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University Degree: Clinical Psychology

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  1. Person Centred Therapy Core Conditions

    Closely interlinked with the instinct to self-actualise is the need to achieve positive-self regard (self-esteem, self-worth and a positive self-image) and positive regard from external sources (love, attention and affection). Often in the client's life, positive regard has been conditional and dependent on them fulfilling certain conditions of worth. Becoming a fully functioning human being requires being able to use one's own organismic valuing process, which maximises the potential to achieve self-actualisation and become the true self. However, the dysfunctional human being lives to meet the conditions of worth of others in order to acquire love and respect.

    • Word count: 1864
  2. What is it about different psychological research areas that necessitates the use of different research methods?

    This evidence suggests that self-report measures provide a promising approach to understanding the causes of mental disorders. However, in a study by Wormith (1986; as cited in Gray, Brown, MacCulloch & Smith, 2005) a self report measure misclassified 17% of the paedophiles as normal. This incorrect classification suggests that self report measures are not particularly reliable and individuals can deliberately fake their answers, making it difficult to get an insight into forensic problems in a meaningful manner. Research on sexual deviancy also uses actuarial measures, such as Dolan and Doyle's (2000) review of the current status of risk prediction research.

    • Word count: 1723
  3. Describe the nature and significance of Type D (disorganised) attachment in infancy and early childhood

    An experiment was contacted by Kochanska (2001) with infants of 9 to 33 months old in order to find out how each children type is expressing their emotions in laboratory episodes. These episodes affected the type D infants and constituted with angry behaviour (cited in Understanding children's development book, Fourth edition, chapter 4, page 96). Main and Solomon (1986, 1990), found that infants with type D attachment have nothing in common in their behaviour with the other three types. In bizarre circumstances may be incongruous such as not giving attention to the caregiver.

    • Word count: 1247
  4. Why are psychological treatments for phobias often so effective?

    It defines five types of specific phobia: animal, natural environment (heights, storms, water), blood-injection, situational (flying, driving, lifts), and other (choking, vomiting, sound), as well as social phobia and agoraphobia. The former, specific phobias differ in a number of ways, and of particular interest for this essay, in treatment success rates (Beck, 1985). Phobias and their treatments have been an area of interest for centuries; Freud's (1909) Little Hans and Watson and Rayner's (1920) Little Albert are two of the most cited examples.

    • Word count: 1984
  5. Why do we have the colour vision system that we have?

    Although some animals have the ability to see in the infra-red, and on first glance, this would seem to be a highly valuable skill, because of our warm blood, this would merely result in us only seeing the glow from our own blood (Bowmaker, 1983). Colour vision relies on us possessing these photoreceptors in our retinas, otherwise known as 'cones', that have sensitivity to certain wavelengths along the visual spectrum. A photoreceptor that responds most to a wavelength of 550-570nm, for example would be able to detect a yellowy-green colour.

    • Word count: 1555
  6. Free essay

    What are the key elements of a psychological assessment for a mental health problem?"

    There are several ways to do this, each producing different sorts of data that can be analysed or collated in different ways. They all aim to highlight aspects of a person's behaviour or personality in order to infer a mental disturbance of some kind, or allow for this to occur. One type of data is qualitative, deeply detailed data that is mainly obtained in this area through clinical interviews. This requires the interviewer to pay considerable attention to not only the client's responses themselves but also the manner in which they are expressed and with what emotion they are accompanied.

    • Word count: 1927
  7. mental health

    All personality theories seek to explain personality as qualities or characteristics which represent the person as an individual (unit 8, section 2, pp.32). This essay will now look at these explanations as four broad approaches; let us look at these approaches from a holistic model point of view and we will see that the different theories emphasise different dimensions of the person who of course is at the center of the holistic model: * Biological: The biological approach takes into account the psychological dimension of the holistic model.

    • Word count: 1888
  8. Eating Disorders

    The figures show that eating disorders and the physiological effects of it such as pneumonia and heart failure account for 10% of deaths. 27% of deaths are caused by suicide which suggests that eating disorders may affect the sufferer psychologically more than physically. Article 1 is different from Article 2 from the obvious point that article 1 has been written from a person suffering herself whilst article 2 highlights ways in which the disorder is hidden and figures. They are also from different sources; article 1 is from The Observer whereas article 2 is from Zest magazine therefore the audience is going to be different.

    • Word count: 1542
  9. The Most Painful Disease: Major Depressive Disorder

    Various mental tests showed his disorders as having difficulty organizing ideas and lack of words. It was apparent that he suffered major depressive disorder. Then regular doses of the fluoxetine improved his academic and social abilities to the point where he admitted to a college and was functioning properly after eighteen months of medication. Major depressive disorder is an extreme psychotic condition that follows one end of an unipolar disorder. Major depression is a broad disorder where different people are affected in different ways. Physically, major depression disorder is a chemical imbalance in the brain that causes feelings of gloominess and utter worthlessness.

    • Word count: 1282
  10. What is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder?

    These veterans displayed a diverse array of problems that lingered much longer than expected (Weiten, 2004). Posttraumatic stress disorder was not recognised as a formal diagnosis in the psychiatry until 1980. In 1980 the American Psychiatric Association added posttraumatic stress disorder to the third edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III) nosologic Classification Scheme. Although controversial when first introduced the posttraumatic stress disorder diagnosis has filled an important gap in psychiatry theory and practice. Posttraumatic stress disorder is unique among psychiatric diagnoses because of the great importance placed upon the traumatic stressor, in fact a posttraumatic

    • Word count: 1727
  11. The contribution of a biological perspective to our understanding of behaviour.

    An understanding of biological processes can begin to explain how the functioning of the brain and nervous system, can lead to specific behaviours. Technology is now so advanced that it allows for the brain to be scanned, using Positron Emission Tomography (PET), a non-invasive imaging technique, while the participant undergoes certain tasks, such as clenching a fist or recalling memories. The region of brain involved can be seen to be active on the scan. This area of biology can make a valuable contribution to our understanding of certain behaviours, as it allows comparisons to be made between different participants.

    • Word count: 1144
  12. Discuss some of the limitations of the Classification system of Mental Disorders.

    For a classification system to be reliable, different health officials should agree on the same diagnosis in a patient, although this is often difficult to achieve, Di Nardo showed in 1993 that there was 70% agreement in a study, demonstrating that a third of clinicians fail to reach a consensus (Archives of General Psychiatry (50) p251-256 1993). However, it has been argued that reliability cannot be achieved in view of the fact that doctors extract information about a patient using different techniques, they also have different standards of training and come from different social backgrounds.

    • Word count: 1957
  13. Bipolar Disorder in Children and Adolescents - A Review of What is known.

    In recent years, more focus has been turned towards the diagnosis of bipolar disorder in children and adolescents. Bipolar disorder has been showing up in children and adolescents at an increasing rate and taken many mental health professionals by surprise. Approximately one million American children and adolescents suffer from this dreadful illness, (Kluger et al., 2002). However, while adults suffer across the bipolar continuum the literature suggest that children and adolescents display symptomatology of the most severe form of the illness. The clinical presentation of bipolar disorder in children (manic) usually manifests itself as ". . . worsening of disruptive behavior, moodiness, difficulty sleeping at night, impulsivity, hyperactivity, . . . an inability to concentrate. . . .

    • Word count: 1607
  14. Give a critical account of the theories and treatments of ADHD.

    Hyperactivity and impulsivity is diagnosed by symptoms including fidgeting, talking excessively, running around excessively, especially at inappropriate times. Interrupting others and difficulty waiting turns and in engaging in activities quietly. The combined type is when the individual meets both sets of the inattention and hyperactivity and impulsivity disorders. All children act in ways that could be viewed as inattentive or hyperactive and impulsive; the main symptoms of ADHD. Everyone daydreams, interrupts, blurts out information or becomes impatient and restless at times, but not everyone has ADHD.

    • Word count: 1968
  15. Paying Attention to ADHD

    The first logged description of ADHD was made in 1902 by George Still, an English doctor. He recorded his observations about a group of young patients who were hyperactive, inattentive, and impulsive. He concluded that their condition was biological rather than environmental (Wright 16). After the Great Depression, interest increased, as it was referred to by different names. During the 1940s, this condition was described as "minimal brain damage." It was later determined that there was no evidence of brain damage. During the 1950s, it was called "hyperkinetic impulse disorder." It was around this time period that medication was introduced as a treatment.

    • Word count: 1514
  16. Describe the principal techniques of behavioral therapy and show how any two of them may be applied in the treatment of an anxiety disorder - What are the merits and demerits of this type of approach to psychological disorders?

    Relaxation inhibits any anxiety that might be elicited by the object, as it is difficult to be relaxed and anxious at the same time. After having learnt to relax, the client and therapist construct a hierarchy of the anxiety-producing stimuli. The situations are ranked in order from the one that produces the least anxiety to the one that is most fearful. In systematic desensitisation the client is then asked to relax and imagine each situation in the hierarchy, starting with the one that is least anxiety producing.

    • Word count: 1752
  17. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using classificatory systems in mental illness.

    and the International Classification of Diseases (ICD 10). The first edition of DSM in 1952 was influenced by Meyer and Menninger, and reflected the prevailing acceptance of psychoanalytic ideas in the USA. The most recent edition, DSM III (1980), contains many innovations (including a revised nonclemanture) and its revision, DSM IIIR, has remedied some of its faults (for example, by removing some diagnostic hierarchies). The fourth edition is awaited. ICD first included mental disorders in Edition 6, and in 1959 Stengel recommended a new approach based on operational definition.

    • Word count: 1689
  18. To what extent are affective mood disorders biologically determined?

    the patient seems to possess an unlimited amount of energy. They may start to stay up all night, take part in endless conversations that run from one topic to another, smash up furniture, run around constantly, sleep rarely, spend all their money on gambling, or create huge plans on how to build a new school. People in a manic state will always seem busy and the constant stream of activities, if not stopped, will eventually take a huge toll on the patient's health. People that suffer from depression may feel dejected, sinful, worthless and a failure and lose interest in people around them.

    • Word count: 1966
  19. What does an understanding of biological processes offer to psychological explanations?

    The reductionist approach is helpful in certain cases, but has little to offer in others - most psychologists with an interest in biology would agree that while biological explanations are helpful, not everything can be explained in these terms. An integrated approach is needed - biological and psychological processes interact in complex ways, and looking at biological processes along with environmental effects gives a better understanding in many areas of psychology. This integrated perspective is termed the biological psychology approach (Toates, 2002)

    • Word count: 1189
  20. A World of Obsession - My uncle suffers from a somewhat serious form of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

    In order to attempt to understand these compulsions, I wanted to research OCD and discover what causes this strange disorder The neurotic thoughts may range from the idea of losing control, to themes surrounding religion or keeping things or parts of one's body clean at all times. Compulsions are behaviors that help reduce the anxiety surrounding the obsessions. Ninety percent of people who have OCD display both obsessions and compulsions. The thoughts and behaviors a person with OCD has are senseless, repetitive, distressing, and sometimes harmful, but they are also incredibly difficult to overcome.

    • Word count: 1072
  21. What does an understanding of biological processes offer to psychological explanations? Support your argument with examples and research.

    This essay will look at biological processes associated with behaviour, based on evidence produced from selected studies, to illuminate this debate and address these questions. Biological processes of interest to psychologists concern the brain and nervous system. The brain has a right and left hemisphere which are divided into lobes, each with particular associated functions. Neurons are specialized electrically charged cells, specific to the brain and nervous system, responsible for transfer of information. Action potentials travel down the neuronal process to the presynaptic neuron where they stimulate the release of chemical �key-like' neurotransmitters into the synaptic junction between cells.

    • Word count: 1293
  22. Dyslexia and the correlation with behavioral disorders

    The character Theo, the oldest son discovered he had the condition at the late age of 17. His teacher at his final year of high school and looked into his situation and discovered the problem, however what I was particularly baffled about was the way the family was so happy when they learnt of his diagnosis. I now have learnt that the family was relieved to find an actual problem with their son, as he did truly try to study and work hard at school even though he received poor results. Now that the 'Huckstubles' (The family)

    • Word count: 1626
  23. Psychologists are interested in the nervous system and the way that the neurons function or, more specifically, malfunction.

    This leads researchers to believe that depression, which can be brought about by either genetic or environmental factors, is (at the biological level) a change in the chemical activity at the neuron's synapses [Miell, Phoenix and Thomas, 2002, p276]. Without an understanding of the nervous system and synaptic function this kind of treatment would not be possible and previously sufferers of this disease would have gone untreated. Depression is a good example of a mental illness that has been found to have an inherited susceptibility factor, but this is not exclusive or determinant [Anisman and Zacharko, 1982, citied in Miell, Phoenix and Thomas, 2002, p276].

    • Word count: 1239
  24. Anorexia and Bulimia.

    Another characteristic is that the individual has very distorted thinking about their body image. Self-evaluation depends excessively on shape and weight, and there is a discrepancy between estimation of body size and actual body size as found by Cooper ('95). c) Psychologists have tried to account for anorexia nervosa in many ways, including genetic and cognitive factors, looking at brain abnormalities, events in childhood and social factors. There is a lot of evidence that genetic factors are important in determining whether an individual is susceptible to the illness as there is an increased risk of a close relative to the sufferer also developing the disorder.

    • Word count: 1364

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Compare and contrast the two sleep disorders REM sleep behavioural disorder and sleep walking.

    "Conclusion Sleep is a state of rest which is necessary for survival. During sleep there is a cyclic change in brain activity between relaxed (non-REM) and highly active (REM) states. These cyclic changes are regulated by structures in the brain stem, thalamus and hypothalamus using different neurotransmitter systems. Abnormalities in these brain structures and neurotransmitter imbalances can lead to sleep disturbances known as parasomnias. Sleepwalking and RBD are two examples which may seem similar regarding their symptoms but differ substantially in their pathologies. The main distinction between them is that episodes are happening in different phases of sleep (in non-REM for sleepwalking and REM for RBD). For both, a heritable component is suggested but causes remain largely unknown. In addition to reports from patients and their partners about sleeping habits, polysomography is the most efficient tool for distinguishing between the two parasomnias. This distinction is not only important with regards to subsequent treatment. It also has significant implications for patients' future prognoses since RBD is a key indicator for neurodegenerative disorders, which can develop as much as 13 years after diagnosis of RBD."

  • To what extent are affective mood disorders biologically determined?

    "After looking at all the evidence and both sets of view, I am unable to draw to a conclusive answer as to whether mood disorders are biologically determined. However, I believe that the organic explanations, in my view, are far more convincing than the psychogenic explanations. It seems that the levels of norepinephrine and/or serotonin affect the mood of the person and antidepressant medications relieve depression. This suggests that depression and mania are biologically determined. With regard to gender differences, I believe that women tend to be diagnosed more than men due to cultural differences i.e. women tend more often to seek help and therefore are diagnosed more. In conclusion, no current theories have been proved as of yet and I have an open mind as to any other explanations that may cause depression or mania."

  • In order to compare and contrast both Focusing-Oriented and Experiential therapies to Classical Person-Centred theory it is important to look at each in turn to understand what they are

    "The final feature of Rennie's experiential approach is metacommunication where 'the counsellor makes visible the belief that there is a fundamental equality between counsellor and client' (Baker, 2008:54). This idea again is a deeply person-centred view of the relationship but I find slightly contradictory to the 'experts' stance of process direction. In summary, both F-OC and Rennie's Experiential approach to therapy demonstrate their person-centred roots. That said they also clearly show their differences and the move away from 'classical' theory. It is obvious that both view the 'classical' six necessary and sufficient conditions as necessary but not sufficient with the introduction of 'techniques' beyond that of Rogers original tenets. They also both work in ways that cannot be considered non-directive with therapists of both approaches taking a lead and directing the sessions from time to time. Gendlin's F-OC has a belief in the actualising tendency and this is also hinted at with Rennie's approach with the client agency."

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