Abnormal Psychology and Therapy

Essay by Manuels1999University, Master's September 2008

download word file, 5 pages 1.7

Psychology is a huge science area with many variations on approach. Over many years Psychologists such as Freud, Skinner, Rogers and Watson, just to name a few, have contributed, providing us with invaluable tools to evaluate and treat mental illness, understand and treat phobias and indeed provide us with a window into the unconscious mind. 'Abnormal behavior' can be defined as behavior which is unusual, socially unacceptable, dangerous to themselves or others, or whether a person is in a significant amount of personal distress. However, each of these must be defined individually and the cultural background must always be taken into account. Although there is a continuum along which everyone will at some point suffer depressed moods, several different criteria must be taken into account before deciding whether the depressed mood a person may be suffering from is abnormal or not. The cause of the depressed mood also varies due to the many different paradigms, which have branched out, from psychology over the last few decades and even centuries.

The psychoanalytic and biological paradigms are two paradigms, which address the cause of depressed moods very differently. According to Agnes (2004), "in behavior, normal refers to a lack of significant deviation from the average. The phrase "not normal" is often applied in a negative sense (asserting that someone or some situation is improper, sick, etc.). Abnormality varies greatly in how pleasant or unpleasant this is for other people; somebody may half-jokingly be called "pleasantly disturbed". The Oxford English Dictionary defines "normal" as 'conforming to a standard'. This, although almost right, is not entirely correct. "A normal" is someone who conforms to the ideals of society. And if you went to the OED, there would be a picture of Tammy Budgell, of St. John's Newfoundland, as she is normal. This can be...