Topic 3 - mental health

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  • Topic 1- alternatives to the medical model
    • behaviourist explanation of mental illness
      • classical conditioning explanation of phobias
        • Watson and Raynor outlined the case of little albert when he was made to have a phobia of rats, despite previously having no fear of them
        • before conditioning .. baby albert allowed to play with rat.
        • baby albert used, a boy who is scared of loud noises
        • during conditioning.. when albert tried to pet the rat a loud noise would play, scaring him
        • once conditioned.. albert was presented with the rat and he became scared and cried
      • operant conditioning explanation of phobias
        • this process of learning requires reinforcement to shape behaviour
        • positive reinforcement: show some signs of anxiety when see a large dog, and the comfort from parents is then taken as a reward of this behaviour, then when they see a dog again, show signs of anxiety to gain the reward of comfort again
        • negative reinforcement: someone with a lift phobia gets toward a lift, experiences anxiety. when they walk away anxiety is removed so encourages them to take the stairs every time.
      • social learning theory explanation of phobias
        • if a child sees  a significant adult with a phobia, they may imitate this behaviour
    • cognitive explanation of mental illness
      • Aaron Beck and the negative cognitive triad
        • suggested there are 3 main dysfunctional beliefs in people with depression
          • I am worthless or flawed
          • everything I do results in failure
          • the future is hopeless
          • he says these are developed in childhood and later triggered by another event
        • diathesis-stress model of schizophrenia suggests genes can create a predisposition for the disorder, but it only actually develops as a result of a stressor
      • Albert Ellis and faulty cognitions
        • that the individual is suffering from faulty, irrational or simply unhelpful thought patterns
        • these irrational thoughts could cause & sustain mental disorders
          • awfuling/catastrophizing        cant-stand-its  musterbating
    • psychodynamic
      • conflicts between the ID, EGO and SUPEREGO can create anxiety depending on whether we satisfy our demands or not.
      • a weak and ineffective ego could result in the ID not being controlled. may lead to loss of contact with reality.


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