UMass Amherst PSYCH 380 - Abnormal Psych - Chapt. 1 (3 pages)

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Abnormal Psych - Chapt. 1



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Abnormal Psych - Chapt. 1

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School:
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Course:
Psych 380 - Abnormal Psychology
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Thursday January 23 2014 Abnormal Psychology Chapter 1 Abnormal Psychology Past and Present What is psychological abnormality Abnormal functioning is generally considered to be deviant distressful dysfunctional and dangerous Behavior must also be considered in the context in which it occurs however and the concept of abnormality depends on the norms and values of the society in question What is treatment Therapy is a systematic process for helping people overcome their psychological difficulties It typically requires a patient a therapist and a series of therapeutic contacts How was abnormality viewed and treated in the past Prehistoric societies Prehistoric societies apparently viewed abnormal behavior as the work of evil spirits There is evidence that Stone Age cultures used trephination a primitive form of brain surgery to treat abnormal behavior People of early societies also sought to drive out evil spirits by exorcism Greeks and Romans Physicians of the Greek and Roman empires offered more enlightened explanations of mental disorders Hippocrates believed that abnormal behavior was caused by an imbalance of the four bodily fluids or humors black bile yellow bile blood and phlegm Treatment consisted of correcting the underlying physical pathology through diet and lifestyle The Middle Ages In the Middle Ages Europeans returned to demonological explanations 1 of abnormal behavior The clergy was very Thursday January 23 2014 influential and held that mental disorders were the work of the devil As the Middle Ages drew to a close such explanations and treatments began to decline and people with mental disorders were increasingly treated in hospitals instead of by the clergy The Renaissance Care of people with mental disorders continued to improve during the early part of the Renaissance Certain religious shrines becomes dedicated to the humane treatment of such individuals By the middle of the sixteenth century however people with mental disorders were being warehoused in asylums The Nineteenth Century Care oft hose with mental disorders started to improve again in the nineteenth century In Paris Philippe Pinel started the movement toward moral treatment Similar reforms were brought to England by William Tuke In the United States Dorothea Dix spearheaded a movement to ensure legal rights and protections for people with mental disorders and to establish state hospitals for their care Unfortunately the moral treatment movement disintegrated by the late nineteenth century and mental hospitals again becomes warehouses where inmates received minimal care The Early Twentieth Century The turn of the twentieth century saw the return of the somatogenic perspective the view that abnormal psychological functioning is caused primarily by physical factors Key to this development were the work of Emil Kraepelin in the late 1800s and the finding that general paresis was caused by the organic disease syphilis The same period saw the rise of the psychogenic perspective the view that the chief causes of abnormal functioning are psychological An important factor in its rise was the use of hypnotism to treat patients with hysterical disorders Sigmund Freud s psychogenic approach psychoanalysis 2 Thursday January 23 2014 eventually gained wide acceptance generations of clinicians and influenced future Current Trends The past 50 years have brought significant changes in the understanding and treatment of abnormal functioning In the 1950s researchers discovered a number of new psychotropic medications drugs that mainly affect the brain and reduce many symptoms of mental dysfunctioning Their success contributed to a policy of deinstitutionalization under which hundreds of thousands of patients were released from public mental hospitals In addition outpatient treatment has become the primary approach for most people with mental disorders both mild and severe prevention programs are growing in number and influence the field of multicultural psychology has begun to influence how clinicians view and treat abnormality and insurance coverage is having a significant impact on the way treatment is conducted Finally a variety of perspectives and professionals have come to operate in the field of abnormal psychology and many well trained clinical researchers now investigate the field s theories and treatments 3


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