Treatment of Psychological Disorders15.docx

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19 Mar 2012

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Treatment of Psychological Disorders
How are psychological Disorders Treated?
- There are two types: psychological and biological
Psychological involves psychotherapy that involves interaction
Biological therapies reflect medical approaches
Psychotherapy is Based on Psychological Principles
- Psychodynamic therapy focuses on insight
Sigmund Freud was one of the earliest developers of treatments for mental disorders
Two techniques: free association meaning the client says whatever comes to mind, and dream
Insights (a goal of some types of therapy; a patients understanding of his or her own psychological
processes) helps to get rid of unconscious influences and symptoms
Freud’s ideas on therapy can be categorized as the psychodynamic therapy
- Humanistic therapies focus on the whole person
One of the best humanistic therapies is called client centered therapy which was developed by Carl
Client centered therapy encourages personal growth through greater self understanding
Often use reflective listening by repeating client’s concerns to help client clarify their feelings
One current treatment being used is motivational interviewing for drinks
- Cognitive behavioural therapy targets thoughts and behaviours
Cognitive therapy is the treatment based on the idea that distorted thoughts produce maladaptive
behaviours and emotions
Aaron T. Beck advocates cognitive restructuring which is a theory that helps clients recognize
maladaptive thought patterns and replacing them with ways of viewing the world that are more in
tune with reality
Albert Ellis suggested rational emotive therapy in which therapists teach more adaptive ways of
thinking and behaviour to their clients
Interpersonal therapy helps clients express their emotions and explore interpersonal experiences
Most widely used version of psychotherapy is cognitive behavioural therapy which tries to correct
faulty thinking and change maladaptive behaviours
Many cognitive behavioural therapy for phobias include exposure to the anxiety producing
- Group therapy builds social support
Arose after world war two where they had more people needing therapy than therapists avilible
Effective for disorders such as bulimia and obsessive compulsive disorder
Group therapy allows to improve social skills and learning from one another’s experiences
- Family therapy focuses on the family context
According ot the system’s approach, an individual is part of a larger context, and any change in its
behaviour will change the whole system
The system’s approach effect is often clearest at family level
Evidence suggests that helping families help to produce appropriate social support
Studies documented the importance of attitudes expressed by family members towards people
with schizophrenia
Negative expressed emotions included critical comments, being hostile towards client, and being
emotionally over involved
Schizophrenia relapse is related to the family’s levels of negatively expressed emotions
- Confession is good for the spirit
Simply talking to someone makes it feel better
Catharsis: describes the way certain messages evoke powerful emotional reactions and subsequent
Culture Can Affect the Therapeutic Process
- Schizophrenia people may relapse more when emotionally involved in Japanese families than Indian
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- Ex. In China after the earthquake in 2008, psychotherapy arose, however, in Chinese traditional
beliefs, they distrust emotional expression and avoid seeking help for depression, anger or grief
- In India, mental disorders can be as debilitating as malaria, and therefore, because of the stigma of
mental disorders they use “strain” and “tension” to communicate mental health problems
Medication is Effective for Certain Disorders
- Drugs that affect mental processes are called psychotropic medications
- Psychotropic medications change brain neurochemistry
- Psychotropic medications fall under three categories;
1) anti- anxiety drugs
commonly known as tranquilizers
increase the activity of GABA inhibitors
2) antidepressants
used to treat depression
the first antidepressant discovered was MAO, monoamine oxidase
MAO is an enzyme that converts serotonin to another chemical form
3) Antipsychotics
known as neuroleptics
Used to treat disorders that involve psychosis and schizophrenia
Can cause tardive dyskinesia, the involuntary twitching of muscles
Can cause problems with white blood cells
- Lithium for bipolar disorders
- Anti convulsants to prevent seizures
Alternative Biological Treatments Are Used in Extreme Cases
- Electroconvulsive Therapy
Was developed in Europe
Involves placing electrodes on a patient’s head and administering electrical currents strong enough
to produce a seizure
Powerfully effective for those who suffer from depression
- Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
Transcranial magnetic stimulation produces a magnetic field by a powerful electrical current that
helps to interrupt neural functions in the brain’s region by being switched on and off
For example, the pulse given over a motor region might interfere with a person’s ability to reach
smoothly toward an object
- Deep Brain Stimulation
Surgically implants electrodes deep within a person’s brain and uses mild electricity to stimulate
the brain at an optimal frequency
Deep brain stimulation was first widely used to treat Parkinson’s disease
Deep brain stimulation has a few side effects and a low complication rate
May be especially valuable for treating sever OCD and depression
Therapies Not Supported by Scientific Evidence Can Be Dangerous
What are the Most Effective Treatments
Treatments That focus on Behaviour and on Cognition Are Superior for Anxiety Disorders
- Specific Phobias
Characterized by fear and avoidance of particular stimuli
Systematic desensitization therapy, the client first makes a fear hierarchy
The next step is relaxation training
Exposure therapy is often the next step
The client is supposed to use their relaxation response when exposed to their fears
Psychotherapy effectively rewires the brain from the findings of those treatments that were
- Panic Disorder
The most important psychotherapeutic method for treating panic disorders is based on cognitive
behavioural therapy
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
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