Ch. 16 – Therapies

Biological Therapies
  • Biological therapies, or biomedical therapies, are treatments that relieve or get rid of the psychological disorders' symptoms by changing how the body functions.
  • Drug Therapy
    • Antianxiety Drugs- also known as tranquilizers, these are drugs that reduce anxiety by calming a person down.
    • Antidepressant Drugs- are drugs that control mood.

How Prozac Works

      1. Lithium is the lightest solid element on the periodic table of elements, and is used extensively to treat bipolar disorder.
    • Antipsychotic Drugs- these are a very powerful drug that reduce agitated behavior and tension, decrease the frequency of hallucinations, improve behavior in social places, and help improve sleep patterns in patients with severe psychological disorders such as schizophrenia.
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy
    • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), or shock therapy, is a treatment, which is most commonly used to help patients with depression, which causes the brain to have a seizure.
    • Deep Brain Stimulation- this is a procedure for depression that is resistant to treatment, it involves electrodes being implanted into the brain they then emit signals to alter the brain’s electrical circuitry
  • Psychosurgery
    • Psychosurgery, has effects that cannot be reversed, it involves removing or destroying the brain tissue in order to improve a patient's adjustment.

  • Psychotherapy is a nonmedical process that helps patients with psychological disorders realize their problems and ultimately overcome them.
  • Psychodynamic Therapies
    • Psychodynamic therapies are treatments that put an importance on the unconscious, let the therapist interpret, and also use the role of early childhood experiences in the patient's development of problems.
    • Psychoanalysis- is Sigmund Freud's therapeutic technique for analyzing the patient's unconscious mind and thoughts.
    • Free Association- a psychoanalytic technique that includes encouraging patients to say out loud anything that comes to mind, no matter what it is.
    • Interpretation- a psychoanalyst's search for something symbolic, or a hidden meaning behind what the patient said or did during the therapy session.
    • Dream Analysis- the interpretation of a patient's dreams
    • Transference- a patient's relating to the psychoanalyst in ways that recreate important relationships in the patient's life.


    • Resistance- a patient's unconscious defense strategy that interfere with the psychoanalyst's understanding of the patient's problems.
  • Contemporary Psychodynamic Therapies
    • Psychodynamic Therapy has changes a lot since it was first introduced.
    • Some contemporary psychodynamic therapists focus on the individual in social situations.
    • This was first suggested by Heinz Khoum.
  • Humanistic Therapies
    Client-Centered Therapy
    • Humanistic therapies are treatments that help patients to understand who they are and help them grow personally.
    • Client-Centered Therapy- or Rogerian therapy is a therapy in which the therapist provides an inviting atmosphere to improve the patient's self-concept and also to encourage the patient to receive insight into their problems.
    • Reflective Speech- a technique used by the therapist in which he/she mirrors the patient's feelings back onto them.
  • Behavior Therapies
    • Behavior therapies are treatments that use the principles of learning to reduce or eliminate poor or unwanted behavior.
    • Classical Conditioning Techniques
      1. Systematic Desensitation is a form of behavior therapy that is used to treat anxiety by having the patient associate relaxation with situations that the patient finds produces anxiety.
      2. Flooding is a more intense form of exposure, this is when an individual is exposed to a feared stimulus while not letting the patient avoid that same stimuli.
    • Operant Conditioning Techniques
      1. The idea behind using operant conditioning is that poor behavior can be learned the same way it can be unlearned.
      2. Applied behavior analysis involves establishing positive reinforcement between behaviors and rewards so that people can learn the good behavior and the poor behavior is removed.
      3. Example: Woman with OCD touches a door frame three times before she enters a room. The operant conditioning based therapy would involve the behavior being stopped and the avoidance is extinguished. Allowing the woman to experience no catastrophic events when she does not touch the door frame, and teaching her to relax, might eliminate the compulsiveness.
      4. Operant conditioning therapy has shown to be effective in helping those with OCD.
  • Cognitive Therapies
    • Cognitive Therapies are treatments that say cognitions, or thoughts, are what cause a psychological problem, the treatment attempts to change the cognitions in order to change the patient's feelings.
    • Ellis' Rational-Emotive Behavior TherapyEllis.jpg
        • Rational-emotive behavior therapy (REBT) states that people develop psychological disorders because of irrational and self-defeating beliefs, the goal is to eliminate those beliefs.
    • Beck's Cognitive Therapy began by saying that a psychological problem was developed because people think poorly about themselves, their world, and the future.beck.jpg
    • The following beliefs can occur if there are logical errors in thinking
      1. Perceiving the world has harmful even though there is evidence against this.
      2. Exaggerating because there are little examples to prove otherwise.
      3. Magnifying the importance of bad events.
      4. Engaging in absolutist thinking or exaggerating a comment made.
  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy
    • Cognitive behavior therapy is a combination of cognitive and behavioral therapy and it attempts to develop self-efficacy.
  • Cognitive Therapy for Psychological Disorders
    • Cognitive therapy has successfully treated some anxiety disorders, mood disorders, schizophrenia, and personality disorders.
    • Cognitive therapy is also used in the treatment of panic disorders.
    • Cognitive therapy also shows that it can treat post-traumatic stress disorder.
    • One of the earliest uses of cognitive therapy was for treating depression.
  • Therapy Integrations
    • Integrative Therapy- this is done when a therapist chooses a combination of techniques of the methods that will be most beneficial for the patient.

Sociocultural Approaches and Issues in Treatment
  • Group Therapy- is a sociocultural approach to psychological disorders, it brings together patients who have the same psychological disorders and they meet in sessions.group_therapy!.jpg
    • Family and Couples Therapy
    • Family Therapy- this is group therapy just with family members instead of other's with the same disorder.
    • The Four most commonly used family therapy techniques are:
      1. Validation
      2. Reframing
      3. Structural Change
      4. Detriangulation
    • Couples Therapy- this is group therapy with married or dating couples, and is used for those whose problems are within the relationship.
  • Self-Help Support Groups
    • Self-help support groups are a group of individuals who get together and just talk about different topics that they have an interest in.
    • The groups are managed by a paraprofessional.
      1. Paraprofessionals are people that do not have any formal mental health training, rather they have been taught by a professional to provide some services.
    • They play a valuable role in America’s mental health.AA.jpg
      1. AA or Alcoholics Anonymous is a self-help support group.
    • Self-help support groups can relieve stress for individuals who deal with it by seeking information from peers.
  • Community Mental Health
    • The community mental health movement began in the 1960s.
      1. Deinstitutionalization- this occurred after the Community Mental Health Act, when patients with psychological disorders were moved from mental institutions to community-base facilities.
    • Community mental health also includes training others who interact with the community members to offer counseling.
  • Cultural Perspectives
    • Ethnicity
      1. Researchers have found that when the therapist and patient are of the same ethnic background, the patient is less likely to drop out of therapy early.
      2. Therapy can still be an effective tool, even with the client and patient being of different ethnic backgrounds, as long as the therapist is culturally sensitive.
    • Gender
      1. Feminist therapists believe that traditional psychotherapy still has gender bias and has not addressed specific concerns for women.
      2. Feminist therapists also believe that woman must know about gender bias and discrimination if they are going to reach their mental health goals.

The Effectiveness of Psychotherapy
  • Research on the Effectiveness of Psychotherapy
    • A large amount of research point toward the fact that psychotherapy works.
      1. Many persuasive meta-analyses conclude that psychotherapy works well, and for many psychological disorders.
    • People who are considering seeing a psychotherapist do no just want to know if it works, but they also want to know what type will work best for them.
      1. The Dodo bird Hypothesis states that therapy works, and no one is better than others.
    • Patients also want to know how long it will take to get better or see results.
      1. Studies have shown that in psychotherapy, patient’s benefit at least through the first six months.
  • Common Themes in Effective Psychotherapy
    • The Therapeutic Alliance- this is the relationship between the patient and therapist, a strong therapeutic alliance is an important factor in successful psychotherapy.

    • The Client as an Essential Factor
      1. How well the patient participates in the sessions they attend will be the greatest determinant of their success.

Therapies and Health and Wellness
  • Well-being therapy (WBT) - this is a short-term therapy that encourages patients to think only about the positive.
  • It has been shown that psychotherapy helps patients with serious physical diseases, deal with that fact.
  • Psychotherapy can also help individuals by relieving physical symptoms directly or by reducing psychological problems that could lead to a physical illness.
  • Psychotherapy's goal is to reduce the presence of psychological illnesses, and to help with personal growth and psychological wellness.
    • Patients who grow in psychological wellness are less likely to have recurrent psychological distress.

Outside Resources

Therapy for Bipolar Disorder
A Study on How Brief Psychological Therapy Is Effective in Primary Care
History of Psychotherapy
How Cognitive Therapy is used to Treat Depression
A list of books and articles on Therapies and Psychological Disorders
Flashcards that help us learn the different Therapies for Psychological Disorders
Video: Electroconvulsive Therapy
Video: Using Systematic Desensitation & Flooding to cure Coulrophobia
Video: Psychoanalysis of the Grinch
Video: Using Cognitive Therapy on Veterans with PTSD
Review Questions

1. True or False: Biological Therapies is a nonmedical process that helps patients with psychological disorders realize their problems and ultimately overcome them.

2. True or False: Client-centered therapy is sometimes called Rogerian therapy.

3. Which therapy is linked with psychologist Albert Ellis?
A. Cognitive Therapy
B. Biological Therapy
C. Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy
D. Group Therapy

4. What term refers to a patient's unconscious defense strategy that interferes with the psychoanalyst's understanding of the patient's problems?
A. Transference
B. Resistance
C. Free Association
D. Dream Analysis

5. Whate term is defined as, when an individual is exposed to a feared stimulus while not letting the patient avoid that same stimulus?
A. Systematic Desensitation
B. Validation
C. Transference
D. Flooding

1. False
2. True
3. C, Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy
4. B, Resistance
5. D, Flooding