gone home. By the time she reached home, though, she was miserable. She really did like her boyfriend, and she didn’t want to end the relationship. She wondered why she’s gotten into the fight and why, in generally, she was acting more and more aggressively with others. She wished she could find a way to reduce her combativeness and strengthen her relationships with important people in her life. She has gotten some random insights from browsing the Web and looking at some of the self-help books at her local bookstore, but mostly she ended up being confused.
1) What subfields of psychology might be of greatest relevance to Alexis’s problem, and why?
2) If Alexis were to seek practical advice about making changes in her own life, which perspectives on psychology do you think would be most helpful, and why?
3) What do you think about Alexis’s strategy of surfing the Web and looking at self-help books at the bookstore to better understand herself? What are the dangers of this approach?
4) What advice would you give Alexis to help her solve her problem?