Abnormal Psychology and Therapy
If you have an infection, you go to the doctor. There are many different treatments for any number of physical illnesses and disorders, but what if the illness or disorder is in your mind?
For psychology to have any validity as a science, research must show there is a common way to think, react, and feel amongst humans; uniform mental processes. So far, research has shown that one can study the behaviors of a small group and compare them to a larger population; however, some people’s thought processes might not fall along these lines of normal. Likewise, some thought processes are considered abnormal in human thinking.
Furthermore, normal and abnormal psychology are perceived differently in different cultures. To differentiate normal and abnormal psychology is similar to compared intelligences among individuals. For example, “Rosenhan concluded that the sane are sometimes insane. By the same token, the insane are sometimes sane” (Kowalski & Westen, 2011, Chapter 14). Although the perception of psychology varies, normal psychology is a socially acceptable behavior; a behavior that everyone does not consider out of the ordinary and is the norm in today’s society. In addition, to understand normal psychology, one must understand what is abnormal. Abnormal psychology is the study of people who psychologists consider mentally ill. Another term for abnormal psychology is psychopathology. An individual, who has an abnormal sequence of thoughts or behaves unusually and could harm their lives as well as the lives of others, is mentally unstable. In addition, “Over centuries, Western culture has attributed mental illness to a variety of causes, such as demonic possession, supernatural forces, witches, and Satan” (Kowalski & Westen, 2011, Chapter 14). Different cultures develop their own assessment of what is irregular behavior. In America, irregular behavior is an individual’s belief he or she are someone who may have...
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