Viewpoints on Psychopathology

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Week 3 for PSYC 3553 - Psychopathology, looking at different perspectives on the origins and explanations of abnormal behaviour.

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Viewpoints on Psychopathology

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

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