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Discuss two differences between the medical and psychological models of abnormality.

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Introduction

Discuss two differences between the medical and psychological models of abnormality. By the term "medical model" of abnormality we mean the biological model, what the individual is born with either with reference to their brain or even genetics. The biological explanation would suggest that the individual's mental disorder is a cause of biological malfunctioning. They see that environmental factors are of little importance when taking the biological approach. Reasons for abnormal behaviour could vary from possible genetic predisposition or an imbalance of brain chemistry. The two main treatments suggested by the biological model for abnormal behaviour are drugs and somatic intervention. To delve deeper into the biological model we must look at the human brain and also at genetics. Because the brain controls all aspects of human functioning, it is not difficult to conclude that damage or interruption of normal brain function and activity could lead to observable mental disorders. ...read more.

Middle

They must become aware of their thoughts, be aware of what stimulus's produce what responses, to look at the reasoning behind their automatic thoughts and also to learn to identify and alter the beliefs that pre-dispose them to distort their experiences, (Beck and Weishaar 1989). These two models discussed differ hugely in content and suggestions. The first key difference is the point of the abnormal behaviour being either organic or non-organic. As mentioned above, the medical model states that environmental factors with reference to abnormal behaviour have very little influence. The abnormal behaviour therefore is a result of an underlying physical condition such as damage to the brain. In stating this, the treatment given is aimed at controlling the underlying disease by changing the individual's biochemistry. This approach does not account for the occasions in which no biological explanation can be found. ...read more.

Conclusion

The biological approach, and indeed other psychological models such as the humanistic approach, objects the mechanistic manner by which human beings are reduced to. The cognitive model would suggest that our thought cause the disturbances whereas it may indeed by the disturbances causing our thoughts. There is also a big difference in the treatments given by each therapist. The medical model would refer the patient to drugs and somatic intervention. The problem here being the diagnosis, if this section is not correct, the individual may be prescribed the wrong treatment and may even end up worse off than when they first consulted their doctor. A psychological approach to abnormal behaviour will look a lot deeper into the individual and not merely at the symptoms in which they are showing. Their treatment makes the therapist almost like a teacher, an authoritive figure. Critics suggest that with this in mind, the patient becomes intimidated against the therapists power again leading to a mis-identification of the patients disorder. ...read more.

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