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Abnormal Psychology

Lecture 1
Purpose: provide a description of the disorder (assumption that the
behavior is out-of-order)

1.Identify Causes
2.Provide effective treatment (the purpose of the therapist

Move from disorder to order (the ultimate goal of therapy)

Abnormal culturally latent, not consistent with western culture,

out of the norm, out of the assumption of order (cultural)
Disorder out of order
*treatment is subjective, not objective

DSM-5 2013
Mental disorder syndrome characterized clinically by significant
disturbance (imbalance) in an individuals cognition, emotion,
regulation, or behavior that reflects a dysfunction in the psychological,
biological, or developmental processes underlying mental functioning.
Mental disorders are usually associated with a SIGNIFICANT DISTRESS
or disability in social, occupational or other important activities
-All mental disorders have a moment of break from reality
-There is a thin line between order and disorder
-Move continuously back and forth, some people never come
back, which
creates the mild to severe spectrum of mental disorder

Psychopathology sickness of the mind

Lens of Western Civilization

An expectable or culturally approve response to common stressor or
loss, such as the death of a love one is NOT a mental disorder

Socially deviant behavior (political, religious, sexual) and conflicts

that are primarily between the individual and society are NOT mental
disorders unless the deviance or conflict results from a dysfunction in
the individual.
Example: homosexuality, Irish Wake, strange even within
Western culture, yet socially and religiously acceptable practice
The response always needs to be examined though the lens of
Cultural Issues
1. What is the normal value? (familial social)
-mental disorders are defined in relation to cultural and familial
2. Culture provides interpretive framework that shapes the
experience and expression of the symptoms, signs, and behaviors
that are criteria for diagnosis.
3. Culture is transmitted, revised, and recreated within the family
and other social systems and institutions.

Diagnostic assessment must therefore consider whether an

individuals experiences, symptoms, and behaviors differ from
sociocultural norms and lead to difficulties in adaptation in the
cultures of origin and in specific social or familial contexts.
Diagnostic assessments MUST consider CULTURE. (Culture sets up
the norm, and then is re-interpreted by the family/upbringing)

The Four Ds
1. Deviance specifically to behavior, does the society and culture
find it acceptable behavior?
2. Distress does the behavior cause distress? Are they deeply
3. Dysfunction is the behavior preventing the person from healthy,
interpersonal relationships, work or occupation? Daily normal
functions are not functioning.
4. Danger is the behavior a danger to others or self? Homicidal or
suicidal ideations or intentions

Models/ Theories
Psychoanalytic Unconscious/Unresolved/Repressed
Behavioral Learned/Environmental/Conditioned
Sociocultural Beliefs, Ethnicity, Race, Religious
Cognitive Irrational Thinking Albert Ellis dont should on me
Humanistic Free Will, Potential
Medical Biochemistry of the brain linked to disease due to disorder
in neurotransmitters

Lecture 2
Talk Therapy
1. What are the issues?
2. What do I need to know?
3. How do I build a relationship?
4. What is your psychological framework?

Men tend to avoid therapy, high % of females in private practice,

females are also more common to be social works and therapists
(masters level)
Therapy is centered around conversation Relationship
Methods of Assessment
The Clinical Interview (can be structured or unstructured or
combination of both)
Builds Rapport (for trust)
Smiles & be human, introduce yourself (picture of family)
How did you come here?
Gather information
Mental status exam
3 things are NOT confidential 1. Suicidal ideation 2. Homicidal
ideation 3. Child abuse

Mental Status Exam

What is one? What are the areas to be concerned about?

The Relationship
-Key Elements
Active Listening: repeat what you hear from the patient
Active Validation: let the clients know their feelings/
thoughts makes sense
Active Empathy: imaginative sympathy If I hear youYou
are feeling
Therapeutic Recommendation (only if asked) Advice only if
asked, needs to be owned by individual, needs to be in-line
with what you are working on (clients need 1st) Biblo-therapy
recommended book reading

Issues in Relationship
-Transference Neurosis
The client projects emotions/unresolved issues /sexual
attraction onto the therapist (look at you as mother/father

The therapist transfers feelings onto the client (therapist
becomes father, mother) Impossibility of Sex
Lecture 3
Issues in the Relationship
1.Respect Cultural History and Experiences
Belief system
Family (not necessarily nuclear family only)
Philosophical Framework
Physical Expression (Power Distance (Authority))
2. Do not stereotype your client
3. Identify your own sexism, ageism, racism and check it at the
-Be cautious to not take people at face value as family,
religion, physical expression is all SUBJECTIVE and means
something different to each person
4. Validate the patients story, check racism, sexism, ect.,
empathize with the situation, and make recommendations (if
-Do not be fearful to laugh with clients, but dont out laugh
them, as laughter is cathartic (therapeutic and purifying)

Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)

Albert Ellis (Dont should on meMustabating)
Key Thought: irrational beliefs lead to psychological disorders
ABC Approach
-Activating Event
-emotional Consequences
-(Disrupting Intervention)
Activating Event could be not being accepted into particular
college, Belief is that you will not be successful without a degree
from this particular college, Emotionally defeated
The persons beliefs are the root causes of the psychological
disorder, the therapy will offer Disrupting Intervention to change
and dispute the patients thinking

Biopsychological Perspective
Key Thought: Interactions of a 1.)Biological 2.)Psychological
Sociocultrual factors in the development of psychopathology
Key Questions: Do you have depression in your family? Identify
stressors in your life within the last year? Have you encountered
experiences and changes in your life? How did you address those
-Genetic, physiological factors can lead to psychological
-Stressors usually cause illness