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Psychological explanations
of schizophrenia…read more

Slide 2

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Psychodynamic Approach!
· Suggests that individuals with schizophrenia don't have the ability
to test reality, that is to distinguish between the internal and
external world
· Places an emphasis on childhood experiences
· Emphasises the primary caregiver
· If care is inadequate, child wont develop a proper sense of self
· During adolescence, schizophrenic symptoms can occur ­
turbulent time.
· Little evidence to support
· Places too much emphasis on one caregiver ­ reductionist.…read more

Slide 3

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Family Models!
· Bateson 1956 ­ double bind theory.
· If a child repeatedly receives contradictory messages (tone of voice and body
language tells a different story to the verbal words) then they will end up with a
false sense of reality and inability to communicate properly.
* Outdated?
· High EE environment.
· Expressed emotion ­ hostility, criticism or over-concern towards patient.
· Brown 1972 ­ relapse more likely if patient returns to a home with high levels of
· Assess EE by observing/interviewing one family member.
· Tarrier et al ­ strong correlation between relapse and high EE environment.
* Correlational
* Co-morbid with depression ­ similar patterns found
* Only one observation is done within family ­ not representative of family dynamic.
* High risk children who go on to develop schizophrenia are from families with
negative relationships.…read more

Slide 4

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Frith's Model ­ Cognitive!
· Schizophrenics cant distinguish between internal intention and external forces
· Conscious and preconscious filters are defective ­ inconsequential information is
passed through to the conscious processes and is misinterpreted as something
that needs to be acted on.
· Leads to hallucinations
· This is because of irregularity of neuronal pathways linking the hippocampus to
pre-frontal cortex. This part of the brain is linked to the regulation of dopamine.
* Not universal support
* Doesn't take into account environmental factors ­ reductionist
* Principle of parsimony ­ explanations in science should be as simple as
possible ­ this is not.
* Tried to demonstrate his hypothesis ­ changes in cerebral blood flow in
the brains of those with schizophrenia whilst doing specific cognitive
tasks.…read more

Slide 5

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Helmsley's Model ­ Cognitive!
· Disconnection between stored knowledge and current
sensory input
· We have schemas. Schizophrenics can not
differentiate between schemas and new situations ­
don't know which stimuli to pay attention to.
· Leads to hallucinations.
* No evidence
* Describes the symptoms but doesn't explain origin.…read more

Slide 6

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Diathesis-stress model!
· Accepts a number of different approaches have a role to play
· Some have a biological predisposition caused by genetics or adverse
conditions in womb
· Biological vulnerability leads to psychological vulnerability ­ inability to
process information correctly.
· Stressful life events and a high EE environment can trigger psychotic
· Wont experience these symptoms if they around a warm, supportive
social network and have good coping skills.
* Takes into account a number of different approaches ­ less reductionist,
middle of N/N debate
* Application ­ good suggestions for therapy ­ a combination of biological
and psychological.…read more


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