The Major Models of Abnormal Psychology
Jackson State University
Professor: Dawn D. McLin, Ph.D.
June 03, 2013
Mental illness has been a part of society for as long as man has been in existence. The understanding of mental illness has grown form trephining in the Stone Age to a more modern approach. There are six major models used to describe, explain, predict, and control mental illness. First the Biological or organic model (Kraepelin, 1883/1923, p. 20) belief that mental disorders have a physical or physiological basis, how our genes, hormones, and nervous system interact with our environment. The type of treatment recommend for this model is Biological interventions such as drugs, surgery, and diet. The key people who formulated these theories are: Wilhelm Griesinger (1817-1868) a German psychiatrist who believed that all mental disorders had physiological causes. In an 1883 publication, psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin (1856-1926) proposed that mental disorder could be directly linked to organic brain disorders and further proposed a diagnostic classification system for all disorders. Kraepelin system was the original basis for the diagnostic categories in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) established the germ theory of disease which was the (invasion of the body by parasitic microorganisms). In 1897, Richard Von Krafft-Ebing (1840-1902) A German Neurologist, inoculated paretic patients with pus from syphilitic sores and when the patients failed to develop the secondary symptoms of syphilis, Krafft-Ebing concluded that the patient had been previously infected by syphilitic. In 1905, a German zoologist, Fritz Schaudinn (1871-1906) isolated the microorganism that cause syphilis and thus paresis. These discoveries convinced many scientists that every mental disorder might eventually be linked to an organic cause (Sue, Sue, Sue, & Sue, 1976, p. 20). Therefore the Biological models states that mental illness is because by some abnormalities within the physical body such as bad genes, that may have been inherited from a parent or blood relative can increase your risks of becoming mentally ill. In addition to the bad genes we have hormones which play a significant role such as hormonal imbalance which deals with the chemistry in the brain and body that can lead to mental illness, or an ill structure of the nervous system and the environment, being pre exposed to drugs before birth can also lead to mental illness. Second, the Psychological models belief that mental disorders are caused by psychological and emotional factors rather than organic or biological one. The type of treatment recommend for this model is Dream analysis, free association, transference; locating unconscious conflict from childhood; resolving problem and reintegrating personality. The key people who formulated these theories are: Friedrich Anton Mesmer (1734-1815), an Austrian physician developed a highly controversial treatment that came to be called mesmerism which was the forerunner of modern practice of hypnotism. Mesmer techniques for curing illness involved inducing a sleeplike state, during which his patients became highly susceptible to suggestion. Mesmer was later declared a fraud. Mesmer power of suggestion proved to be a strong therapeutic technique in the treatment of hysteria. Lean-Martin Charcot (1825-1893), a neurosurgeon at La Salpetriere Hospital in Paris and the leading neurologist of his time. Charcot abandon hypnosis in favor of more traditional methods of treating hysteria which he claimed was caused by organic damage to the nervous system. Charcot technique did much to legitimize the application of hypnosis in medicine. Ambroise-Auguste Liebeault (1823-1904) and Hippolyte-Marie Bernheim (1840-1919) hypothesized that hysteria was a form of self-hypnosis. Their work demonstrated impressively that suggestion could...
References: Kraepelin, E. (1883/1923). Textbook of Psychiatry. : .
Sue, D., Sue, D. W., Sue, D., & Sue, S. (1976). Understanding Abnormal Behavior (tenth Ed.). Belmont, CA: Jon-David Hague.
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