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Flashcards in Psychopathology Deck (56):

What is Ellis’s cognitive explanation of depression (1962)?

- Irrational thinking is the root cause of maintaining a depressed state
- Ellis sees activating as the trigger for depressive episodes


What are the behavioural characteristics associated with depression?

- Lethargy
- Aggression and self-harm
- Loss of libido
- Change in sleeping patterns
- Withdrawal from work, school and social aspects
- Disruption to eating patterns
- Reduced activity


What are the emotional characteristics associated with depression?

- Loss of feeling of pleasure
- Social confidence loss
- Empty feeling
- Irritability
- Aggression
- Lowered mood
- Anger
- Lowered self esteem


What are the cognitive characteristics associated with depression?

- Hypochondria
- Absolute thinking
- Memory impairment
- Highly repetitive negative thinking
- Concentration difficulties


How do Beck and Ellis's theories compare?

Causes occur during childhood
Phase one - negative triad
Phase two - automatic negative thoughts and negative behaviours
Phase three - a triggering event occurs
Causes occur after an event
Phase one - activating events
Phase two - beliefs/irrational thoughts
Phase three – consequences


What evidence is there for depression?

Grazioli and Terry (2000) assessed 65 pregnant women for cognitive vulnerability and depression before and after birth. They found that women judged to have been high in cognitive vulnerability were more likely to suffer post-natal depression.
Clark and Beck (1999) reviewed research and concluded that there was solid support. Critically, these cognitions can be seen before depression develops, suggesting that Beck may be right about cognition causing depression.


What is critical evidence for Ellis’s theory?

- It only applies to some kinds of depression because depression is different for different people
- It doesn’t explain the anger associated with depression, and it doesn’t explain why people have hallucinations and delusions


What is supporting evidence for Ellis’s theory?

It has led to successful therapy


What are consequences?

Activating event triggers irrational belief. This produces emotional and behavioural consequences.


What are activating events?

Irrational thoughts triggered by external events


What are the key aspects of Ellis’s theory?

- Activating events
- Beliefs and emotions
- Consequences


What are beliefs?

A range of irrational beliefs


What are the features of cognitive behaviour therapy?

- 20 sessions over 16 weeks
- It teaches clients to think and challenge their negative thoughts and perceptions


What are the key aspects/features of cognitive behaviour therapy?

- Behavioural activation
- Graded task assignment
- Negative thought capturing


What is behavioural activation?

- Clients discuss activities that give pleasure
- They investigate the barriers to engaging with these activities


What is graded task assignment?

- Clients develop goals which are increasingly demanding to complete for homework
- Aim to test reality of negative beliefs e.g. record enjoying an event


What is negative thought capturing?

- Recognising and challenging negative/irrational thoughts
- The therapist actively challenges
- It helps the client to develop more rational thoughts


What are the stages of Ellis's rational emotive behaviour therapy?

A - Activating events
B - Beliefs and emotions
C - Consequences of beliefs
D - Debating and disputing beliefs
E - Effective/helpful beliefs
F - Functional emotions and behaviours


What is the stage of debating and disputing beliefs?

- When the patient believes they are permanently unlucky
- The therapist would challenge as an irrational belief
- Opportunity for vigorous debate
- Provides evidence which contradicts the patients irrational beliefs


What is the stage of effective/helpful beliefs?

- Challenging and changing the irrational belief, the link between negative life events and depression is broken
- Healthier beliefs can therefore be incorporated


What is the stage of functional emotional and behaviours?

These beliefs should lead to healthier behaviours which will ensure a greater sense of happiness and well being.


What are the two behavioural treatments for phobias?

- Flooding
- Systematic desensitisation


What is systematic desensitisation?

The method whereby counter-conditioning is used to unlearn the maladaptive response to a situation of object, by eliciting another response (relaxation).


What are the three critical components to systematic desensitisation?

- Anxiety hierarchy
- Relaxation hierarchy
- Exposure


What is reciprocal inhabitation?

When one emotion prevents the other (e.g. you can't be relaxed and afraid at the same time)


What is the OCD cycle?

Anxiety --> Compulsive behaviour --> Temporary relief --> Obsessive thoughts --> Anxiety


What is an evaluation of systematic desensitisation?

One strength of SD comes from research evidence which demonstrates the effectiveness of this treatment for phobias.
McGrath et al (1990) found that 75% of patients with phobias were successfully treated using SD, when using in vivo techniques.
It's a form of treatment and patients report a reduction or absence of their symptoms.
This shows that SD is effective in treating phobias.


What is flooding?

When a person is exposed to the most frightening situation immediately


What is an evaluation of flooding?

One strength of flooding is it provides a cost effective treatment for phobias.
Research has suggested that flooding is comparable to other treatments, including SD and cognition therapies (Ougrin 2011), however it is significantly different.
In comparison, SD takes a lot longer due to using counter-conditioning to treat phobias.
This is a strength because patients are treated quicker and it is more cost effective for health service providers.


What does DSM V mean in terms of phobias?

Diagnostic Statistical Manual


What does DSM - 5 recognise?

- Specific phobias
- Social phobias
- Agoraphobia


What are specific phobias?

Phobias of an object such as an animal or body part or a situation like flying or injections


What are social phobias?

Phobias of a social situation such as public speaking or using a public toilet


What is agoraphobia?

The fear of being outside or in a public place


What are examples of specific phobias?

- Arachnophobia (spiders)
- Claustrophobia (small spaces)


What are examples of social phobias?

- Paruresis (public toilets)
- Glossophobia (fear of speaking)


What are the characteristics of phobias?

P - Panic
H - High levels of anxiety
O - Out of proportional fear
B - Beliefs which are irrational
I - Irrational fear
A - Avoidance
S - Selective attention


What are the behavioural characteristics of phobias?

- Avoidance
- Panic


What are the emotional characteristics of phobias?

- Out of proportional stress response
- High levels of anxiety
- Irrational and immediate fear


What are the cognitive characteristics of phobias?

Difficulty concentrating on anything else


What effective treatments have been produced due to research in psychology?

- Talking therapies
- Medication therapies
- Skills therapies


What does the two process model consist of?

- Initiation
- Maintenance


What happens during initiation?

- Classical conditioning
- Phobias can be learnt by association often involving a traumatic event


What happens during maintenance?

- Operant conditioning
- The ongoing avoidance or involuntary unpleasant physical response reinforces the association


What is statistical infrequency?

A behaviour is seen as abnormal if it is statistically uncommon or not seen very often in society. Abnormality is determined by looking at the disruption of a particular behaviour within society.


What are the strengths of statistical infrequency?

- Helps to define what level of behaviour counts as 'normal' and 'abnormal'
- It is relatively easy to determine abnormally using psychometric tests developed using statistical methods
- Once people have been diagnosed with help from this they can then get treatment to help them with their condition


What are the weaknesses of statistical infrequency?

- Defining people in this manner as abnormal or not has limitations as it doesn't take into account the desirability of the particular behaviour
- Someone having an IQ above or below the average IQ level would be considered abnormal


What is deviation from ideal mental health?

When you look at what makes someone 'normal' instead of 'abnormal'.


What is a good thing about deviation from ideal mental health?

It makes it clear to people the ways in which they could benefit from seeking treatment to improve their mental health.


What is a bad thing about deviation from ideal mental health?

Deviation from ideal mental health is probably of no value in thinking about who might benefit from treatment against their will.


What is deviation from social norms?

When you see someone as being away from normal and having acceptable behaviour in society.


What is an advantage of deviation from social norms?

Deviation can help social change.


What is a disadvantage of deviation from social norms?

An issue with deviation of social norms is cultural relativism.


What is failure to function adequately?

A person is considered abnormal if they are unable to cope with the demands of everyday life and live independently in society.


What is an advantage of failure to function adequately?

It is considered the subjective personal experiences of the patient. This considers the thoughts and feelings of the person.


What are the disadvantages of failure to function adequately?

It stems from individual differences. Someone with OCD may exhibit excessive rituals that prevent them from functioning adequately.