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Ch 12: Psychological Treatments

About This Chapter

Find out how treatments for psychological disorders have evolved over time, from talk therapy to psychosurgery to antidepressants. We'll cover the basics of current and past treatments and outline the concerns about ethics and effectiveness that frame the field.

Psychology 101: Psychological Treatments

The treatment of psychological disorders has changed drastically as research into their symptoms and causes has grown more detailed and nuanced. Patients who were once stigmatized as 'madmen' and confined to asylums are now treated with the same level of thought and care as those with purely physical illnesses. Nevertheless, researchers still have a long way to go toward designing effective treatments with minimal side effects for all disorders.

In this topic, we'll cover some of the major kinds of treatments and address issues related to ethics and effectiveness. We devote one lesson to individual therapy, which is the kind of talk therapy you've probably seen on TV or in the movies. We'll go over some of the main approaches and highlight the advantages and disadvantages of each, tracing the evolution of individual therapy over time. We also have a lesson on group therapy. This type of treatment can be effective on its own or as a supplement to individual therapy, particularly when a patient's problems relate to social interaction. Support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous are also based on the principles of group therapy.

We'll review some of the most commonly prescribed psychiatric drugs, like antidepressants, antipsychotics and lithium. We'll talk about how these work in the brain, as well as the risks and side effects they're associated with. In the next lesson we'll look at other biological therapies, most of which were more common in the beginning of the 20th century. These therapies, such as electroconvulsive therapy and psychosurgery, sought to treat psychological disorders through physically altering the body. Finally, we'll talk about how to measure and improve treatment effectiveness.

From talk therapy to biological methods like medication and surgery, psychological treatments are varied in both purpose and method of action. The videos in this topic are intended to give you an overview of current treatment practices for psychological disorders and an understanding of how treatment has evolved over time.

6 Lessons in Chapter 12: Psychological Treatments
Individual Therapy

1. Individual Therapy

What are the different approaches to individual therapy? In this lesson, we'll watch as Mary tries to find the type of individual therapy that works best for her. Will she be able to overcome her problems? Let's find out!

Group Therapy

2. Group Therapy

When an individual has personal problems they want to work on with the help of a professional therapist, they don't necessarily have to do it one-on-one. They could benefit from group therapy instead. When is group therapy a good option?

Psychiatric Drugs

3. Psychiatric Drugs

Have you ever been curious about how psychiatric drugs work, or more specifically, which psychiatric drugs are used for which disorders? This lesson outlines some common psychiatric disorders and how various medications are used to treat and subdue psychotic symptoms.

Biological Therapy

4. Biological Therapy

Do you think psychological problems can be fixed with electric shocks or brain surgery? Find out more about biological treatments for mental problems and the controversial role they played in treating patients.

Treatment Effectiveness

5. Treatment Effectiveness

In this lesson we'll explore factors that contribute to treatment effectiveness in psychological treatment plans. We'll also analyze ways to assess effectiveness and the importance of doing so.

Depressants: Types, Examples & Facts

6. Depressants: Types, Examples & Facts

Explore the class of drugs known as depressants in this lesson. Learn more about the different kinds of depressants, how they are used in the medical field, and how they influence the central nervous system.

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