Psychological Model of Abnormal Behaviour

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Following the referral letter and based on the description of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders ((DSM-IV, 1994), Mrs Tan is diagnosed with clinical depression. She suffers from insomnia, feelings of worthlessness and inappropriate guilt. Thus, the most suitable therapy for her is Cognitive-behavioural therapy. Aaron Beck’s ‘Cognitive Therapy’ (CT) is one main stream of source for Cognitive-behavioural theory. An obvious characteristic of depression is when a subject continuously sees things around him in a dysfunctional manner. According to Beck (1967), this is called the ‘negative triad’. These negative thinking patterns bring about symptoms such as a depressive disorder, affective, behavioural, somatic and motivational; traits observed in Mrs Tan. Mrs Tan is observed to have perceived and evaluated behavior because of the assumptions she makes through experience. However, these assumptions are not enough to aggravate clinical depression. Problems only arise when activating episodes occur and coincide with aspects of an individual’s personal system of beliefs. Upon activation, dysfunctional assumptions lead to an increase in ‘negative automatic thoughts’. These will in turn lead to depressive symptoms such as withdrawal, anxiety and, guilt. Hence, rational thoughts are disrupted. It is a common misconception that depression is caused by negative thinking. According to the cognitive model, depression contains negative thinking itself. Mrs Tan’s low mood and self-neglect compound the problem, creating further lowering of mood. Cognitive behaviour therapy is a directive, structured, and psycho-educational approach. There are three main assumptions underlying CBT. Firstly, emotions and behaviours are determined by thinking, secondly, emotional disorders result from negative and unrealistic thinking, lastly, by altering this negative and unrealistic thinking, emotional disturbances can be reduced. CBT requires the following procedures to be...
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