Abnormal Psychology


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Abnormal Psychology

Abnormal Psychology
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What is Abnormal Psychology?

Arnold Lazarus and Andrew Colman provide us with a very useful definition in their book where they note that:

"Abnormal psychology is devoted to the study of mental, emotional, and behavioural aberrations. It is the branch of psychology concerned with research into the classification, causation, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of psychological disorders or psychopathology. Its purview covers a broad spectrum of afflictions and includes neuroses, psychoses, personality disorders, psychophysiological disorders, organic mental syndromes, and mental retardation.

Abnormal psychology is not synonymous with clinical psychology, which is mainly concerned with professional practice and focuses primarily on diagnostic tests and the application of different treatment approaches. The essence of abnormal psychology is its emphasis on research into abnormal behaviour and its endeavour to classify the wide range of mental and emotional aberrations into coherent categories and to understand them. Abnormal psychology serves as a backdrop or guide to clinical practice."

Learn About Abnormal Psychology

The World of Abnormal Psychology

The world of abnormal-psychology is a video instructional series designed for college and high school classrooms and adult learners. Originally filmed in 1992 The series consists of 13 one-hour long programs and thanks to Annenberg Media, you can watch them all online for free.


1. Looking at Abnormal Behavior

The program visits the Jackson Memorial Hospital Crisis Center in Miami, where suicidal, depressed, and schizophrenic patients meet with psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers to assess the nature and seriousness of their problems. It also introduces the various theories used to explain and treat abnormal behavior.

2. The Nature of Stress

We see that stress affects many people — from the overworked and out-of-work, to survivors of suicide and homicide, to Vietnam War veterans who continually re-experience the stress of the battlefield. The program explores the long-term effects of stress and what is known about how to reduce them.

3. The Anxiety Disorders

Even in the best of times, we all experience some anxiety. But millions of Americans suffer from major anxiety disorders. This program examines two of the most common, panic with agoraphobia and generalized anxiety disorder, and shows how psychologists are making headway in treating them.

4. Psychological Factors and Physical Illness

This program examines the relationship between emotions and health to explore how psychological treatment can improve well-being. It focuses on a teenager with migraine headaches, a dentist trying to decrease his risk for developing heart disease, and a woman with breast cancer, along with those who are treating them.

5. Personality Disorders

One in ten Americans has a personality disorder. Some are mildly annoying; others are exceedingly dangerous. Viewers will meet individuals with narcissistic, anti-social, borderline, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorders, including a murderer and a group of women who mutilate themselves, and will learn about the challenges involved in both diagnosis and treatment.

6. Substance Abuse Disorders

Millions of Americans abuse alcohol, cigarettes, and cocaine. Health professionals know a great deal about these dangerous and costly disorders, including how to treat them. This program examines how the concept of treatment matching is used to help individuals overcome a variety of addictions.

7. Sexual Disorders

A man exhibits himself in public. A woman feels guilty about not desiring sex. An otherwise happy couple finds themselves at odds over sex. These people share their private problems and demonstrate how the assessment and treatment of sexual disorders has advanced in the past 25 years.

8. Mood Disorders

Depression is one of the most common psychological problems. In this program, psychologists and biologists look at the causes and treatment of both depression and bipolar disorder and show the progress that has been made in helping people return to productive and satisfying lives.

9. The Schizophrenias

In emotionally moving interviews, this program visits people who suffer from the hallucinations, paranoia, and psychological disarray of these disabling illnesses. In addition to examining symptoms and treatments, the program helps debunk some of the myths associated with the disorder and shows its human side and the strength of those who fight to overcome it.

10. Organic Mental Disorders

A teenager must relearn all the basic skills following a head injury. After years of alcohol abuse, a man loses his short-term memory. A woman sees her husband struggle against the ravages of Alzheimer's disease. Science and technology's role in treating these debilitating disorders is also examined in this program.

11. Behavior Disorders of Childhood

Almost all parents worry whether or not their child's behavior is normal. This program visits families of youngsters with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorder, separation anxiety disorder, and autism. In addition, experts in child development and psychology discuss how to differentiate abnormal behavior from developmental stages.

12. Psychotherapies

This program allows viewers to "sit-in" on five distinctly different kinds of psychotherapy: psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, Gestalt, couples, and group. Theory and practice are intertwined as these patients progress through therapy, sometimes trying alternative models for the same problem.

13. An Ounce of Prevention

Imagine a society whose citizens are protected from psychological disorders. This final episode visits several programs that are attempting to eliminate known risk factors — including social isolation and inadequate parenting skills — that often lead to serious disorders. The stories are touching; the results are promising.

CLICK HERE To Visit The World of Abnormal Psychology.

Recommended Reading

Abnormal Psychology: An Integrative Approach by David H. Barlow & Mark Durand

Book Description

Balancing biological, psychological, social and cultural approaches, ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY successfully blends sophisticated research (including new prevention coverage) with the most widely recognized method of discussing psychopathology. Going beyond simply describing different schools of thought on psychological disorders, the authors explore the interactions of the various forces that contribute to psychopathology.

A conversational writing style, consistent pedagogical elements, integrated case studies (95 percent from authors' own files), video clips of clients (on the free accompanying Abnormal Psychology Live CD-ROM), and additional study tools make this text the most complete learning resource available.

See following link for more details:

Abnormal Psychology: An Integrative Approach (with CD-ROM and InfoTrac®)

UK Visitors Click Here

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