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Psychopathology, Theories and Treatment Revision notes (Psychology AS)

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Transfer-Encoding: chunked Psychopathology Study of abnormal thoughts, behaviours and feelings. Definitions for abnormality Deviation from social normal * a person's thinking or behavior is classified as abnormal if it violates what is expected or acceptable behavior in a particular social group * Social behavior varies markedly when different cultures are compared * it is common in Southern Europe to stand much closer to strangers than in the UK * Social norms change over time. Behavior that was once seen as abnormal may, given time, become acceptable and vice versa. E.g. Homosexuality was seen wrong but now is acceptable Failure to function adequately * a person is considered abnormal if they are unable to cope with the demands of everyday life * They may be unable to perform the behaviors necessary for day-to-day living e.g. self-care, hold down a job, interact meaningfully with others, make themselves understood etc. * Rosenhan & Seligman suggest the following characteristics that define failure to function adequately: * Suffering * Maladaptiveness (danger to self) * Vividness & unconventionality (stands out * Unpredictably & loss of control * Causes observer discomfort * Violates moral/social standards * abnormal behavior may actually be helpful, function and adaptive for the individual * For example, a person who has the obsessive-compulsive disorder of hand-washing may find that the behavior makes him cheerful, happy and better able to cope with his day Deviation from ideal mental health * Rather than defining what is abnormal, we define what normal/ideal is and anything that deviates from this is regarded as abnormal. This requires us to decide on the characteristics we consider necessary to mental health. * Usual characteristics include : * Resistant to stress * Focused on the future and self-actualisation * Show empathy for others * impossible for any individual to achieve all of the ideal characteristics all of the time# Ethnocentric: Most definitions of psychological abnormality are devised by white, middle class men. ...read more.


feed into each other which continues disorders such as depression * Ellis?s ABC model also explains abnormality through beliefs and behavioural consequences * This model suggests that an activating event causes beliefs * These are either rational or irrational * These can lead to consequences; desirable or undesirable emotions and desirable or undesirable behaviour * It is the irrational beliefs and consequences that maintain disorders such as depression * Cognitive biases can be internal, global or stable * Depressed people use cognitive biases to view the world * Clear evidence for cognitive biases ? Clarke found that individuals with panic disorders exaggerate the significance of physical symptoms * Therapy based treatments are effective in treating anxiety disorders and depression e.g. CBT and REBT * Idea of schemata and NATS are vague and unexplained ? it?s not clear how irrational thoughts are designed and measured * Approached is reductionistic as it reduces psychopathology down to a simple set of factors - reduces the validity of the approach * Not clear if the negative thoughts lead to disorders such as depression or depression leads to negative thoughts ? cause and effect cannot be inferred reducing the validity of the approach Treatments for cognitive approach CBT ? cognitive behavioural therapy Beck CBT Stage 1 ? therapist and client agree on nature of problems and goals for the therapy Stage 2 ? therapist challenges the client?s negative thoughts and aims for client to realise irrational thoughts and encourage positive thoughts Stage 3 ? client engages in behaviour between sessions in an attempt to challenge these negative thoughts Evaluation of CBT * Shown to be as effective as drug treatment therapy for treating depression and anxiety, improvements may last longer * CBT assumes that the cause of depression for example, lies in maladaptive thoughts so it is targeting the cause of abnormality not just the symptoms * Effective for depression and anxiety, it is less effective for phobias than systematic desensitisation and severe disorders such as schizophrenia are not ...read more.


therapist may intervene to encourage reflection on a particular experience * also will identify key themes and ideas that can be analysed further in the process * Freud introduced this to get around the defences put up by the ego n so bring the surface material from the unconscious Dream analysis * Freud referred to dreams as the royal road to the unconscious * During dreams the normal barriers to unconscious material were lifted and the symbolic imagery of dreams was a reflection of this unconscious material * By analysis the content the therapist might be able to see conflicts repressed into the unconscious * The therapist?s role is to use their understanding of how the dream work operates and interpret the meaning * They can then work through the issues, identifying and resolving the source of anxiety Freudian slips * Words accidently said out load which can indicate what a person is really thinking and can show any unconscious thoughts related to childhood experiences * The psychoanalyst will interpret responses and feedback to clients. The patient?s responses are used as evidence to get transference (moving the conflict onto the therapist. Therapy may be cathartic and require the patient to visit 4 times a week sometimes for years. Inkblot tests- * random shapes with no meaning. The patient looks at them and tells the therapist what they see. This triggers the unconscious mind as the description of the shape helps to reveal what is in your unconscious thoughts Evaluation * very complex ? psychoanalysis can be long, expensive and lasting months or years * client has to be willing to undergo self-analysis and develop insights to their condition ? schizophrenia doesn?t have an insight to their condition therefore wouldn?t be helpful * effective therapy for anxiety and depression * Ethical problems ? free association and dream analysis can lead to reveal traumatic events from childhood that can lead to distress and client may need long term support to come to terms with these events ...read more.

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