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Chapter 1

Chapter One notes.docx

Course Code
Richard Brown

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Chapter One— Abnormal Behaviour in Historical Context:
Pages 2-27
-Psychological disorder: a psychological dysfunction within an individual that is
associated with distress or impairment in functioning and a response that is not typical or
culturally expected
-Phobia: a psychological disorder characterized by marked and persistent fear of an
object or situation
What is a Psychological Disorder?
- Psychological disorder:
oPsychological dysfunction
oDistress or impairment
oAtypical response
Psychological Dysfunction:
-Psychological dysfunction: refers to a breakdown in cognitive, emotional or
behavioural functioning
Personal Distress:
- That the disorder or behaviour must be associated with distress adds an important
component and seems clear
oThe criterion is satisfied is satisfied if the individual is extremely upset
- It is quite normal to be distressed
- Some disorders by definition suffering and distress are absent from the person
- Thus, defining psychological disorders by distress alone doesn’t work
Atypical or Not Culturally Expected:
- At times something is considered abnormal because it occurs infrequently; it deviates
from the average
oThe greater the deviation, the more abnormal it is
- Another view that your behaviour is abnormal if you are violating social norms, even if
some people are sympathetic to your point of view
The Science of Psychopathology:

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-Psychopathology: is the scientific study of psychological disorders
- Specially trained professionals
oClinical and counselling psychologists
oPsychiatric social workers
oPsychiatric nurses
oMarriage and family therapy
oMental health counsellors
- The label psychologists conveys information about the training a qualifications of the
-Psychotherapists if they provide therapy services to members of public around
psychological issues
-Counselling psychologists tend to study and treat adjustment and vocational issues
encountered by relatively healthy individuals, whereas clinical psychologists usually
concentrate on more severe psychological disorders
-Psychiatrists investigate the nature and causes of psychological disorders, often from a
biological point of view, make diagnoses and offer treatment
-Psychiatric social workers expertise in collecting information relevant to the social and
family situation of the individual with a psychological disorder
-Psychiatric nurses specialize in care and treatment of patients with psychological
The Scientist Practitioner:
- Adoption of scientific methods to learn more about the nature of psychological disorder,
their causes and their treatment
-Scentist-Pracitioners: mental health professionals take scientific approach to their
clinical work
oThey may keep up with the latest scientific developments in their field and
therefore use the most current diagnostic and treatment procedures

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oEvaluate their own assessments or treatment procedures to see whether they
oMight conduct research, often in clinics or hospitals, that produces information
about disorders or their treatment
- Studying psychological disorders focus:
oClinical description
oCausation (etiology)
oTreatment and outcome
Clinical Description:
-Presenting problem:
oPresents is a traditional way of indicating why the person came to the clinic
-Clinical description: the unique combination of behaviours, thoughts and feelings that
make up a specific disorder
-Prevalence: how many people in the population as a whole have the disorder?
-Incidence: statistics on how many new cases occur during a given period
oIn addition to having different symptoms, a different age of onset, and possibly a
different sex ratio and prevalence, most disorders follow individual pattern or
oChronic course: tend to last a long time
oEpisodic course: the individual is likely to recover within a few months
oTime-limited course: meaning the disorder will improve without treatment
oAcute onset: begin suddenly
oInsidious onset: develop gradually over time
oThe anticipated course of a disorder
Causation, Treatment and Outcomes:
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