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Resourcd File


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  1. 1. Psychological explanations of depression and therapies:
  2. 2. Over the next few lessons you will..... • Be able to describe a variety of psychological explanations of depression • Be able to evaluate a variety of psychological explanations of depression
  3. 3. Psychological explanations of Depression Psychoanalytic theories Behavioural theories Socio-cultural factors Cognitive theories e.g. Freud’s ‘Mourning and melancholia’ explanation e.g. Bibring’s psychodynamic theory e.g. Lewinsohn’s Social Reinforcement theory. E.g. Seligman’s learned helplessness e.g. Beck’s Cognitive theory e.g. Cognitive- behavioural theories e.g. Life events
  4. 4. Behavioural explanations of Depression How do you think behaviourism could explain why people become depressed?
  5. 5. What is positively reinforcing about a relationship? • Imagine if you lost all this....
  6. 6. Learning theory • Lewisohn (1974)- depression occurs because of a lack of positive reinforcement! • For example, if someone experiences loss of a job or bereavement= less opportunity to experience enjoyable outcomes= fewer positive reinforcers= depression!
  7. 7. Learning theory = Depressive behaviour may be rewarded through the attention and sympathy received from friends and family! observing and copying depressed family members behaviour • Coyne (1985)- people often react with annoyance at those depressed, and try to break free- when you preserve interaction you could become depressed yourself!! • Secondary reinforcement • Imitation=
  8. 8. “ Bob has recently been made redundant, he has been out of work for almost a year. He has applied for over 50 jobs and he hasn’t received one interview yet. Bob is falling into a deeper depression as the days go on!!” How would this make you feel?
  9. 9. Learned helplessness (Seligman 1974) • Sometimes unpleasant events happen in life which we have no control over. • If this occurs too often, then people lose their motivation and give up, because they have learned they are unable to influence situations (helpless)
  10. 10. Research • Seligman (1974)- investigating effects of fear conditioning in dogs • dogs placed in an inescapable and unavoidable stressful situation • Then placed in a stressful BUT escapable situation • Findings- dogs failed to escape....learned helplessness!!
  11. 11. Research • Maier and Seligman (1976)- participants placed in a situation where they cannot escape from noise or shocks • When placed in a situation when they could escape from noise they failed to escape
  12. 12. Evaluation of behavioural explanations • Similarities between characteristics of learned helplessness and symptoms- e.g. Loss of interest, passivity • Not a complete explanation- doesn’t take into account the importance of cognitive processes • Limitations of studies- ethical issues/use of animals! • Inconsistent findings- Wortman and Brehm (1975) found that when individuals were placed in situations of helplessness they actually escaped the situation...
  13. 13. Behavioural therapies Behavioural activation therapy (BAT) • Exercises are used that help depressives to concentrate on activities that bring feelings of joy and mastery • Therapist develops a schedule of activities which patient must take part in to create a satisfying life
  14. 14. EVALUATION Quick relief from depression- connect patients with simple, naturally occurring reinforcements in order to change how they approach day to day life! Houghton (2008)- evaluated effectiveness in 42 patients. Found treatment effective and tolerable, with a low drop out rate BUT therapy most effective if it is combined with cognitive approaches (CBT)
  15. 15. Psychodynamic explanations What do you already know about the psychodynamic approach?
  16. 16. 1. Freud’s Mourning and Melancholia (1917) • Adult depression can be traced back to the oral stage of development • If the baby’s needs are not met by the parents during the oral stage … lack of love, care or support, or child abuse • =fixated- excessively dependent on other people
  17. 17. Freud’s Mourning and Melancholia (1917) • Dependent personality style= seeking love and approval of others • If their needs are not met they become angry, but this anger is turned inwards! Explain why this may happen In relation to the id and superego
  18. 18. Freud’s Mourning and Melancholia (1917) • This inner-directed anger reduces their self esteem … • This makes them vulnerable to experiencing depression
  19. 19. How can we explain depression later in life? • If an actual loss (death) or symbolic loss (losing a job) occurs later in life a person may feel resent at being deserted • regress back to oral stage- turn anger inwards
  20. 20. Task • Produce a flow diagram of the process of how a child could develop depression according to Freud’s (1917) ‘ Mourning and Melancholia’ • Try and complete it without using your notes!!
  21. 21. Lesson objectives • Outline psychodynamic explanations and therapies of depression • Evaluate the strengths and limitations of psychodynamic explanations and therapies of depression
  22. 22. Brainstorm relay • You have 60 seconds to remember as much as you can about learning theory and Freud’s theory of depression
  23. 23. How could you explain Tom’s depression? • Tom’s parents were very driven parents, with high expectations for their son. They both studied at Oxford university and are now both doctors. They wanted their son to achieve in life as they did. Tom was sent to the best schools as a child and received extra tuition outside of school. Tom struggled through his education, which frustrated his parents but he continued to work hard as his parents wanted him to become a doctor. Unfortunately Tom did not get high enough grades to study medicine at any of his university choices. Tom’s parents were very disappointed at him. Tom became so down that he was diagnosed with depression.
  24. 24. Bibring’s psychodynamic theory (1965) • Harsh and critical or perfectionist parenting= low self esteem • wide discrepancy between ideal self (becoming a doctor) and actual self (not a doc) • An individual can develop depression as they cannot achieve their unrealistic ideal self!
  25. 25. Evaluation of psychodynamic approach • Difficult to scientifically test- impossible to demonstrate unconscious motivations • Associated therapy not proved very effective with cases of depression (Comer, 2002)
  26. 26. Evaluation of psychodynamic approach • Bifulco (1987)- loss of parents to death or divorce can be linked to later depression • Swaffer and Hollin (2001)- gave questionnaires to young offenders, finding those who repressed anger had an increased vulnerability to developing depression • Early experiences central to other theories, e.g. cognitive
  27. 27. Evaluation of psychodynamic approach • BUT- inconsistent findings.... • A study found that depressed people show more anger than controls....but overt anger not inward anger (unconscious) • Bonanno (2004)- fewer than 10 % of people who experience major losses in their early life go on to be depressed
  28. 28. What Psychodynamic therapies do you already know about?
  29. 29. Psychodynamic therapy • aim is to uncover unconscious conflicts and anxieties that are causing disturbances • Client is encouraged to discuss and examine these thoughts in order to release the power they exert over their behaviour (catharsis) • Long term form of therapy (can take years)
  30. 30. What do you see?
  31. 31. What comes to mind? Car Window Red Scarf Child Ears Cake Carpet
  32. 32. Variety of techniques to uncover unconscious thoughts.... Free association Projection dream analysis Word association Transference Rorschach ink blot and thematic apperception tests- client is asked to describe what they see or tell a story Client redirects feelings towards therapist, which are unconsciously directed towards a sig. other, which has been in the unconscious Recount their dreams and the analyst helps to interpret hidden meanings Client is asked to allow the free flow of feelings, thoughts and images and express them in words without censorship Client responds to words with whatever comes to mind
  33. 33. Evaluation • Looks at treating the cause rather than the symptoms! • Time scale of therapy- conducted over a no. of years and is very expensive. BUT more modern, brief therapies have emerged... • Danger of emotional harm- therapist may guide client to deep rooted thoughts that prove emotionally distressing- Surfaced thoughts may cause more stress than initial problem!
  34. 34. Evaluation • Suitable for depression?-  depressed people are too withdrawn, passive and fatigued to participate in demanding therapy  high drop out rate- disheartening as not a quick fix!  Suicidal patients? • Effective?- • Eysenck (1952) claimed psychoanalysis doesn’t work, 44% psychoanalysis patients improved compared to 66% of control who improved spontaneously
  35. 35. Psychosocial therapy (IPT) Read pg 359 and answer the following questions 1. What is the aim of IPT? 2. What combination of approaches does this therapy use? 3. What is the difference between IPT and traditional therapies? 4. Identify the kinds of problems which can be discussed in therapy 5. Evaluate IPT
  36. 36. Write three things you have learnt about.... Psychodynamic explanations/ therapies of depression
  37. 37. Write three evaluation points Psychodynamic explanations/ therapies of depression
  38. 38. Do you feel you have achieved these learning objectives? • Outline psychodynamic explanations and therapies of depression • Evaluate the strengths and limitations of psychodynamic explanations and therapies of depression