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Viewpoints on Psychopathology
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Viewpoints on Psychopathology



Accompanying lecture notes for the Week 3 PSYC 3553 lecture.

Accompanying lecture notes for the Week 3 PSYC 3553 lecture.



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    Viewpoints on Psychopathology Viewpoints on Psychopathology Document Transcript

    • 9/19/09 PSYC 3553 – Psychopathology Week 3: Perspectives on Abnormality • September 22, 2009 1 What is a paradigm? •  Framework •  Set of assumptions providing guidelines for research and practice •  Major schools of thought: •  Biological •  Psychoanalytic •  Behavioural •  Cognitive The Biological Paradigm •  Also known as the medical or disease model •  Guiding belief: Behaviour is linked to physical causes, brought on by malfunctioning components of the body •  In psychopathology, mainly focuses on brain 1
    • 9/19/09 Biological Explanations of Psychopathology 1.  Brain anatomy: problems in brain structure   Swelling   Atrophy e.g.:   Huntington’s disease & basal ganglia (forebrain)  motor difficulties   Stroke & temporal lobe swelling  speech deficits Biological Perspective: Structural Abnormalities 5 Parts of the Brain 6 2
    • 9/19/09 Biological Explanations of Psychopathology •  Biochemistry •  Electrical impulses travel along neurons •  Reaches the end, releases neurotransmitters •  The chemicals will either excites or inhibits the nearby neurons Examples of Neurotransmitters •  Norepinephrine: Arousal  anxiety •  Serotonin: Mood, sleep, hunger  depression •  Dopamine: Movement, pain/pleasure, attention  schizophrenia •  GABA: Inhibitory neurotransmitter  anxiety 3
    • 9/19/09 Biological Explanations of Psychopathology •  Also, the endocrine system •  Implicated by working with neurons to release hormones •  E.g., hippocampus, stress and the release of cortisol •  Memory impairments Biological Explanations of Psychopathology 3.  Genetics   Inheriting mutated or missing genes   Unable (yet) to identify specific gene   Or extent genetic factors contribute to disorders E.g.   Schizophrenia & twin studies Biological Explanations of Psychopathology •  Family method: relatives of the affected individual •  Twin studies: study pairs of MZ and DZ twins •  Adoption studies: study twins in/out of family home •  Linkage analysis: co-occurring genetics (e.g., eye colour and illness) 4
    • 9/19/09 Biological Treatments •  Three main types of biological treatment: •  Drug therapy (1950s) •  Antianxiety drugs (anxiolytics, tranquilizers) •  Antidepressant drugs •  Antibipolar drugs (mood stabilizers) •  Antipsychotic drugs •  Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) •  Psychosurgery (e.g., lobotomy) Evaluating Biological Paradigm •  Strengths: •  Huge progress on mental illness research •  Respected and accepted by society •  Weaknesses: •  Reductionism – making it too simple •  Inconclusive evidence •  Possibility of negative/severe side effects 5
    • 9/19/09 The Psychoanalytic Paradigm •  Psychotherapy: social therapist-client interaction •  Sigmund Freud: father of psychodynamic theory and psychoanalytic therapy •  Guiding belief: behaviour is linked to underlying dynamic psychological forces of which she or he is not aware The Psychoanalytic Paradigm •  The id: basic urges for survival (food, water…) •  Direct gratification or by primary process thinking •  The ego: deals with reality •  The superego: conscience •  Healthy personality: compromise between these forces The Psychoanalytic Paradigm •  Psychosexual stages of development •  Oral stage: feeding •  Anal stage: bowel movements •  Phallic stage: genital stimulation •  Latency period •  Genital stage: adult sexual impulses 6
    • 9/19/09 Psychodynamic Explanations of Psychopathology 1. Fixation at a stage   Unsuccessful developmental stage e.g. – Anal retentiveness & obsession with cleanliness   OCD? e.g. – Neurotic anxiety e.g. – Moral anxiety Psychodynamic Explanations of Psychopathology 2. Resolving the Oedipal/Electra complex •  Freud claimed that resolving the complex was critical… • …to superego development • …to future romantic relationship success • …to future views of intimacy and expression of sexual desires Psychodynamic Explanations of Psychopathology 3. Coping with anxiety – defense mechanisms •  Repression •  Denial •  Projection •  Regression •  Rationalization 7
    • 9/19/09 Variations on Freudian Theory •  Ego theorists •  Emphasize the role of the ego; consider it independent •  Self theorists •  Emphasize unified personality over any one component •  Object-relations theorists •  Emphasize human need for interpersonal relationships Psychodynamic Therapies   Classical psychoanalysis: Gain insight into repressed conflicts and resistances   Ego analysis: Use classical techniques but focus more on current living conditions   Brief psychodynamic therapy: Short-term, target specific problems   Interpersonal therapy: Emphasis on present relationships with others Assessing Psychoanalytic Paradigm •  Strengths: •  Elevated psychological theories and “internal forces” as possible cause of illness •  First to apply theory and techniques systematically to treatment – monumental impact on the field •  Weaknesses: •  Unsupported ideas (anecdotal evidence) •  Lead the client into focusing on certain experiences •  Difficult to research 8
    • 9/19/09 Cognitive & Behavioral Paradigms •  Guiding beliefs: •  Behavioural: abnormal behaviour is learned and maintained over a time period •  Cognitive: abnormal behaviour results from how a person attends to, interprets, and uses available information •  Looking at overt behaviour versus internal processes Behavioural Explanations of Psychopathology •  Classical & operant conditioning, modeling •  John B. Watson, B.F. Skinner, Albert Bandura •  Classical conditioning – Pavlov, Watson •  Events become associated in time, so person reacts same way to both events e.g.: •  Phobias – the Little Albert experiment Example: Classical Conditioning US UR Gong Fear US NS UR + Gong Rabbit Fear CS CR Rabbit Fear 9
    • 9/19/09 Behavioural Explanations of Psychopathology 2. Operant conditioning – Thorndike, Skinner Behaviour associated with reward will be repeated: law of effect Shaping - successive approximations e.g.: Conduct disorder and aggressive behaviour Behavioural Explanations of Psychopathology 3. Modeling – Bandura •  “Copying” others’ actions •  Attention, retention, reproduction, motivation e.g.: Learning from parents… •  …addictive behaviours •  …phobias Behavioural Therapies •  The goal: identify behaviors causing problems and replace them with more appropriate ones •  Classical conditioning: systematic desensitization •  Operant conditioning: token economies •  Modeling: role playing 10
    • 9/19/09 Assessing Behavioural Paradigm •  Strengths: •  Powerful force in the field •  Rooted in empiricism •  Significant research support for behavioral therapies •  Weaknesses: •  Too simplistic •  Unrealistic •  Downplays role of cognition Cognitive Explanations of Psychopathology  Schemas: past experiences shape interpretation  Maladaptive thinking  Faulty assumptions and attitudes  Illogical thinking processes e.g.: overgeneralization – “Bad things ALWAYS happen to me”  e.g.: Depression Cognitive Therapies •  Beck’s cognitive therapy •  Recognize and restructure their thinking •  Ellis: rational emotive therapy •  Eliminate self-defeating beliefs – “musts” & “shoulds” 11
    • 9/19/09 Assessing Cognitive Paradigm •  Strengths: •  Clinically useful and effective therapies •  Focuses on a uniquely human process •  Research-based •  Weaknesses: •  Singular, narrow focus •  Overemphasis on the present •  Verification of cognition is difficult Integrative Approaches to Psychopathology •  General framework for psychopathology • …while also allowing for specification of factors especially relevant to a particular disorder •  Often called “eclectic” •  Take strengths from each model, use in combination Integrative Approaches to Psychopathology •  The biopsychosocial model •  Interaction of genetic, biological, developmental, emotional, behavioral, cognitive, social, and societal influences •  The diathesis-stress approach •  Diathesis = predisposition (bio, psycho, or social) •  Asserts that a predisposition to a disorder is triggered by an environmental stressor 12
    • 9/19/09 13