Abnormality - Treatments

Treatments for Abnormality According to the four Models Of Abnormality.

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  • Created by: Katie
  • Created on: 29-04-09 14:48

Treatments - Biological

If it is believed that there is a biological cause behind mental illness, it makes sense to treat it using biological techniques.

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ETC) Often used today to treat depression where all other treatments have failed. It is found to work on 70% of depressives where other treatments have not. In ECT the patient is sedated and an electric shock is applied to produce a seizure and alters the brain. However nobody really knows how ECT works, and it is therefore potentially dangerous.

Psychosurgery Lobotomy's are no longer used today, but were previously used to physically alter the brain. Personality is often altered and the procedure is irreversible.

Drug Therapy Alters the chemical and hormone levels in the brain to produce alternate behaviour. For example Prozac increases the levels of Serotonin in the brain to re balance chemicals, and 'reverse' depression. Including MAOI's (monoamine-oxide inhibitors) and SSRI's (selective serotonin re uptake inhibitor).

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Treatments - Psychodynamic

In order to treat abnormality Freud claims the unconscious must be opened to resolve unknown conflicts.

Free Association The therapist asks the patient to freely talk about anything that comes to mind, so that the therapist can identify what they deem to be repressed material.

Dream Analysis The client explains their dreams to the therapist, who will then interpret them. Dreams are considered to express the innermost workings of the mind. Displacement refers to when a clients dream mimics real life. For example if a person imagines strangling an animal, the person is substituting the animal for a person in their real life who they are frustrated with. Symbolisation on the other hand is when people dream about objects and images, common in their culture, which represent significant ideas.

Projective Tests Clients are required to project or impose their own thoughts and associations on some particular stimulus material. e.g. Ink Blot Test

These therapies give the therapist an insight into the clients subconscious, allowing them to deduce what unknown conflicts are going on within the clients mind.

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Treatment - Cognitive

The aim of cognitive treatments is to change the incorrect thought processes into positive, accurate ones.

Becks Cognitive Therapy Allows the client to make a connection between their behavior and negative thoughts. They can then make the connection which will allow them to alter their behaviour. After therapy, the client can then begin to use it in their everyday life, beginning to substitute negative thoughts with positive, realistic ones. Even after they have finished therapy, they can still identify and change negative thoughts when, and if, they occur.

The positives of this therapy is that it is permanent, and treats the cure of the problem, however it ignores all other possible causes.

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Treatments - Behavioural

The behavioural model suggests that if we can learn a behaviour, we should be able to unlearn it to.

Systematic Desensitisation Mainly used to treat phobias, it uses the concept of classical conditioning. For example Phobias. First the client creates a hierarchy of fears, from lowest to highest (functional analysis). The client is then taught relaxation techniques to help them cope with the anxiety, such as breathing control and positive self statements (relaxation training). Slowly the patient is introduced to the things that they fear most, starting at the bottom of the hierarchy, and moving up.

Flooding The patient is put in an inescapable situation where they are exposed to the situation which they are afraid of. Eventually the levels of adrenaline will peak and begin to drop. This procedure assumes the fear and anxiety levels cannot be sustained, and will fall. If the session ends too soon, anxiety will be at high levels and the fear will be reinforced.

Aversion Therapy The idea is to associate something, e.g. fear, smoking etc with pain, often small electrical shocks. Classical conditioning tells us that punishment will be associated with the pleasure, therefore preventing in the future.

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