The Psychodynamic explanation for the cause of addiction is early trauma that has been experienced by Ben. He may have also used defence mechanism such as escapism and denial as a way to escape from his trauma and problems of his life. The reason as to why Ben may have started using drugs and alcohol could be because he felt the need to use these in order to cope and find release from his problems.
These are contrasting because each perspective has a different explanation as to why Ben may have become addicted to alcohol and drugs. For example, the Biological explanation is saying that it could be due to the genes that Ben inherited from his mother. Whereas Psychodynamic approach is saying that Ben became addicted to alcohol and drugs because he used his addiction as a way to cope with his early trauma and defence mechanism such as escapism and denial.
Both these are contrasting and have different views on as to why Ben has become addicted to drugs and alcohol. The nature vs nurture debate could also explains as to why Ben has become an alcoholic addict. For example, the nature side explains that because Ben inherited the genes from his mother this could explain why he becomes an alcoholic as well as this can run in the families.
Whereas the nurture side could explain the reason why Ben became alcoholic because of the way he was brought up by his mother. Due to the fact that his mother was an alcoholic this would mean that he was exposed to alcohol from an early age to adulthood.
The Biological explanation for the cause of depression is could be due to genes, chemical imbalance in the brain and substance abuse such as alcohol as it is depressant.
Depression has been thought that it can run in the families which mean that Hannah could have inherited the gene from her parents. Studies that have been done suggest that depression could be caused due to hormonal imbalance and the low serotonin level in the brain. As well as this people that suffering from Thyroid conditions can also suffer from depression.
In addition to this, depression can also be caused by substance abuse such as alcohol as this is a depressant. Therefore people who drink alcohol excessively may suffer from depression as a result of it.
The Psychodynamic explanation for the cause of depression is could be due to the past trauma that has been repressed. For example, it could be due to an abuse that they have experienced in their early childhood. Therefore they may use defence mechanism to cope with their trauma and this could have led them to suffer from depression.
These are contrasting because each perspective has different explanation as to what the cause of depression is. For example, the Biological approach is saying that depression could be caused by genetics and hormonal imbalance. Whereas the Psychodynamic approach is saying that depression could be caused because of an early childhood trauma that they have experienced that has been repressed as a form of defence mechanism.
The nature would be the biological and the nurture would be the psychodynamic approach as it is the environmental explanation.
P4 – Explain the contribution of psychological perspectives to the management and treatment of two specific behaviours.
Treatment for Depression
Behaviourist approach for the treatment for depression is that they think that systematic desensitisation technique is useful as it is a behavioural technique used to treat anxiety and fears. Systematic desensitisation technique is useful because it deals with the anxiety that can be present in depression. Systematic desensitisation helps people to overcome their anxiety by helping them to overcome their fear by step by step process where they use relaxation techniques and which helps the person to cope with their anxiety.
Social Learning Theory
The Social Learning Theory approach for the treatment for depression is to offer an emotional help and support to someone who is suffering from depression. For example, this can be done through a Befriending programme, where someone comes over to their house or meet them outside to have a coffee with them and engage them in leisure activities. This can help the person who is suffering from depression to escape from their vicious circle of negative thoughts and their isolation.
There is also support group that are available to those who are suffering from depression where they can talk to other people who are going through the same problems as them. Talking therapy is a very useful ways to treat depression as many people often needs someone to talk to share their thoughts and feelings and support role models also help to treat depression.
The Psychodynamic approach for the treatment for depression is Psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis focuses mainly on understanding challenging behaviours and managing anxiety such as dealing with stress.
The Psychoanalysis is a talking therapy between the person who are suffering from depression and the therapist. It is a one to one talking therapy where the person is encouraged to discuss about their childhood memories and about their life. This can help the therapist to understand and identify any repressed feelings and trauma that the person have experienced in the past which may have triggered the depression.
The Humanistic approach for the treatment for depression is that Counselling is a useful way of treating someone with depression. This is because with counselling it helps the person to talk about anything that is bothering them or any worries that they have. The type of topics counselling probably address are anger, relationship issues, bereavement, redundancy, infertility or the onset of serious illness.
For someone that is suffering from depression, talking is very important because if they bottle up their feelings and do not share their thoughts and feelings to someone, it can have a negative effect on their mental health. Therefore talking therapy such as counselling is a recommended form or treatment for someone with depression. Unconditional positive regard is important when counselling to someone who is suffering from depression, this is because active listening and not being judged by someone helps the person to open up to someone and express their thoughts freely without the fear of being judged.
The Cognitive approach for the treatment for depression is Cognitive behavioural therapy also known as CBT. CBT is a therapy which is often used to help individuals to challenge their negative thoughts and change them to positive thoughts. The main aims of CBT are to help individuals to change the way they think and behave.
The way CBT works is that it helps individual with overwhelming problems to break it down into smaller parts. For example the main 5 areas are: situations, thoughts, emotions, physical feelings and actions. The reason why CBT is recommended for people who are suffering from depression is that it helps them to challenge their negative thoughts and help them to break the vicious circle of depression.
The Biological approach for treatment for depression is medication for example anti-depressant. Medication such as anti-depressant or mood stabilisers are very important in treating depression as it can help someone to manage their depression and can often treat it.
This is because, the medication can help to manage the chemical imbalances in the brain and it can also help to improve the symptoms of depression. As well as this medication can also help to improve the severity of the depression and help to stop the depression from escalating where someone could turn suicidal.
Treatment for Addiction
The Behaviourist approach for the treatment for addiction is aversion therapy and this uses classical conditioning. The aversion therapy is used to help someone to stop drinking alcohol for example. This is done through giving a certain drug to someone and when they drink alcohol it can make them feel sick such as nausea and vomiting. Then the person may start to associate their drug with unpleasant feeling and eventually they may not drink alcohol again because of the unpleasant feeling that they have experienced previously.
Social Learning Theory
The Social Learning Theory approach for the treatment for addiction is offering someone who is struggling with their drug or alcohol addiction a peer support or group therapy where they can join in. This may help someone who is struggling with addiction as they will be able to express their problems openly without the fear of being judged.
For example Alcoholics Anonymous has sponsors who have made recovered from their addiction and they can help and offer advice and encouragement for someone who is struggling with their addiction. This can also act as positive role models and having role models can help someone to overcome their addiction and make full recovery.
Changing the peer group is also important in order recover from addiction because if they don’t then they are more likely to turn back to their drugs or alcohol.
The Psychodynamic approach for the treatment for addiction is psychoanalysis. This talking therapy may be able to help the person who is struggling with their addiction to realise and identify on, why they have ended up becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol.
As well as the therapist also could help to person to understand and make them know about what are there are actually trying to escape from. This could be due to trauma that they have experienced in the past. They may have turned to drugs or alcohol to escape from emotional problems.
The Humanistic approach for the treatment for addiction is counselling. Counselling with unconditional positive regard can help someone that is struggling with addiction. This is because having a space where they are not judged can help them to express their worries and problems. Also it can help them to raising self-esteem as talking therapy can make someone feel better about them and not feel worthless because of their addiction.
The Cognitive approach for the treatment for addiction is Cognitive behavioural therapy also known as CBT. As previously mentioned CBT is a therapy which is often used to help individuals to challenge their negative thoughts and change them to positive thoughts. The main aims of CBT are to help individuals to change the way they think and behave.
The way CBT works is that it helps individual with overwhelming problems to break it down into smaller parts. For example the main 5 areas are: situations, thoughts, emotions, physical feelings and actions. The reason why CBT is recommended for people who are struggling with addiction is that it helps them to challenge their negative thoughts and help them to change their negative behaviour.
The Biological approach for the treatment for addiction for someone who is addicted to heroin is methadone. This is a drug replacement therapy for heroin. This can help individuals who are addicted to heroin to swap their dangerous substances to much safer drug replacement which is less harmful to the body. There is no risk of overdose with methadone because the dose is controlled by the health professionals.
M2 – Assess the contribution of complementary and contrasting psychological theories to the understanding of the two specific behaviours
Strengths and Weaknesses
Strength of Cognitive approach is that the theories of this perspective have been applied to the cognitive therapies such as CBT. CBT has been proven that to be an effective treatment method for depression and addiction. It helps individuals who are suffering from depression for example to challenge their negative thoughts and change them to positive. CBT can also help someone to escape from their vicious circle of depression.
The weakness of Cognitive perspective is that it does not work for everyone and unless the person attends the therapy and have good relationship with the therapist it will not work for them.
The biological explanation for the cause of addiction and depression could be due to genes that run in the family. For example the strength of biological approach is that it is deterministic, this means that people with depression and addiction can be treated for their behaviours and it also helps them to understand the causes of their depression and addiction. For example, if it is genetic then that means that they have inherited it from their parents and that explains the cause of their addiction and depression.
One of the weaknesses of Biological explanation of the cause of depression and addiction is that the focus is on too much on the nature side of the nature vs. nurture debate. For example, although the cause of addiction and depression could be due to the genes, it is also important to consider that the environment has also a part in the causes of these behaviour.
The strengths of Humanistic approach for the explanation of the cause of addiction and depression is someone having a low-self-esteem about them.
Having a low-esteem could cause someone to have negative views about themselves and in order to fit in the peer groups someone may try drugs and alcohol in order to feel accepted by someone.
The weaknesses of Humanistic approach were that not everyone who has low –esteem about themselves will turn to drugs or addiction and it does also mean that they will ended up suffering from depression.
The strength of psychodynamic explanation for the cause of addiction is parental addiction. The psychodynamic is focused on the effect of childhood experiences have on the developing personality. This is strength because Freud was the first psychologist that learned the importance of childhood to a person. For example, Ben was brought up in a home where he was exposed to alcohol from an early childhood because his mother was an alcoholic this may have had attributed him being addicted to alcohol in his later life due to the childhood experience.
The weakness of psychodynamic explanation of the cause of depression is past trauma being repressed.
Social Learning Theory
The strength of the explanation given by the Social Learning Theory was that behaviours can be learned from observation from other. For example, since Ben was exposed to alcohol from an early age due to his mother being alcoholic. This could have made him to try alcohol because he saw his mother using alcohol as way to cope with her life and she may have made it seem like it was something that was enjoyable. Therefore Ben may have learned the behaviour of taking alcohol from his mother.
The weaknesses of Social Learning Theory are that due to the lack of good role model in a person’s life this can cause them to have negative thoughts and emotions. This could lead them to suffer from depression.
(Mental Help.net, 2013)
I think the behaviourism perspective could have been used to explain behaviours such as depression and addiction. The Behaviourism perspective explanation for the cause of depression for Hannah could be due to the lack of rewards as a child for example no praise or attention from her parents.
If Hannah did not receive much attention or praise from her parents in her childhood, this could have caused her to feel insecure about herself and this could have affected her self-esteem and self-worth. She may have also have felt that she was not good enough and her parents did not care about her. These negative feelings about herself could have led to her depression.
The explanation of Behaviourism perspective for the cause of addiction for Ben could be due to the feeling of pleasure that he experienced due to the Dopamine. Feeling of ‘high’ is reinforcing because of the feeling of pleasure from it. Ben may have experienced of ‘high’ from the use of alcohol and drugs that he was taking. He may have become addicted to alcohol and drugs due to the feeling of pleasure that he felt from using these and ended up becoming addicted to it.
Personally I do agree with the explanations given by all the perspectives of the cause of depression and addiction. This is because they give reasonable explanations for the cause of the behaviour of depression and addiction. Both these behaviours have similarities and differences and there are useful treatments for the both of these behaviours that links with each perspectives.
There could be other reasons and explanation for the cause of behaviours such as depression and addiction. For example, the causes of depression could be due to worries such as unemployment, bereavement, financial difficulties, relationship breakdown, seasonal affective disorder, smoking, thyroid disease, sleep deprivation and postnatal depression after giving birth.
Other reasons for the causes of addiction to drugs could be due to mental health disorders such as ADHD, post-traumatic stress disorders; you could be more likely to be dependent on drugs.
The other reasons as to why Ben become addicted to drugs and alcohol could be due to lack of bond with his mother and lack of supervisions and this could have increased his chances of being addicted to drugs and alcohol.
(Mayo Clinic, 2014)
From this list of causes of depression we can see that there are lots of different causes to depression and addiction apart from the explanations given by the different perspectives.
Mayo Clinic. (2014, December 5). Drug Addiction - Risk factors. Retrieved March 19, 2015, from Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/drug-addiction/basics/risk-factors/con-20020970
Mental Help.net. (2013, August 26). Social Learning Theory and Addiction. Retrieved March 19, 2015, from Mental Help.net: http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=48411&cn=1408
Murray, C. (ND, ND ND). 12 Suprising Causes of Depression. Retrieved March 19, 2015, from Health: http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20515167,00.html
Quizlet. (ND, ND ND). Psychological Approaches Strengths and Weaknesses. Retrieved March 19, 2015, from Quizlet: http://quizlet.com/8294726/psychological-approaches-strengths-and-weaknesses-flash-cards/
- Class notes