When reviewing theory & therapy we will always look at these four perspectives:
I have stressed in general psychology and now in abnormal psychology that when you see the different perspectives, you should be able to identify key elements about each perspective immediately. When you have knowledge of their differences you will be better able to look at each theory and see how the therapy and/or treatment relates to that theory!
Dissociative Disorders: Theory & Therapy
Psychodynamic Perspective: Defense Against Anxiety
It was Freud who argued dissociation disorders were neuroses that were extreme and maladaptive defenses. You can almost hear Freud talking about defense mechanisms and how the individual tries to protect himself. Remember that Freud learned hypnosis from his friend Dr.Mesmer and used this with his clients, early on.
Psychodynamic therapy is the most common treatment for these disorders. It may involve using hypnosis to have repressed memories revealed. Hypnosis may bring on or exacerbate the symptoms. This memory retrieval may retraumatize the individual. Therefore, it is important to retrieve memory gradually and this makes for a long process (treatment procedure) for 'dissociative identity disorder" patients.
Behavioral & Sociocultural Perspective: Dissociation as a Social Role
Dissociative disorders are seen as a form of learned
coping responses that produce symptoms in order to obtain rewards or relief from stress.
Can't you hear B.F.Skinner talking to you about learning and learning principles?
Sociocultural perspective views
symptoms as product of social reinforcement. It is seen as a strategy to evoke sympathy
and to escape responsibility for certain actions performed by non-responsible part
of self. The patient and therapist's attention help to create disorder. Research
reveals that when a situation demands it and appropriate cues are given,
"personalities" can be manufactured.
How might we treat dissociation effectively according to the behavioral perspective? We must stop reinforcing these behaviors. The treatment should involve expressing no interest "in alters" and expecting the patient to take responsibility for the actions they have committed.
When your behavior is reinforced by consequences, is this believed to be
classical conditioning or operant conditioning?
Click the worm to see my answer!
Cognitive Perspective: Memory Dysfunction
Cognitive theorists view
the dissociative syndromes as fundamentally disorders of memory. I like the way they
state," what has been dissociated is all or part of the person's autobiography."
The individual can still do things and his or her general knowledge are usually intact.
The Biological Perspective: Brain Dysfunction
Some dissociative disorders may
be neurological disorders.
I shall put four banners to emphasize what comes to my mind immediately when I see each perspective; these are just clips or phrases.
© STCC Foundation Press, 2014! Content by Carol A. Roberts