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Child Psychology

Psychological Disorders

Essentials of Psychology : Psychological Disorders

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Lesson 5 Overview

The objective of this lesson

is to give you an overview

of psychological disorders

and approaches to their

treatment. It isn’t meant to

make you a clinical

psychologist. Two

points should be stressed

from the very beginning. First, the labels that have been applied to

mental disorders have changed over the years. For example, at one

time, excessive masturbation was considered pathological in males,

and it was sufficient to have a woman confined to an asylum.

Homosexuality was finally eliminated from the official manual

of mental disorders in only the past couple of decades.

Second, mental disorders and approaches to their treatment are, to

some extent, social products. As societies change over time, so do

ideas about mental disorders. For that matter, as society changes,

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different kinds of mental disorders are likely to become more common.

For example, eating disorders, which certainly have psychological

components, were all but unknown in the sixteenth century. Getting

enough to eat was a sufficient problem for most people. Conclusion:

One should apply labels to people with extreme caution. Just as

personalities vary, every disorder has commonalities and differences.

5.1 Differentiate a healthy personality from a disordered personality in the context of mental health and stress management Psychological Disorders

READING ASSIGNMENT

Read this assignment. Then read Chapter 10 in your textbook.

Normal versus Abnormal

Let’s say that you’re among an isolated tribe of people in the

Venezuelan rain forest. In your society, it’s normal for males to prize

shrunken heads as trophies with great power. Headhunting is normal

for these people. Let’s say you’re a sociologist studying American

divorce statistics. You find that for every two marriages, one will end in

divorce. Does that make divorce normal or abnormal? For a

psychologist, statistical normality simply refers to the distribution of

some variable in a population. For example, 100 is the mean score on

an IQ test, and normal or average ranges from about 80 to 120. On

the other hand, when someone says that Justin’s compulsion to wash

his hands 40 or 50 times a day “isn’t normal,” you may agree with that

observation. Yet, you should keep in mind that in social worlds, when

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people refer to normal behavior they’re often simply making a

judgment about behavior that they prefer.

Psychologists must use some approach other than “normal” versus

“abnormal” to identify abnormal behavior. For psychologists, behavior

is considered abnormal if people experience distress and if that

distress prevents them from functioning in their daily life. Given that

general definition, it’s also best to think of normal and abnormal as two

ends of a continuum. Thus, social nonconformity, such as wearing

nose rings and having tattoos, might not have anything to do with a

psychological disorder at all. Further, you must consider the

situational context. Behavior expected and allowed during New

Orleans Mardi Gras, for example, would be unacceptable at a New

England wedding reception.

Perspectives on Abnormality: From Superstition to Science

Your text discusses six perspectives on abnormality:

1. Medical—Biological causes underlie abnormal behavior and are

best treated as medical disorders or diseases.

2. Psychoanalytic—Abnormal behavior stems from childhood

conflicts such as those identified in Freud’s psychoanalytic

theory.

3. Behavioral—Abnormal behaviors are symptoms of underlying

learning dysfunctions. Both the shortcomings and the strengths of

this perspective result from an exclusive focus on observable

behaviors.

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4. Cognitive—How people think affects how they act. If you’re

persuaded that your life is hopeless, you may adopt the

behaviors of a powerless victim.

5. Humanistic—People can take responsibility for not only how they

think, but how they choose to act. Healing is, in the end, an

“inside job.” You can be the “best you can be,” but it’s up to you

to do the work, walk the walk, and acquire self-knowledge.

6. Sociocultural—Behavior is shaped by such things as family

relationships, social class, and accepted norms within particular

ethnic groups. In this perspective, family or group therapy may

accompany other kinds of therapy.

Classifying Abnormal Behavior: The ABCs of DSM

Disorders are classified to facilitate diagnosis and keep therapists on

the same page. The basic diagnostic manual used by psychologists is

the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition

(DSM-5). The DSM is updated and revised regularly because

understandings change as science changes. Science is an ongoing

process.

The Major Psychological Disorders

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are the most common of the anxiety-based

disorders, afflicting millions of Americans each year. For some reason,

women tend to suffer from anxiety disorders more than men do—

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though there are still plenty of anxiety sufferers who are men. This

disorder is so common that social critics have written often about the

“age of anxiety.” Here, you’re introduced to the four major categories

of these sorts of problems.

1. Phobic disorder—Specific phobias get a lot of attention in the

media. The film Arachnophobia is one example (the title means

“fear of spiders.”) Phobias can best be thought of as conditioned

response patterns to specific things. Phobic responses can

include anxiety or panic (or both), but the perceived source of the

phobia is always specific. Name anything at all, and there’s

probably a psychological phobia label for it. Acrophobia is fear of

heights, claustrophobia is fear of being in enclosed spaces,

hematophobia is fear of blood, xenophobia is fear of strangers,

and so on.

2. Panic disorder—Panic disorders come in two varieties: with or

without agoraphobia. Agoraphobics often feel uncomfortable in

crowds or anywhere they can’t detect an escape route to a place

where they feel relatively safe and secure.

Panic disorders without agoraphobia involve panic attacks.

People abruptly feel unreasoned panic. Panic may include

all the general anxiety sensations described below (under

“generalized anxiety disorder”), along with a sense of

impending doom, a sense of suffocation, difficulty swallowing

or breathing, trembling, and feelings of unreality. People who

have panic attacks often end up in emergency rooms, certain

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they’re having a heart attack or that they’re about to die.

Panic disorders with agoraphobia include all of the above,

along with the symptoms of agoraphobia. Agoraphobia can

exist with or without panic attacks. However, it usually begins

with a siege of panic attacks. Agoraphobia is a learned

pattern of avoidance behaviors that forestall panicked states

or panicky feelings. Some agoraphobics are literally

housebound. Others feel they can travel only very short

distances from their homes.

3. Generalized anxiety disorder—Since anxiety is so widespread in

modern societies, a generalized anxiety disorder is said to exist if

symptoms last six months or more. The range of anxiety

symptoms is astonishing. They include a racing heart, clammy

skin, sweating, dizziness, all kinds of digestive problems, shallow

breathing, inability to concentrate, and even itching.

4. Obsessive-compulsive disorders—In this sort of disorder, people

may feel compelled to perform certain behaviors because they’re

obsessed with repetitive thoughts. Obsessions are thoughts or

images that haunt a person’s waking hours. For example, a

woman may have constant thoughts about harming her child,

although she doesn’t want to harm her child and never does.

Compulsions may include avoiding cracks in the sidewalk or

washing one’s hands repeatedly throughout the day. The

television series Monk is about a detective with a variety of

compulsive behaviors.

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Somatoform Disorders

Somatoform disorders take several forms. (The root of this term,

soma, is the Greek word for “flesh.”) Hypochondriasis is a heightened

sensitivity to bodily sensations that are seen as ominous and

threatening. Hypochondriacs will convince themselves that their

accelerated heart rate means an impending heart attack or that a

minor pain is a growing cancer. In short, anxieties are displaced or

projected onto bodily sensations. Pain disorder is marked by ongoing

and sometimes disabling pain that has no known physical origin. The

strangest and least common somatoform disorder is conversion

disorder. One of Freud’s earliest cases was a young woman who was

functionally paralyzed from the waist down. Under hypnosis, however,

Freud was able to cure this disability, which he later called conversion

hysteria. Conversion disorders, such as partial anesthesia of the hand

or temporary blindness, have psychological, not physical, origins.

Dissociative Disorders

Dissociative disorders are actually quite rare. They appear in at least

three forms, but they’re all related to stress or trauma.

Dissociative amnesia affects people who can’t remember their

name or origin. This condition is usually brief.

Dissociative fugue occurs when people simply walk away from

the intolerable anxieties of their lives, even if it means they must

cross the country to do so. Confusion and uncertainty about

one’s identity are typical of the condition.

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The most dramatic form of dissociative disorder is dissociative

identity disorder (DID). This condition was formerly called multiple

personality disorder. Individuals respond to severe trauma or

stress by escaping into alternate personalities.

Dissociative identity disorder is controversial and very strange. For

example, if person A has alternate personalities B and C, she will live

her life as A while B and C live parallel lives that are unknown to A.

Personality shifts can be abrupt and startling to a therapist, who might

have to figure out which personality he or she is addressing at any

given moment. Perhaps the strangest thing about this disorder is the

fact that different personalities may have distinctive physiological

profiles. For example, personality A may suffer from allergies that

aren’t present in personality B.

Mood Disorders

Are you generally happy and cheerful, or resigned and gloomy? Either

scenario illustrates a mood. Mood disorders refer to pronounced and

prolonged periods of depressed feelings or manic periods of

animated, unrealistic cheerfulness or agitation. There are two types of

mood disorders. Depressive disorders, including major depression,

are marked by sadness, poor self-image, disturbed sleep, and suicidal

thoughts. They’re the most common form of mood disorder. Bipolar

disorders are marked by mood swings ranging from sad and

depressed to happy and excited. Major mood disorders cause

considerable suffering and are marked by extreme emotion. In major

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depressive disorders, hopelessness and despair cloud every moment,

causing feelings of worthlessness and suicidal tendencies.

There are a variety of ideas as to the causes of mood disorders.

Research suggests that some mood disorders have a genetic basis.

Behavioral models propose that decline in positive reinforcements

leads to withdrawal, while, at the same time, getting attention for one’s

depression can attract a different kind of “positive reinforcement.”

According to psychologist Martin Seligman, depression is largely

associated with what he called learned helplessness. Feeling they

can’t control their situation, people give up and submit to what they

perceive as a cruel word. For Aaron Beck, depression results from

what is, in effect, negative thinking. Brain research suggests that

depression is associated with a dimming or blunting of emotional

reaction. Depression in women has been associated with hormonal

fluctuations related to the menstrual cycle.

Schizophrenia

In general, what we call psychosis is characterized as a break with

ordinarily shared perceptions of the world and the self. It’s often said

that a person with psychosis “loses touch with reality.” Given that no

one is entirely sure what reality is, it’s important to approach psychosis

with an open mind. Psychosis deserves attention because those who

must cope with it experience intense suffering. The films A Beautiful

Mind and The Soloist can help many to understand that psychosis is a

human condition and that people suffering from psychosis can make

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important contributions in spite of their affliction.

This section focuses on the most severe of the psychotic disorders,

schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is famously difficult to diagnose

accurately. Nevertheless, certain characteristics reliably distinguish

schizophrenia from other disorders:

Decline in functioning—The sufferer can no longer carry on his or

her previous life patterns.

Disturbance of thought and language—Logic slips away.

Inappropriate use of language. Disturbed verbal communication

is common, along with personality disintegration.

Delusions—A delusion is a belief with no reasonable basis in

reality. (For example, “I’m getting alien transmissions through the

fillings in my molars.”)

Hallucinations and perceptual disorders—Sufferers see, hear,

and feel that which can’t be seen, heard, or experienced by way

of ordinary sensory stimuli. (To hallucinate is to see things that

aren’t visible to others, but which, to the sufferer, may seem

entirely real.)

Emotional disturbances—Typical in schizophrenia is an absence

of affect (expressions of feeling). On the other hand, emotional

responses, like laughter at a funeral, may seem to spring out of

nowhere.

Withdrawal—Interest in others fades away. Social interaction is

either one-way or entirely absent.

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What Causes Schizophrenia?

There’s no agreement on what causes schizophrenia. Some research

suggests that anyone can be driven into a psychotic episode under

highly stressful conditions, such as a dysfunctional family environment

or the experiences of combat. However, evidence also suggests that

some individuals are predisposed to schizophrenia due to heredity or

specific patterns of brain chemistry. For example, the presence of

biochemical abnormalities, such as an excess of the neurotransmitter

dopamine, has been linked to schizophrenia.

These days, the dominant model for understanding the causes of

schizophrenia is the predispositional model. The basic idea here is

that people are variably predisposed to developing this kind of

psychosis depending on the interaction of genetic and environmental

factors.

Personality Disorders

Personality disorders impair a person’s ability to get along with others.

There are a variety of these disorders, ranging in severity from

dependency disorder, producing excessive dependency on others, to

borderline and schizotypal disorders that approach full-blown

psychosis. As you might expect, the less severe disorders are more

common and are easier to treat. In general, a personality disorder is

characterized by inflexible, maladaptive behavior that cripples one’s

capacity for normal social relationships. Your textbook focuses on

three kinds of personality disorders:

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1. Antisocial personality disorder—People with antisocial

personalities are often called sociopaths or psychopaths. A

common way of thinking of people with antisocial personalities is

that they lack a developed conscience. A psychopath is likely to

be selfish, impulsive, emotionally shallow, and manipulative. The

basic motto of a psychopath might be “My way or the highway,

and I get to decide which highway.”

While psychopathic tendencies are often associated with criminal

or amoral behavior, psychopaths sometimes ascend to positions

of power and responsibility. Even some people in high levels of

government and corporate life are said to have psychopathic

tendencies. The most striking feature of the antisocial personality

is emotional coldness. The fate of others means little or nothing

to them. They may be very clever at expressing sympathy, but

they’re all but incapable of empathy. They fail to identify with the

wants, needs, and suffering of others.

2. Borderline personality disorder—People may have difficulty

developing a secure sense of personal identity. They cope with

this issue by relying on relationships with others to define their

identity. Emotional instability and impulsive, episodic behavior are

common since they simply can’t handle rejection of any kind.

3. Narcissistic personality disorder—A characteristic of this disorder

is an inflated sense of self-importance and a sense of entitlement,

demanding special treatment from others. A major pattern in this

disorder is an inability to experience empathy or compassion for

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others.

Childhood Disorders

“Almost 20 percent of children and 40 percent of adolescents

experience significant emotional or behavioral disorders.” (You should

memorize this line from your text.) Read on for rather startling

statistics related to depression and other problems. Two common

childhood problems get special attention.

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) includes inattention,

lots of inappropriate activity, impulsiveness, and a low tolerance for

frustration. Actually, all of these kinds of behavior show up in most

children from time to time. A diagnosis of ADHD, therefore, is one of

degree. Given that fact, ADHD is a controversial disorder. Some feel

that it’s overdiagnosed, possibly with the complicity of pharmaceutical

interests that market the standard treatment—a drug called Ritalin,

which, oddly enough, is chemically related to amphetamines.

Autism is getting a lot of attention these days. That’s because

research indicates that the reported incidence of this disorder in young

children is increasing. Whether that’s because the disorder itself is

increasing or it’s more commonly diagnosed is the subject of vigorous

debate.

Other Disorders

Your text discussion isn’t meant to be exhaustive. It hits important

highlights. Other kinds of disorders with significant public health

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impacts include alcohol and drug abuse, eating disorders, post-

traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and organic mental disorders such

as Alzheimer’s disease. In this, the age of the Internet, you can learn

more if you’re interested.

Psychological Disorders in Perspective

Prevalence of Psychological Disorders

The essence of this section is an overall view of the incidence and

prevalence of mental and emotional disorders in the United States. It’s

based on an interview sample of 8,000 men and women between the

ages of 15 and 54, drawn so as to represent the US population at

large. The findings are sobering. Of those interviewed, 48 percent had

experienced a disorder at some point in their lives. Additionally, 30

percent had or were experiencing a disorder in the year of the

interview, and the number of persons suffering from more than one

disorder simultaneously (called comorbidity) was significant. By far,

the most common reported disorder was depression. Of course, the

United States isn’t alone in having a high prevalence of psychological

disorders.

The Social and Cultural Context of Psychological Disorders

This final topic for the chapter introduces you to some of the

perplexities of classifying psychological disorders in different cultures.

Are patterns of psychological disorders particular to different cultures?

For example, Japan is a collectivist culture. That is, a person’s sense

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of self-worth and identity is strongly intertwined with loyalties to family,

peers, and coworkers. By contrast, the dominant culture of the United

States is individualistic. American identities are based on competition,

personal achievement, and self-reliance. Would the causes of

depression be different in Japan and the United States?

Once you’ve finished studying this section, complete the Evaluate

quizzes and Rethink responses in the Modules 33–35 summaries in

your textbook.

Key Points and Links

READING ASSIGNMENT

Key Points

Psychologists consider behavior to be “abnormal” if it causes

distress and if that distress prevents the person from functioning

in his or her daily life.

Abnormality can be studied from many different perspectives,

such as medical, psychoanalytic, behavioral, cognitive,

humanistic, and sociocultural.

Anxiety disorders are by far the most common psychological

disorders and include categories such as phobias, panic

disorders, generalized anxiety disorders, and obsessive-

compulsive disorders.

Somatoform disorders cause one or more bodily symptoms,

usually including pain. Hypochondriacs, for example, have an

over-exaggerated sensitivity to bodily sensations that are seen as

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threatening.

Dissociative disorders involve disruptions to a person’s memory,

awareness, or identity. Dissociative identity disorder (DID),

formerly called “multiple personality disorder,” is characterized by

a person dealing with severe trauma or stress by escaping into

alternate personalities.

Mood disorders are common, and include ailments such as

depression and bipolar disorder.

Schizophrenia is a severe form of psychotic disorder in which the

patient loses touch with reality. The sufferer generally

experiences a drastically lower functionality, and may experience

disturbing thoughts, delusions, hallucinations, and withdrawal.

A personality disorder is marked by inflexible, maladaptive

behavior that greatly inhibits a person’s capacity to get along with

others and form normal social relationships.

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) includes

inattention, impulsiveness, and a low tolerance for frustration.

Because these types of behavior are very common even in

completely normal children, this disorder is controversial, and

some believe it’s over-diagnosed.

Exercise: Psychological Disorders

Fill in the blank.

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1. In disorders once called multiple personality disorders and now

labeled as ________ disorders, a person manifests more than

one personality.

2. In schizophrenia, the symptom called ________ refers to holding

strong beliefs in things that have no basis in reality.

3. For psychologists, ________ behavior is seen as behavior that

produces experiences of distress and prevents people from

functioning as they might wish in their daily lives.

4. The manual that classifies psychological disorders for

psychologists is called the DSM-5. In this acronym, “S” stands for

________.

5. According to research into the prevalence of psychological

disorders, the most common disorder is depression, while the

second most common problem is ________ dependence.

6. ________ personality disorder involves emotional volatility,

impulsive behavior, and relying on relationships to define one’s

identity.

7. ________ is fear of strangers.

8. Hypochondriasis is classified as a/an ________ disorder in which

people are obsessively concerned with their health.

9. In obsessive-compulsive disorder, ________ is the irresistible

urge to behave in repetitive, irrational ways.

10. Alternating depression and ________ characterize bipolar

disorder.

Exercise Answer Key:

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Exercise: Psychological Disorders

1. dissociative

2. delusion

3. abnormal

4. statistical

5. alcohol

6. Borderline

7. Xenophobia

8. somatoform

9. compulsion

10. mania

Link

READING STUDY MATERIAL

Link (register.gotowebinar.com/rt/1719820184845659138)

5.2 Explain therapy approaches to treat varoius psychologocial disorders Treatment of Psychological Disorders

READING ASSIGNMENT

Read this assignment. Then read Chapter 11 in your textbook.

Psychotherapy: Psychodynamic, Behavioral, and Cognitive Approaches to Treatment

Psychodynamic Approaches to Therapy

Page 18Copyright Penn Foster, Inc. 2019 Course Version: 2https://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/1719820184845659138

The classic psychodynamic approach is the psychoanalytic theory of

Sigmund Freud. The following is a summary of ideas embraced in

Freud’s approach to therapy.

To resolve unacceptable impulses and unresolved conflicts of the

unconscious, it’s necessary to get through a person’s defense

mechanisms. The most common of these is repression. People try to

keep issues buried that threaten their ego ideal—their ideas about

how they should think and behave. The techniques for uncovering

unconscious content in the patient include dream interpretation (What

do you think the snake might stand for in that dream?) and free

association (Just say whatever comes to mind as I give you a word.).

The very lengthy process of psychoanalysis (it can easily extend over

a period of years) is a tedious uphill battle against the patient’s

resistance. Meanwhile, the long association between doctor and

patient leads to transference. Transference happens when the

negative or hidden feelings in the patient (usually associated with a

parent or a significant other) are transferred to (projected onto) the

therapist. If all goes well and transference issues are resolved,

patients will gradually accept previously unacceptable unconscious

content—which now becomes more or less conscious—and move on

with their lives.

Time is money, and life is short. In that context, contemporary

psychodynamic approaches focus on immediate issues, take more

control over the direction of therapy, and try to get the whole process

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over within about 20 sessions over, say, three months.

Psychodynamic approaches to therapy get mixed reviews. Overall,

they’re time-consuming and expensive, thus eliminating their feasibility

for most people. On the other hand, they do seem to be useful for

some.

Behavioral Approaches to Therapy

The starting assumption in behavioral therapies is that all behavior—

normal or abnormal—is learned. What has been learned can be

unlearned. What hasn’t been learned can be learned.

Classical conditioning treatments include three standard techniques:

1. Aversive conditioning—A subject’s behavior is modified by

coupling an undesired behavior, like alcohol abuse, with a

decidedly unpleasant stimulus. For example, the patient is

administered a drug that makes him or her violently nauseous

when alcohol is consumed. Problems with aversive conditioning

include its harshness on the one hand, and uncertainty as to how

long the rejection or reduction in the undesired behavior will last

on the other.

2. Systematic desensitization—Let’s say Eric is deathly afraid of

snakes. The approach here is coupling gradual exposure to the

anxiety-producing stimulus with learned techniques for relaxation.

In systematic desensitization, a hierarchy of fears is created. For

Eric, that might mean exposure to a picture of a snake, exposure

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to a snake in a cage, and, finally, immediate up-close-and-

personal exposure to a live, harmless snake for a few seconds,

then a little longer, and so on.

3. Exposure treatment—Here the relaxation technique is put aside,

and the patient is simply exposed to the feared stimulus. The

exposure may be gradual, or it may involve what’s called

“flooding.” The latter technique can work, but it isn’t a whole lot of

fun for the subject of the treatment. Imagine having someone with

a fear of spiders suddenly exposed to a terrarium where live

tarantulas are here, there, and everywhere.

Operant conditioning techniques follow the regimes you learned about

earlier in this course. Reinforce desirable behaviors; don’t reinforce

undesirable behaviors. In some settings involving actual human

beings, say in a classroom or a social-skills class in a prison, desired

behaviors can be reinforced by symbols or tokens, such as chips or

tickets. For example, earn a token each time you turn in your

homework on time. Earn a certain number of tokens in such a token

economy, and you get a reward.

Operant conditioning techniques are pretty much limited to involuntary

audiences in institutional settings. Therefore, a therapist who wants

results may also employ the principles of observational learning. For

example, rowdy children may be exposed to scenarios on film that

model fair play and good manners. The same kinds of techniques can

also be used to model ways to master one’s fears or learn

assertiveness in social situations.

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Overall, behavioral approaches work pretty well in treating some kinds

of specific phobias or compulsions. Remember, compulsions are

observed as habitual behaviors that may be counterproductive, such

as the drive to count steps or avoid stepping on cracks in the

sidewalk. On the other hand, while learning a new behavior may

change CNS responses to some extent, behavioral approaches aren’t

designed to give patients deep insights into their hidden desires or

semiconscious motives.

Cognitive Approaches to Therapy

There are a variety of approaches to cognitive therapy. However, all of

them are about encouraging people to change their thinking, which, in

turn, is all about changing the way people frame situations and

circumstances. In general, all forms of cognitive therapy are based on

the assumption that anxiety, depression, and negative emotions are

directly related to habitual ways of seeing (perceiving) oneself and the

world.

In rational-emotive behavior therapy, singled out for inspection in your

text, the therapy amounts to helping people reorganize their belief

system to make it more realistic, logical, and rational. Thus, for

example, the assumption that everyone is judging you is irrational. In

fact, even the people who are closest to you will tend to give you no

more than about 2 percent of their undivided attention—unless you’re

in the kitchen smashing the good china. In a similar vein, most

people’s worries tend to be about matters that no one can control (like

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the weather) or things that are very unlikely to occur under any

circumstances. Great Britain’s famous World War II leader, Winston

Churchill, once commented, “The things I worried about most in my

life never happened.”

Psychotherapy: Humanistic and Group Approaches

Humanistic Therapy

The underlying assumptions of humanistic therapy are philosophical

and metaphysical. People have free will. Everyone has a place in the

cosmic scheme. The concept of soul should be taken seriously. Above

all, everyone is born with the potential (however slight) for acquiring

self-knowledge and achieving self-actualization. In this perspective,

psychological disorders often arise as people fail to grasp purpose or

meaning for their lives.

The most common technique in humanistic therapy is called person-

centered therapy. A warm, supportive, and nonjudgmental therapeutic

environment is established. Patients are encouraged to follow the

implied advice of poet Robert Burns and to “see themselves as others

see them”—but without judgment. Carl Rogers was an outstanding

proponent of this perspective; you should recall his concept of

unconditional self-regard: To find yourself and your purpose in life,

accept yourself as you are and be empowered to change what can be

changed while accepting what can’t be changed. (Interestingly, this

last sentiment echoes a famous prayer said to have been authored by

St. Francis of Assisi.)

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Interpersonal Therapy

Interpersonal therapy (IT) focuses on social relationships. Therefore, it

aims at improving or healing conflicted or dysfunctional personal

relationships. Marriage counseling is an example. But IT can also be

helpful in dealing with some cases of anxiety or depression. That’s

because the context of both of these may be an unhealthy

relationship, say, between parents and children. IT is directive,

structured, and designed for therapeutic programs that cover about 12

to 16 weeks. (“Directive” means the therapist actively directs sessions.

“Structured” means the therapeutic program proceeds in planned

steps.)

Group Therapy, Family Therapy, and Self-Help Groups

Under a therapist who acts as a guide and a moderator, group therapy

involves meetings of unrelated people who share their stories, seek

out personal insights into their issues, and often benefit from the

emotional support they get from being with people who have similar

problems. Combat veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress

disorder (PTSD) may benefit from group therapy. First responders

involved with the Virginia Tech massacre engaged in group therapy

sessions. However, group therapy is also used quite a lot in workplace

settings in the interest of improving employee morale and developing

team spirit. In such cases, the therapist’s role may be served by a

specialist in industrial psychology.

Family therapy is a specialized form of group therapy. Family

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therapists are extensively trained to understand how a family operates

as a system, such that what’s going on with one family member will

affect other family members. The typical objective of family therapy is

resolving interpersonal conflicts and encouraging family members to

seek common ground for productive solutions.

Self-help therapy is pretty much like group therapy without a trained

counselor to guide and moderate what goes on. Twelve-step

programs for alcoholics (such as AA) and other kinds of addicts are a

patterned form of self-help therapy wherein the “counselor” may be

literature shared by the group or a “buddy” partner assigned to help a

new group member. Other self-help groups take the form of informal

support groups. For example, people may gather together to help the

members deal with the loss of a loved one or encourage their

teenagers to take their studies more seriously.

Evaluating Psychotherapy: Does Therapy Work?

Psychologists tend to agree that therapy is better than no therapy, if

only because rates of spontaneous remission (spontaneous healing)

are low. On the other hand, there isn’t much agreement about which

therapies work best. Based on research that scans many studies

(meta-analysis), some conclusions can be drawn:

Psychotherapy is effective for most people.

However, psychotherapy doesn’t work for everyone. It isn’t a

“silver bullet.”

No single form of therapy works best for every problem; specific

Page 25Copyright Penn Foster, Inc. 2019 Course Version: 2

kinds of treatment appear more effective for certain kinds of

problems most of the time, but not always. Thus, cognitive

therapy is often best for panic disorders, but not always.

Most therapies share a set of similar elements. These include the

opportunity for the patient to form a positive relationship with a

therapist, receive an explanation for his or her symptoms, and

confront negative emotions.

Because of what you’ve just read about the relative merits of different

approaches to therapies, it isn’t surprising that many therapists take

an eclectic approach. That is, they pick and choose among different

approaches based on an individual’s apparent needs in a specific

case.

Biomedical Therapy

Drug Therapy

Biomedical therapy is aimed at identifying biological factors underlying

psychological disorders. In general, this approach has focused on

drugs that can alter the operations of neurotransmitters and cerebral

neurons in such a way as to relieve or control symptoms.

Antipsychotic drugs work primarily by blocking dopamine

receptors in the brain’s synapses, although there are other kinds

of antipsychotics that work to alter neurological chemistry in

specific parts of the brain. The problem with antipsychotics is that

they can alleviate symptoms only if the drug regimen is

Page 26Copyright Penn Foster, Inc. 2019 Course Version: 2

continued. Take away the drugs, and the symptoms reappear.

Antidepressant drugs are used to reduce or soften the effect of

depression. They’re also used to treat bulimia and certain kinds of

anxiety disorders. (Depression is often accompanied by anxiety.)

Details about different kinds of antidepressants are summarized

in Figure 1 on page 469 of your text. A natural antidepressant, a

plant called St. John’s wort, is widely prescribed in Europe but is

given less attention in the United States. Its effectiveness is

considered uncertain.

Mood stabilizers include lithium, used successfully in cases of

bipolar disorder. What makes mood stabilizers unique is their

potential capacity to prevent the recurrence of manic-depressive

episodes.

Anti-anxiety drugs are very frequently prescribed by American

physicians. As your text points out, more than half of American

families have members who have been on one of these kinds of

drugs at some point.

Electroconvulsive Therapy

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is still used to treat severe

depression, but its use remains highly controversial. Side effects are

often alarming, including loss of recent memory. Over the years,

researchers, physicians, and “veterans” of ECT have argued that the

procedure is akin to torture and should long since have been

abandoned. Perhaps it will be as a new alternative to ECT is

introduced. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is intended to

Page 27Copyright Penn Foster, Inc. 2019 Course Version: 2

create a magnetic pulse that can be aimed precisely at certain parts of

the brain. While TMS results have been promising in some respects,

there remains the problem of side effects, such as convulsions and

seizures.

Psychosurgery

Psychosurgery is the use of brain surgery to reduce symptoms of

mental disorder. This type of surgery was used in the past by

destroying or removing parts of the brain. While the procedure could

reduce symptoms of mental disorder, such surgeries came with drastic

side effects. Such surgery is much less common today and is used

only in specific circumstances.

Biomedical Therapies in Perspective

While biomedical approaches to psychological disorders have

radicalized treatment regimens and no doubt reduced suffering for

many people, problems remain. Drug side effects can be serious.

Furthermore, drug therapies can mask symptoms such that it’s quite

difficult to get at underlying problems that caused a person to seek

therapy in the first place. Perhaps, scientists learn more about the

nature of human consciousness, some optimal balance among

different kinds of therapies will be found.

Community Therapy: Focus on Prevention

Community psychology is aimed at preventing or minimizing the

incidence of psychological disorders. An initial approach to this sort of

Page 28Copyright Penn Foster, Inc. 2019 Course Version: 2

thing began in the 1960s with an effort to create a network of

community mental health clinics. However, due to funding cuts at state

hospitals, there has been a trend toward deinstitutionalization, which

hasn’t gone too well. As mental hospitals have been emptied, more

and more of the indigent and homeless—including an alarming

number of military veterans—are either wandering the streets with

shopping carts or being jailed for want of adequate public health

facilities.

Once you’ve finished studying this section, complete the Evaluate

quizzes and Rethink responses in the Modules 36–38 summaries in

your textbook.

Key Points and Links

READING ASSIGNMENT

Key Points

Freud’s psychodynamic approach to therapy involves trying to

resolve conflicts of the subconscious by working through a

person’s defense mechanisms.

Behavioral approaches to therapy include aversive conditioning

(pairing a negative behavior with a really unpleasant stimulus),

systematic desensitization (slow gradual exposure to an anxiety-

producing stimulus with techniques to fight anxiety), and

exposure treatment (total exposure to the feared stimulus).

Operant conditioning techniques involve reinforcing desirable

behaviors and not reinforcing undesirable behaviors.

Page 29Copyright Penn Foster, Inc. 2019 Course Version: 2

Cognitive approaches to therapy have a strong emphasis on

perception and involve trying to get patients to think differently

about how they frame situations and circumstances.

The humanistic approach to therapy is built on the idea that

people are mostly good, and that disorders are the result of

people failing to grasp purpose or meaning in their lives. It

involves creating a warm, supportive, and nonjudgmental

therapeutic environment.

Group therapy is often led by a therapist and involves meetings

of unrelated people who share their stories, seek out personal

insights into their issues, and get emotional support from others.

Drug therapy is a very common approach to dealing with

symptoms of psychological disorders. Treatments include

antipsychotic drugs, antidepressant drugs, anti-anxiety drugs,

and mood stabilizers such as lithium.

Electroconvulsive therapy is a procedure done under anesthesia

that involves sending electric currents to the brain to help deal

with severe depression. It’s controversial because of its side

effects, which include convulsions and seizures.

Community psychology is aimed at preventing or minimizing the

incidence of psychological disorders through a network of

community mental health clinics.

SSC130 Discussion Board 4

READING ASSIGNMENT

Read the following guidelines. Then, return to your student portal and complete Discussion Board 4.

Page 30Copyright Penn Foster, Inc. 2019 Course Version: 2

Below are some general guidelines about the online discussions that

will allow you to interact with other students and faculty members.

This interaction can greatly benefit anyone studying online. By

participating in these interactions, you can learn from and encourage

others while progressing through your studies.

1. Access a Discussion Board on your student portal.

2. Choose a User Name. (It is suggested that you use your first and

last name.)

3. Pick the major word or words as your subject, type in your

response, and then click on Create New Message to post your

response.

4. Once you have posted your initial response, you will be able to

see your classmates’ responses.

You may be required to respond to one or more of your classmates’

posts depending on the directions given for your specific course.

Refer to the specific instructions given for the course by your

instructor. If you need to respond to your peers, see the following:

1. After you have chosen and clicked on your classmate and

decided this is the one you want to respond to, click on Post a

reply to this message.

2. Type your response and click on Post Reply to Board.

Note that the discussion board system will automatically time out after

20 minutes, and any unsaved work will be lost. It’s highly

Page 31Copyright Penn Foster, Inc. 2019 Course Version: 2

recommended that you write your answers to the discussion board

prompts in a Word document, and then copy and paste your answers

into the discussion board window when you’re ready to submit.

What Are the Requirements?

1. The day you receive the course materials marks the start of your

first lesson. At this time, you should introduce yourself to your

classmates and instructor. Please be sure to return to the

discussion to welcome others.

2. Thereafter, for each prompt, you are required to complete the

readings and then answer the prompts for the lesson that you’re

completing. Your answer to the discussion prompt should be in

fully-developed sentences. There may be a length requirement

(for example, at least five-to-seven sentences) provided by your

instructor for the course.

3. You also may read the posted answers from other classmates

and respond to those other posts to start a discussion. These

responses are known as peer responses. Remember, this may

not always be required, but is encouraged. All of your comments

to peers should be academic and appropriate for the course

discussion and fit the length requirement (if one is required).

4. The discussion questions are based on the course material

you’re studying. However, you may want to conduct some outside

research when developing your answers and peer responses. All

postings are expected to be in well-developed paragraphs with

proper sentence structure and grammar.

Page 32Copyright Penn Foster, Inc. 2019 Course Version: 2

How Are the Discussion Posts Evaluated?

Answers to the posted questions and peer responses that do not meet

all of the mentioned requirements will not count toward the grade.

When Are the Discussions Graded?

Grades are automatically posted; however, instructors are monitoring

the boards and will reach out to you when a posting grade is being

changed.

What If I Fall Behind on My Postings?

You will not move onto your next class until all discussions are

complete. If you earn an F on a discussion, it is asked that you follow

the email instructions received from your instructor and that you redo

the discussion.

How Can I Contact the School?

You can email instructors through the Contact Us link when logged

onto the Penn Foster website.

Exercise: Treatments of Psychological Disorders

Fill in the blank.

1. In biomedical approaches to therapy, the mineral salt lithium may

be used to treat _______ disorders.

Page 33Copyright Penn Foster, Inc. 2019 Course Version: 2

2. Among psychotherapeutic approaches to therapy, _______

approaches are considered to be the least scientifically and

theoretically developed.

3. After one or more applications of _______ therapy, a

controversial technique, patients experience disorientation,

confusion, and memory loss that may last for months.

4. People who have lost a loved one gather in a support group to

share stories and offer each other emotional support.

Psychologists would call this a form of _______ therapy.

5. In deinstitutionalization as an approach to _______ psychology,

mental patients are released into the community, presumably to

take advantage of mental health clinics in their neighborhood.

6. _______-based psychotherapeutic practice uses research

literature to determine the best therapy for a particular person

with a particular disorder.

Exercise Answer Key:

Exercise: Treatments of Psychological Disorders

1. mood

2. humanistic

3. electroconvulsive

4. self-help

5. community

6. Evidence

Page 34Copyright Penn Foster, Inc. 2019 Course Version: 2

Lesson 5 Review

Self-Check

1. When Judy was a child, the boys in the neighborhood used to catch

garter snakes and tease her with them. Now as an adult, when she

encounters a snake, her heart rate becomes elevated and she feels

that flight reflex. She sends her husband out to make sure there are

no snakes anywhere near the deck and patio before she goes out, and

he must scout her gardens before she will step into them to work on

her plantings. Each year, her reaction to the snakes becomes more

severe. These symptoms suggest Judy struggles with _______

disorder.

a. phobic

b. panic

c. somatoform

d. obsessive-compulsive

2. Which of the following is a symptom of schizophrenia?

a. Hallucinations

b. A sense of impending doom, a sense of suffocation, difficulty

swallowing or breathing, trembling, and feelings of unreality

c. Unreasoned panic

d. Mood swings ranging from sad and depressed to happy and

excited

3. Sasha owns her own business. Her spontaneity and energy make

Page 35Copyright Penn Foster, Inc. 2019 Course Version: 2

her well liked. However, her employees complain projects don’t stay

on schedule because Sasha quickly moves between projects. Sasha

also becomes hyper-focused on projects that grab her attention.

Sasha tells you that her responsibilities seem overwhelming. Stress

has become a daily part of her. She isn’t fidgety or restless, but her

mind just goes, goes, goes. She thinks perhaps cutting back on her

caffeine intake might help. What do these symptoms suggest Sasha

struggles with?

a. Borderline personality disorder

b. A mood disorder

c. Autism

d. Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder

4. Fill in the correct percentages from this line from your text: “Almost

_______ of children and _______ of adolescents experience

significant emotional or behavioral disorders.”

a. 10 percent; 5 percent

b. 5 percent; 20 percent

c. 20 percent; 40 percent

d. 40 percent; 10 percent

5. Which of the following are the most common of the major

psychological disorders?

a. Personality disorders

b. Mood disorders

c. Dissociative disorders

d. Anxiety disorders

6. Which is a criticism leveled at the DSM-5 classification system?

Page 36Copyright Penn Foster, Inc. 2019 Course Version: 2

a. There are too few categories.

b. It doesn’t increase the validity of diagnostic categorization.

c. It relies too much on the medical perspective.

d. The categories aren’t clearly defined.

7. Which psychoanalytic perspective emphasizes that people have

responsibility for their own behavior, that people are basically rational

beings, desiring to coexist in a social world, and are motivated to seek

self-actualization, so that they can set their own limits of what’s

acceptable behavior?

a. Humanistic

b. Psychoanalytic

c. Cognitive

d. Sociocultural

8. Dr. Janacek has a patient, Clara, with whom he meets. During this

time, Dr. Janacek asks Clara questions about her life while she was

growing up. He inquires about her school years, her friends, adults

she interacted with. They talk about what activities Clara did outside

of school. Was she in a youth program? Did she attend a religious

program? Which type of perspective on psychological disorders is Dr.

Janacek taking?

a. Humanistic

b. Cognitive

c. Behavioral

d. Psychoanalytic

9. Janice is eight years old. Her parents are concerned, as Janice eats

only with plastic utensils that are individually wrapped and sealed in

Page 37Copyright Penn Foster, Inc. 2019 Course Version: 2

plastic. She has a specific chair at the table and it must have a

cushion on it. If the cushion is being cleaned, Janice stands to eat.

They’ve accommodated her behavior as the oddities of a willful child.

Janice’s grandmother came over for dinner and sat in Janice’s chair.

Janice screamed at her grandmother and pushed her out of the chair,

injuring her grandmother. Which definition of abnormal behavior does

this best fit into?

a. Abnormality as deviation from the average.

b. Abnormality as the inability to function effectively.

c. Abnormality as deviation from the ideal.

d. Abnormality as a sense of personal discomfort.

10. Psychodynamic approaches are based on Freud’s psychoanalytic

approach to personality, which states that individuals employ defense

mechanisms to protect themselves from unacceptable unconscious

impulses. The most common defense mechanism is

a. transference.

b. resistance.

c. anxiety.

d. repression.

11. Henrietta’s 11-year old son sucks his thumb. He has gotten teased

for it, and even gotten sick once because there was bacteria-laden dirt

underneath his thumbnail. She asks for advice on how to help him

stop. A friend suggests using a cream she saw online that has a bitter

taste to it. Henrietta simply rubs the cream on his thumb before he

watches TV at night or goes to bed. What type of conditioning

treatment is Henrietta employing?

Page 38Copyright Penn Foster, Inc. 2019 Course Version: 2

a. Exposure treatment

b. Operant conditioning

c. Systematic desensitization

d. Aversive conditioning

12. When Jack sees a spider, he freezes, his heart races, and he

begins to sweat. Jack wants to study in Australia, but he read Australia

has the world’s largest number of spiders. He is panicked and unable

to move forward with this opportunity. A friend mentioned using

mediation to overcome his fear. Jack stopped by the student medical

center and they explained that there was a process where Jack would

use a relaxation technique along with increasing exposure to his fear

to decrease his fear and symptoms. What technique are they

describing?

a. Operant conditioning

b. Systematic desensitization

c. Aversion conditioning

d. Exposure treatment

13. _______ therapy focuses on getting a person to accept who they

are, regardless of whether it matches their ideal.

a. Rational-emotive behavior

b. Dialectical behavior

c. Free association

d. Operant conditioning

14. Which treatment approach assumes that anxiety, depression, and

negative emotions can be overcome by changing thought patterns?

a. Cognitive therapy

Page 39Copyright Penn Foster, Inc. 2019 Course Version: 2

b. Dream therapy

c. Psychoanalytic therapy

d. Behavior therapy

15. Which of the following is a technique for uncovering unconscious

content in a patient?

a. Humanistic therapy

b. Rational-emotive behavior therapy

c. Transference

d. Free association

16. Simone and Charles have been married six years. It hasn’t always

been easy. They fight about money and raising their two children,

ages 3 and 5. Simone is very active in her church and mentioned to

the pastor that she was really struggling in her marriage. Her pastor

mentioned that he runs a 12-week program for couples needing to

heal spousal conflict and improve their marriage. What is the most

likely type of therapy the pastor engages in?

a. Interpersonal therapy

b. Self-help therapy

c. Family therapy

d. Group therapy

17. Which type of drug works primarily by blocking dopamine

receptors in the brain’s synapses?

a. Anti-anxiety drugs

b. Antipsychotic drugs

c. Mood stabilizers

d. Antidepressant drugs

Page 40Copyright Penn Foster, Inc. 2019 Course Version: 2

18. Which type of therapy is used to treat severe depression, but

includes a side effect of loss of recent memories?

a. Psychosurgery

b. Electroconvulsive therapy

c. Operant conditioning therapy

d. Antidepressant drug therapy

19. _______ is defined as people’s ideas about how they should think

and behave.

a. Thought-producing stimulus

b. Psychodynamic association

c. Ego ideal

d. Defense mechanism

Self-Check Answer Key

1. phobic

Explanation: Phobias can best be thought of as conditioned

response patterns to specific things. Phobic responses can

include anxiety or panic (or both), but the perceived source of the

phobia is always specific.

Reference: Section 5.1

2. Hallucinations

Explanation: Certain characteristics reliably distinguish

schizophrenia from other disorders: a decline in functioning,

disturbance of thought and language, delusions, hallucinations

Page 41Copyright Penn Foster, Inc. 2019 Course Version: 2

and perceptual disorders, emotional disturbances, and

withdrawal.

Reference: Section 5.1

3. Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder

Explanation: Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

includes inattention, lots of inappropriate activity, impulsiveness,

and a low tolerance for frustration.

Reference: Section 5.1

4. 20 percent; 40 percent

Explanation: “Almost 20 percent of children and 40 percent of

adolescents experience significant emotional or behavioral

disorders.”

Reference: Section 5.1

5. Anxiety disorders

Explanation: Anxiety disorders afflict millions of Americans each

year. This disorder is so common that social critics have written

often about the “age of anxiety.”

Reference: Section 5.1

6. It relies too much on the medical perspective.

Explanation: Critics state that the DSM-5 classification system

relies too heavily on the medical perspective. It views

psychological disorders primarily in terms of the symptoms of an

Page 42Copyright Penn Foster, Inc. 2019 Course Version: 2

underlying physiological disorder.

Reference: Section 5.1

7. Humanistic

Explanation: Psychologists who subscribe to the humanistic

perspective believe people are responsible for their own behavior,

even when their behavior is considered abnormal. As long as

they aren’t hurting others and don’t feel personal distress, people

are free to choose how to act.

Reference: Section 5.1

8. Psychoanalytic

Explanation: The psychoanalytic perspective describes abnormal

behavior as stemming from childhood conflicts. It’s based on

Freud, who believed that if these childhood conflicts weren’t dealt

with successfully, they remained unresolved in the unconscious

and eventually brought about abnormal behavior during

adulthood.

Reference: Section 5.1

9. Abnormality as a sense of personal discomfort.

Explanation: In the definition of abnormality as a sense of

personal discomfort, behavior is labeled as abnormal if it creates

a feeling of personal distress, anxiety, or guilt, or if it causes harm

to others in some way.

Reference: Section 5.1

Page 43Copyright Penn Foster, Inc. 2019 Course Version: 2

10. repression.

Explanation: The most common defense mechanism is

repression, which pushes threatening conflicts and impulses back

into the unconscious.

Reference: Section 5.2

11. Aversive conditioning

Explanation: Aversive conditioning pairs an undesired behavior

with an aversive, unpleasant stimulus to reduce the frequency of

the undesired behavior. In this case, the thumb sucking is paired

with a bitter-tasting cream as the unpleasant stimulus.

Reference: Section 5.2

12. Systematic desensitization

Explanation: Systematic desensitization pairs a relaxation

technique with exposure to the fear stimulus. The first step in

systematic desensitization is to train in a relaxation technique.

Once you’re able to relax your body fully, you’re exposed to your

fear in a hierarchy of scenarios that increase in severity.

Reference: Section 5.2

13. Dialectical behavior

Explanation: Dialectical behavior therapy focuses on getting a

person to accept who they are, regardless of whether it matches

their ideal. What is in the past, is in the past. What is important is

Page 44Copyright Penn Foster, Inc. 2019 Course Version: 2

who the person wishes to become.

Reference: Section 5.2

14. Cognitive therapy

Explanation: Cognitive treatment approaches share the

assumption that anxiety, depression, and negative emotions

develop from flawed thinking. By changing the way people think

about their situation, they can change their behavior and outlook.

Reference: Section 5.2

15. Free association

Explanation: The techniques for uncovering unconscious content

in the patient include dream interpretation and free association.

Reference: Section 5.2

16. Interpersonal therapy

Explanation: Interpersonal therapy focuses on social

relationships and aims at improving or healing conflicted or

dysfunctional personal relationships. It’s directive, structured, and

designed for therapeutic programs that cover about 12 to 16

weeks. Marriage counseling is an example.

Reference: Section 5.2

17. Antipsychotic drugs

Explanation: Antipsychotic drugs work primarily by blocking

dopamine receptors in the brain’s synapses, although there are

Page 45Copyright Penn Foster, Inc. 2019 Course Version: 2

other kinds of antipsychotics that work to alter neurological

chemistry in specific parts of the brain.

Reference: Section 5.2

18. Electroconvulsive therapy

Explanation: Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is still used to treat

severe depression, but its use remains highly controversial. Side

effects are often alarming, including loss of recent memory.

Reference: Section 5.2

19. Ego ideal

Explanation: Ego ideal is defined as people’s ideas about how

they should think and behave.

Reference: Section 5.2

Flash Cards

1. Term: Medical Perspective

Definition: The idea that biological causes underlie abnormal

behavior and are best treated as medical disorders or diseases

2. Term: Psychoanalytic Perspective

Definition: The idea that abnormal behavior stems from childhood

conflicts such as those identified in Freud’s psychoanalytic theory

3. Term: Behavioral Perspective

Page 46Copyright Penn Foster, Inc. 2019 Course Version: 2

Definition: The idea that abnormal behaviors are symptoms of

underlying learning dysfunctions; the shortcomings and the strengths

of this perspective result from an exclusive focus on observable

behaviors

4. Term: Cognitive Perspective

Definition: The idea that how people think affects how they act

5. Term: Humanistic Perspective

Definition: The idea that people can take responsibility for not only

how they think, but how they choose to act

6. Term: Sociocultural Perspective

Definition: The idea that behavior is shaped by such things as family

relationships, social class, and accepted norms within particular ethnic

groups

7. Term: Anxiety Disorders

Definition: Characterized by feelings of anxiety and fear, which may

cause physical symptoms such as elevated heart rate and shaking

8. Term: Somatoform Disorders

Definition: Psychological, not physical, cause of one or more bodily

symptoms

9. Term: Dissociative Disorders

Page 47Copyright Penn Foster, Inc. 2019 Course Version: 2

Definition: A person’s conscious awareness becomes separated

(dissociated) from previous memories, thoughts, and feelings

10. Term: Mood Disorders

Definition: Refer to pronounced and prolonged periods of depressed

feelings or manic periods of animated, unrealistic cheerfulness

11. Term: Personality Disorders

Definition: Impair a person’s ability to get along with others,

characterized by inflexible, maladaptive behavior that cripples one’s

capacity for normal social relationships

12. Term: Aversive Conditioning

Definition: Modifying a patient’s behavior by coupling an undesired

behavior with an unpleasant stimulus

13. Term: Systematic Desensitization

Definition: Coupling gradual exposure to the anxiety-producing

stimulus with learned techniques for relaxation

14. Term: Exposure Treatment

Definition: The patient is exposed to a feared stimulus, either

gradually or by “flooding,” without coupling with relaxation techniques.

15. Term: Operant Conditioning Techniques

Definition: The practice of reinforcing desirable behaviors and not

Page 48Copyright Penn Foster, Inc. 2019 Course Version: 2

reinforcing undesirable behaviors

16. Term: Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy

Definition: Helping people reorganize their belief system to make it

more realistic, logical, and rational

17. Term: Person-Centered Therapy

Definition: A warm, supportive, and nonjudgmental therapeutic

environment is established where patients can find themselves and

their purpose in life, accept themselves as they are, and be

empowered to change what can be changed while accepting what

can’t be changed.

18. Term: Group Therapy

Definition: Meetings of unrelated people who share their stories, seek

out personal insights into their issues, and often benefit from the

emotional support they get from being with people who have similar

problems

19. Term: Biomedical Therapy

Definition: Identifying biological factors underlying psychological

disorders

20. Term: Interpersonal Therapy

Definition: Focuses on social relationships, aiming at improving or

healing conflicted or dysfunctional personal relationships

Page 49Copyright Penn Foster, Inc. 2019 Course Version: 2

Page 50Copyright Penn Foster, Inc. 2019 Course Version: 2

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