Abnormal Psychology 1
Chapter 1 Learning Objectives
Psychopathology – the field concerned with the nature and development of abnormal behavior,
thoughts, and feelings.
Characteristics used in the definition of abnormal behavior:
1. Statistical infrequency – abnormal behavior is infrequent in the general population; it does not
follow the normal curve.
2. Violation of norms – does the behavior violate social norms or threatens or makes anxious those
3. Personal distress – behavior that is so abnormal that it causes distress/torment in the person
experiencing the behavior
4. Disability or dysfunction – does the behavior cause impairment in an important aspect of life
(e.g., work or relationships)?
5. Unexpectedness – distress and disability are considered abnormal when they are unexpected
responses to environmental stressors
DSM-IV definition of a mental disorder (lecture)
In Canada, who provides the major proportion of mental health services?
General practitioners because public health plan reimbursement of fees-for-service is limited to medical
Who regulates and has jurisdiction over the practice of psychology in Canada?
Professional regulation of the psychology profession is within the jurisdiction of the provinces and
Clinical psychologist – individual who has earned a Ph.D degree in psychology or a Psy.D and whose
training has included an internship in a mental hospital or clinic
Psychiatrist – an MD who has taken specialized postdoctoral training, called a residency, in the
diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental disorders.
The debate regarding clinical psychologists and prescription privileges:
Clear invasion of psychiatrist’s professional turf
Many psychologists view it as an ill-advised dilution of the behavioural science focus of
Profits, reducing costs, increasing treatment efficacy, and improving access to treatment are
Can a non-MD learn enough about biochemistry and physiology to monitor the effects of drugs
and protect clients from adverse side effects? Abnormal Psychology 2
Chapter 1 Learning Objectives
What were the results of the National Population Health Survey?
Nearly 515,000 Canadians, aged 12 or older, had consulted with a psychologist 1+ times in the
last 12 months.
But psychological services are still greatly underused
Psychological services are more available in urban areas because psychiatrists tend to practice in
major urban centres
Describe the deinstitutionalization process of Canada.
In the 1970s, the restrictive nature of a mental hospital led to concern, and the
deinstitutionalization of a large number of mental hospital patients.
Goal: To shift care from psychiatric hospitals into the community.
This changed philosophy caused a decrease in bed capacity of Canadian mental hospitals
o From 50,000 beds to ~15,000 beds from 1960 to 1976
BUT beds in general hospitals increased from 1000 to ~6000.
Budget cuts in 1980-1990s caused further deinstitutionalization
Deinstitutionalization attitudes were weakened because those that were previously in hospitals
led a life of poverty (esp. homeless and prison populations).
Tertiary provincial psychiatric hospital – provides specialized treatment and rehabilitation services for
individuals whose needs for care are too complex to be managed in the community
Syndrome (lecture) – a group or pattern of symptoms that tend to occur together in a particular disease
General paresis and syphilis (lecture)
~1798 many mental patients’ physical and mental abilities deteriorated
Multiple impairments including delusions of grandeur and progressive paralysis
Designated as general paresis
In 1857, some of these patients were found to previously have SYPHILIS.
Catharsis – therapeutic procedure introduced by Breuer and developed further by Freud in the late 19 th
century whereby a patient recalls and relives and earlier emotional catastrophe and re-experiences the
tension and unhappiness, the goal being to relieve emotional suffering.
Dr. Cameron and the CIA in Canada
World-renowned Montreal psychiatrist conducted a nine-