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Therapy Defined
 Therapy: techniques to help people deal with
psychological problems
 Focus on changing behavior
 Connected to theoretical perspectives and beliefs about
root of behavior
Providing Psychological Assistance
Psychotherapy: use of psychological
principles/techniques to treat mental health disorders;
assumes root is psychological
Biological therapy: use of medications or other
medical interventions to treat problems; assumes root is
Who Is Qualified to Give Therapy?
 Clinical psychologists, licensed counselors, etc.
 Master’s degree is minimum
 Psychiatrists or other MDs are only professionals legally
allowed to prescribe medication
Modern Psychoanalysis
Psychodynamic or short-term dynamic therapy
Addresses current problems rather than childhood issues
Short-term (no more than a few months) and effective
Not as effective for depression, schizophrenia, autism
Humanistic Therapy: Empathizing to Empower
Focuses on conscious actions taken to control behavior
Believe behavior driven by view of world and awareness
of feelings
Clients are striving towards personal growth
Behavior Therapies: Learning Healthier Behaviors
 Behavior therapy focuses on changing current behaviors; also
called behavior modification
 Behavioral perspective – behavior is result of environmental
stimuli and consequences
 Two categories of treatment: classical conditioning and
operant conditioning techniques
Social Cognitive Therapy
Ellis’s Rational-Emotive Therapy (RET)
Rational emotive therapy: psychological problems stem
from how people think about and interpret life events
Faulty or irrational beliefs are identified
Generally effective in treatment of depression and
certain anxiety disorders
Beck’s Cognitive Therapy (CBT)
Distorted thinking (cognitive distortions) - negative
automatic, thought patterns lead to depression, anxiety,
low self-esteem
Less confrontational than RET; therapist and client work
together to identify thought patterns, test validity of
those, work on changing
Effective with depression, anxiety disorders, preventing
Biomedical Treatment
 Medications used to treat mental health problems
 Not a cure, but can reduce symptoms
 Stabilizes symptoms so psychological issues can be
Psychopharmacological treatments
 Antipsychotics – schizophrenia
 Antidepressants – SSRIs – depression and panic disorders
 Lithium – bipolar
 Antianxiety – anxiety and panic disorders
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
Series of treatments; anesthesia and muscle relaxant
given; volts passed through brain inducing seizure; quick,
Treatment of last resort for depressed patients
 Operations that damage brain tissues in the frontal lobe to
treat mental illness
 50,000 performed in the U.S. (1935-1955)
 video