Abnormal and Clinical Psychology: An Introductory Textbook

By Paul Bennett | Go to book overview

4
Beyond the individual
Very few of us live isolated lives that do not involve interacting with other people or the wider society. These interactions impact on our mental well-being. Good relationships, for example, appear to be protective against mental health problems. Poor relationships or living in a stressful environment increase our risk for such problems. This chapter considers two important social factors that influence mental health: the family and the social environment in which we live. It then considers how some of these problems may be ameliorated through family therapy or the use of health promotion and other public health interventions. The chapter then goes on to consider how cultural factors may influence the presentation and treatment of a number of mental health problems. By the end of the chapter, you should have an understanding of:
Theoretical models of the family and family problems
Interventions that involve the whole family
The impact of social and cultural factors such as socio-economic class, gender and ethnicity on mental health
How mental health problems may present and be treated across differing cultures
How health promotion and public health programmes may improve the mental well-being of individuals and populations.

Family models of mental health disorders

Family models of mental health disorders and their treatment are based on systems theory. This views the family or other social groups as an interrelated set of individuals. The behaviour of each person within the system does not occur in isolation. Instead, behaviour follows a principle of circularity in which no one behaviour is seen as starting or being the outcome of events. The behaviour of X affects Y, whose behaviour reciprocally affects X, whose response to this affects Y, and so on. Behaviours form a continuous causal loop, with no beginning or end-point. Change within this continuous set of behaviours can be achieved by intervening at any point in the system.

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Abnormal and Clinical Psychology: An Introductory Textbook
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations xiii
  • Acknowledgements xv
  • Part I - Background and Methods 1
  • 1: Introduction 3
  • 2: The Psychological Perspective 29
  • 3: Biological Explanations and Treatments 62
  • 4: Beyond the Individual 86
  • Part II - Specific Issues 111
  • 5: Somatoform Disorders 113
  • 6: Schizophrenia 141
  • 7: Anxiety Disorders 170
  • 8: Mood Disorders 205
  • 9: Trauma-Related Conditions 233
  • 10: Sexual Disorders 262
  • 11: Personality Disorders 289
  • 12: Eating Disorders 318
  • 13: Developmental Disorders 341
  • 14: Neurological Disorders 370
  • 15: Addictions 392
  • Glossary 421
  • References 427
  • Index 485
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