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Lecture

PSYCH257 Lecture Notes - Psychopathology, Schizophrenia, Psychology Today


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYCH257
Professor
Allison Kelly

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1
LECTURE 18
SELF-ATTITUDES AND PSYCHOPATHOLOGY
PART 1 OF 2
Today’s Questions
Are there common themes across the Axis I and II disorders?
Is there value in taking a trans-diagnostic approach to understanding,
preventing, and treating mental disorders?
Are there self-attitudes we can cultivate to help ourselves stay well?
Outline
Trans-diagnostic approach to psychopathology
Theory of evolution, threat, & safeness
Self-compassion: what is it, why build it, and what to consider
Research findings on self-compassion
Applications of self-compassion
Trans-diagnostic approach to psychopathology
Issues with the DSM approach?
Separate disorders with separate diagnostic criteria BUT…
o Some symptoms present in >1 disorder
o High comorbidity across disorders
A lot of people present with one, recover and then get another one
Fluctuation over time
o Diagnostic changes over time
o Inherit genetic vulnerability to a range of disorders, not just the one
running in your family
o Common causal influences
People at higher risk for disorder because of abuse
Genetic vulnerability
Personality vulnerability
The Trans-Diagnostic Approach
Focus on factors
common across disorders
regarding…
o Similar Patterns of thinking, behaving, feeling

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2
o Similarities in Vulnerability and etiology
o Similarities in Underlying maintaining factors
o Prevention and treatment
From a range of disorders
Ideal trans diagnostic approaches
Attention to biological, psychological, social, and developmental influences
o DSM: focussed on what is on the outside: what we can observe
o Trans-Diagnostic: Theory about symptoms and ways to test theories
Theory-drive, supported by empirical investigations
Help us understand development, maintenance, prevention, & treatment of
many disorders, not just one
Gilbert’s theory of evolution, threat, and safeness
Developed by Paul Gilbert
o How understanding our evolution can help us to understand our
psychology today
The Evolved Brain
Humans share “old brain” with earlier species
o Oriented towards threat and self-protection
Fight or Flight Reaction
o Primitive drives and emotional responses
o Relationship Drive
Sex, power, tribalism
But we also have a “new brain”
o Frontal cortex allows us to engage in higher-order mental processes
Feel anxious and then assess that, which makes the anxiety worse
Imagining what others are thinking
o Requires care, kindness, and nurturing from the moment we are born
Animals require this as well, but we REALLY need it to survive
Our brain needs it to develop normally to regulate emotions
and maintain relationships
*** Video: ‘STILL FACE’ Experiment (Tronick, 2009)***
Optimal Threat Regulation
Affection stimulates the Soothing-affiliation system

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3
InternalThreatandSoothing
12
InternalThreatandSoothing
Affilia ve-
Soothing
CALMS
Threat
Internalrepresenta ons
ofothersasthreatening,
shaming,oralarming
Emo onalmemoriesof
NOsoothing
Neurophysiological
networks
Selfexperienced
asunlovable
FromGilbert(2010)
o Evolved to regulate threats
o Oxytocin underpins affiliative behaviour
o Oxytocin receptors in amygdale
*** Importance of compassion from others and self
Internal Threat and Soothing
Making sense of psychopathologyFeeling threatened
(by both external and internal world)
+
Being unable to feel soothed, safe, connected
(from external or internal sources)
InternalThreatandSoothing
11
InternalThreatandSoothing
Affilia ve-
Soothing
CALMS
Threat
Internalrepresenta ons
ofothersassuppor ve,
helpful,comfor ng
Emo onalmemoriesof
soothing
Neurophysiological
networks
Selfexperienced
aslovable
FromGilbert(2010)
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