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Psychodynamic therapies

Attempt to undercover repressed childhood experiences that are thought to explain a client's current difficulties.
These techniques, which use free association, dream analysis, & transference, are associated with the first such therapy - Freud's psychoanalysis - and are still used by some psychodynamic therapists today

Brief psychodynamic therapy

May required only 1 or 2 visits per week for as few as 12 to 20 weeks.
Found to be as effective as other psychotherapies.
Comparable to other forms of psychotherapy in terms of successful outcomes
Most effective with clients who do not have multiple psychological disorders, who lack significant social relationship problems, & who believe that the therapy will be effective

Somatoform disorders

Involve physical symptoms that are due to psychological causes rather than any known medical condition

Psychological disorders

Mental processes and/or behavior patterns that cause emotional distress and/or substantial impairment in functioning

Social phobia

People are intensely afraid of any social or performance situation in which they might embarrass or humiliate themselves in front of others by shaking, blushing, sweating, or in some other way appearing clumsy, foolish, or incompetent


People with an intense fear of being in a situation form which immediate escape is not possible or in which help would not be available if she or he should become overwhelmed by anxiety or experience

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

Anxiety disorder in which a person suffers from recurrent obsessions or compulsions, or both.
Genetic component rather than environmental


Persistent, involuntary thoughts, images, or impulses that invade consciousness & cause a person great distress


Persistent, irresistible, irrational urge to perform an act or ritual repeatedly

Unbearable stress

Trigger of dissociative personality disorder

Dissociative personality disorder

People lose the ability to consciously integrate their identities.
Consciousness becomes dissociated form their identity or their memories of important personal events or both.
They could have 10 or more personalities
You won't see it in childhood
They loose track of time while changing personality

Positive symptoms of schizophrenia

Delusions of grandeur
Delusions of persecution

Negative symptoms of schizophrenia

Loss of or deficiency in thoughts & behaviors that are characteristic of normal functioning
Social withdrawal
Loss of motivation
Lack of goal-directed activity
Very limited speech
Slowed movements
Poor hygiene & grooming
Poor problem-solving abilities
Distorted sense of time


Main neurotransmitter of OCD


Imaginary sensations


False beliefs not generally shared by others in the culture

Delusions of grandeur

People may believe they are a famous person or a powerful or important person who possesses some great knowledge, ability, or authority

Delusions of persecution

People have a false notion that some person or agency is trying to harass, cheat, spy on, conspire against, injure, kill, or in some other way harm them

Bipolar Disorder

Condition in which individuals exhibit two radically different moods - extreme highs of manic episodes (or mania) & the extreme lows of major depression - usually with relatively normal periods in between

Person centered therapy

Therapy where the person is the expert of their own condition.
Therapist doesn't say much if anything at all.


May take the form of halting speech during free association, "forgetting" appointments with the analyst, or arriving late


The patient reacts to the analyst with the same feelings that were present in another significant relationship - usually with the mother or father

Panic attack symptoms

Palpitations of the heart
Tingling in the hands or feet
Shortness of breath

Anxiety disorder

Psychological disorders characterized by frequent fearful thoughts about what might happen in the future

Dissociative amnesia

Complete or partial loss of the ability to recall personal information or identify past experiences that cannot be attributed to ordinary forgetfulness or substance use

Dissociative fague

Disorder in which one has a complete loss of memory of one's entire identity, travels from home, & may assume a new identity

Dissociative identity disorder

Two or more distinct, unique personalities exist in the same individual, & there is severe memory disruption concerning personal information about the other personalities

Paranoid schizophrenia

Patients suffer from delusions of grandeur or persecution

Disorganized schizophrenia

Most serious type of schizophrenia
Tends to occur at an earlier age than other types
Marked by extreme social withdrawal, hallucinations, delusions, silliness, inappropriate laughter, grimaces, grotesque mannerisms, & other bizarre behaviors.

Catatonic schizophrenia

Patients display complete stillness & stupor or great excitement & agitation or they alternate rapidly between the two.
They become frozen in a strange posture or position & remain there for hours without moving

Undifferentiated schizophrenia

General term used when schizophrenia symptoms either do not conform to the criteria of any one type of schizophrenia or conform to more than one type

Personality disorder

A long-standing, inflexible, maladaptive pattern of behaving & relating to others, which usually begins early in childhood or adolescence.

Symptoms of paranoid personality disorder

Cluster A
Individual is highly suspicious, untrusting, guarded, hypersensitive, easily slighted, lacking in motion
Holds grudges

Symptoms of schizoid personality disorder

Cluster A
Individual isolates self from others
Appears unable to form emotional attachments
Behavior may resemble that of autistic children

Symptoms of schizotypal personality disorder

Cluster A
Individual dresses in extremely unusual ways
Lacks social skills
May have odd ideas resembling the delusions of schizophrenia

Symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder

Cluster B
Individual has exaggerated sense of self-importance & entitlement
Self-centered, arrogant, demanding, exploitive, envious
Craves admiration & attention
Lacks empathy

Symptoms of histrionic personality disorder

Cluster B
Individual seeks attention & approval
Overly dramatic
Self-centered, shallow, demanding, manipulative, easily bored, suggestible, craves excitement
Often is attractive & sexually seductive

Symptoms of borderline personality disorder

Cluster B
Individual is unstable in mood, behavior, self-image, & social relationships
Has intense fear of abandonment
Exhibits impulsive & reckless behavior & inappropriate anger
Makes suicidal gestures & performs self mutilating acts

Symptoms of antisocial personality disorder

Cluster B
Individual disregards rights & feelings of others
Manipulative, impulsive, selfish, aggressive, irresponsible, reckless, & willing to break the law, lie, cheat, & exploit others for personal gain, without remorse
Fails to hold jobs

Symptoms of obsessive-compulsive personality disorder

Cluster C
Individual is concerned with doing things the "right" way & is generally a perfectionist
Relationships are emotionally shallow

Symptoms of avoidant personality disorder

Cluster C
Individual fears criticism & rejection
Avoids social situations in order to prevent being judged by others

Symptoms of dependent personality disorder

Cluster C
Person overly dependent on others for advice & approval; may cling to lovers & friends, fearing abandonment


Manual providing a diagnostic system for describing & classifying psychological disorders
Most current edition was made in 2000
Contains descriptions about 300 specific psychological disorders & lists criteria that must be met in order to make a particular diagnosis

Types of anxiety disorders

Panic attacks

Approaches to treat mood disorders

Talk with family & friends
Prayer or meditation
Help others
Take a bath or shower
Play with a pet

Gestalt therapy

Fritz Perls
Emphasizes the importance of clients' fully experiencing, the present moment, their feelings, thoughts, & actions & then taking responsibility for them

Cognitive therapies

Based on the cognitive perspective
Assume maladaptive behavior that can result from irrational thoughts, beliefs, ideas, which the therapist tries to change
Used in therapy

Ideal treatment in therapy

Family therapy is the best option

Family therapy

Family members enter therapy as a group & the therapist attempts to help them reach agreement on certain changes that will help heal the family unit, improve communication problems, & create more understanding & harmony within the group

Group therapy

Several clients (7-10) meet regularly with one or more therapists to resolve personal problems

Suicide statistics

30,000-31,000 suicides are reported annually in the USA
Suicide rate among Asian Americans who are over the age of 65, at 17 per 100,000 is half that of White American males
White males aged 85+ have the highest recorded suicide rate with more than 51 suicides for every 100,000 people in that age group, about 5 times the average national suicide rate of 11 per 100,000

Therapy for depression

Antidepressant drugs act as mood elevators for people who are severely depressed & are also helpful in the treatment of certain anxiety disorders

How to determine abnormal behavior

1. Is the behavior considered strange within the person's own culture?
2. Does the behavior cause personal distress?
3. Is the behavior maladaptive?
4. Is the person a danger to self or others?
5. Is the person legally responsible for his/her acts?

Biological perspective

Views abnormal behavior as arising from a physical cause, such as genetic inheritance, biochemical abnormalities or imbalances, structural abnormalities within the brain, and/or infection

Biopsychosocial perspective

Agrees that the physical (biological) causes are of central importance but also recognizes the influence of psychological & social factors

Psychodynamic perspective

Maintains that psychological disorders stem from early childhood experiences & unresolved, unconscious conflicts, usually of a sexual or aggressive nature

Learning perspective

Psychological disorders are thought to be learned & sustained in the same way as any other behavior

Cognitive perspective

Suggests that faulty thinking or distorted perceptions can contribute to some types of psychological disorders

Specific phobia

Marked fear of a specific object or situation.
This general label is applied to any phobia other than agoraphobia & social phobia.

Major depressive disorder

People feel an overwhelming sadness, despair, & hopelessness, and they usually lose their ability to experience pleasure

Interpersonal therapy (IPT)

Brief psychodynamic therapy that has proven very effective in the treatment of depression
Can be carried out with individual clients or with groups
Designed specifically to help clients understand & cope with 4 types of interpersonal problems commonly associated with major depression

Humanistic therapies

Psychotherapies that assume that people have the ability & freedom to lead rational lives & make rational choices

Behavior therapy

Treatment approach consistent with the learning perspective on psychological disorders - that abnormal behavior is learned

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