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Describe and Discuss Two Alternative Psychological Approaches To Abnormal Behaviour

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Anne Bingham Health and Welfare (Abnormal Behaviour) DESCRIBE AND DISCUSS TWO ALTERNATIVE PSYCHOLOGICAL APPROACHES TO ABNORMAL BEHAVIOUR The word psychology is derived from two Greek words, psyche which means mind, soul or spirit and logos which means study. When the two are put together it means 'study of the mind', hence the word psychology. Different psychologists take different approaches towards abnormal behaviour. The main four approaches are: psychodynamic, behaviourist, cognitive, humanist. None of these approaches are either wrong or right, they are merely just different ways of dealing with different people's problems. We will concentrate on two of these approaches: cognitive and psychodynamic and look at the therapies involved in treating patients with various psychological abnormalities, and the therapists who helped develop the approaches. The cognitive approach concentrates on changing the way a person thinks about themselves or their environment and other people. Cognitions are a combination of faulty thoughts and the incapability to make good decisions, which lead to depression and anxiety. By changing the way people think and see things, alters their whole perspective on life and therefore makes them better. Optimistic people are less likely to become depressed as they look on the bright side and envisage everything around them as being good or there for a reason. On the other hand pessimists have a negative view on everything, seeing even minor events as being a disaster, which to the optimist would be seen as a challenge. ...read more.


The patient is asked to prove that they are worthless because they make mistakes, or to say exactly how making mistakes makes them worthless. This collaborative process of therapy is designed to help the client "say" different things to himself, as well as, to others. The main element of cognitive therapy is that an effective way of having people to talk to themselves differently is to have them behave differently, but such change is not enough, it is important for clients to take credit for the changes that they have brought about. So although the ideas differ slightly according to the problem, the main objective of cognitive therapy is the same all round, to alter thought process. Psychodynamic therapy was mainly the brainchild of Sigmund Freud.A key concept introduced by Freud is that the mind possesses a number of 'defence mechanisms' to attempt to prevent conflicts from becoming too acute, such as repression (pushing conflicts back into the unconscious). Repression is one of the defence mechanisms which the ego seeks to avoid internal conflict and pain. Freud formulated and developed the idea that many neuroses (phobias, hysterical paralyses and pains, some forms of paranoia, etc.) originated from deeply traumatic experiences which had occurred in the past life of the patient but which were now forgotten and hidden from consciousness. The task of psychodynamic therapy is to find the repressions which are causing the neurotic symptoms by delving into the unconscious mind of the subject, and bringing the repressed feelings to ...read more.


In fact according to Eysenck(1952), psychoanalytic therapies had lower success rates (44%) than other therapies, but later in 1977, Smith & Glass showed with a meta analysis of general success rates, that psychoanalysis is more effective for most people, than having no therapy at all. So the question of the therapeutic effectiveness of psychoanalysis remains an open and controversial one. Cognitive therapies on the other hand, with problems such as depression, have shown to be just as successful as if being treated by drugs, with some studies reported to have shown higher success rates. Cognitive therapy can be done in group form which would probably be more beneficial as it would make individual clients understand that there are people in the same situation as themselves, thus making them rethink and realise that their thoughts are irrational. Psychoanalysts would argue that if the underlying causes of the disorder are not investigated, then the problem will crop up again in the form of another phobia. The only problem with psychodynamic therapy is that it can be a bit harsh in the way it delves into a person's past and sometimes unearths things that are best left alone, leaving the patient in a worse state than before. So it's fair to say that there is no perfect cure for any disorder. Where psychodynamic therapy might benefit people with hysteria, phobias and obsessive compulsive disorders, cognitive therapy is more beneficial to people suffering from depression, stress and schizophrenia. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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This essay aimed to discuss two approaches to managing psychological disorders. The writer is clearly very knowledgeable of the chosen approaches and of their proponents. The work regarding psychoanalysis was particularly good, utilising some research to back up the writer?s points. There was some reference to research which was not supported with references, and there was some scope to clarify some of the points made by use of examples ? eg. why is psychoanalysis controversial?
The writing style was good overall. Remember to include a list of references at the end of the work.

Marked by teacher Diane Apeah-Kubi 06/06/2013

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