Clinical Psychology / Bulimia Nervosa Term Paper

Pages: 11 (5371 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Psychology

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] In the opinion of Hoshmand and Polinghorne in the year 1992, professional education must always be based on the development of a reflective judgment on the part of the student, who would then be able to effectively control the various existing biases that generally hamper or hinder their full comprehension of the issue, and also lessen their effectiveness as a clinical practitioner when the time came for them to begin their practice as a clinical psychologist. (Practitioner-Scholar Model: The Counseling Centre for Human Development, practitioner-scholar Model)

3. Influence of psychoanalysis

Psychoanalysis can be defined as the virtual family of psychological theories and methods that fall within the field of psychotherapy that has as its basic aim the clarification and the elucidation of the various connections between the unconscious components of an individual's mental processes in a systematic manner by tracing out the several different associations that the patient may have in the back of his mind. In classical psychoanalysis, for example, the basic subject matter that is used for the purpose of such analyses is the unconscious pattern of the life of the individual, which may become revealed to the patient as well as to the analyst, in what is also known as 'free associations'. When the analyst knows this, then he can start to help the patient, and therefore liberate him from the various unconscious barriers that he may have erected within himself for his own protection. These barriers are often referred to as 'transference' and 'resistance', that is, he is taken through paths of relatedness which are now no longer applicable to him or serviceable to him in any way. Basically, psychoanalysis seeks to restore to the patient his self-esteem and self-confidence so that he may be able to overcome the various rational and irrational fears in his sub-consciousness and become a better individual for it. (Psychoanalysis: Wikipedia)

There is a lot of confusion in people's minds about what psychology and psychiatry are, exactly. It must be made clear that a psychiatrist is an individual who has attended medical school and is a physician who has received specialized training in the field of psychiatry, and also in psychoanalysis, while a psychologist is an individual who holds a Doctoral Degree from a University, and who is in clinical practice, and who has done extensive research in his field. As a matter of fact, it is this research that differentiates the psychologist from others in the field, and when an individual desires to become a psychoanalyst, then he must study and train under a recognized psychoanalytic institute, where he will analyze the various intricacies and subconscious wants and desires of his patients in order to gain a better understanding about them. (Psychology and Psychiatry: A Guide to psychology and its practice)

4. Life Span Approach

The theory of life span development and its effect on clinical psychology cannot be ignored, and as in a life span of an average human being, the development of a human being from infancy to adolescence to early adulthood, and then to the inevitable ageing process is analyzed and researched, and this is the life span approach to psychoanalysis as well. (Child Clinical) According to the School of Psychological Sciences, the University of Indianapolis, which believes in following the scientist-practitioner method of training for its students of clinical psychology, the students are encouraged to create and to develop solid core knowledge of assessment, evaluation, intervention, and research skills, with a structured method of classes. This is what the study of clinical psychology generally focuses on, and the qualified student may adopt any one of the several different approaches that he has learnt, and apply them as he sees fit, in his treatment and cure of his patient. (Psy. D Program in Clinical Psychology)

C. Contributors to Clinical Psychology

Lightner Witmer and Wilhelm Wundt

Two of the more important contributors in the field of clinical psychology are Lightner Witmer and Wilhelm Wundt. Witmer as mentioned earlier was one of the most famous of the early clinical psychologists of his time, and he was also the inventor of the term 'clinical psychology'. He was also the founder of the very first psychological clinic in the year 1896. It was in the year 1908 that Witmer happened to publish his first journal of the 'Psychological Clinic', in which his article named 'Clinical Psychology' explained his work in the field for the past ten years, and also detailed the need for this new term 'clinical psychology' at that time. (History of psychology at Penn)

William James and Wilhelm Wundt are generally known as the Fathers of psychology' of their time, and also the founders of the first great schools of psychology in their time. Wilhelm Wundt was born in 1832, and it was in 1867 that he started a course that he called 'physiological psychology', according to which the primary focus would be laid on the border area between physiology and psychology, that is, on the various senses, and their reactions. In fact, his basic lecture notes would later on become his major work and his contribution to the field of psychology, which were entitled "The Principles of physiological Psychology." The method that was created by Wundt was this: an experimental introspection whereby the researcher was supposed to carefully observe any simple event, an event whose quality and intensity and duration could be effectively and accurately measured, and then record his responses to that event and also to variations to that event. (Wilhelm Wundt and William James)

Wilhelm Wundt also established the very first laboratory in the world that would be dedicated to experimental psychology, and this would prove to be a great development in the field of clinical psychology in later years, and as a matter of fact, all the subsequent psychological laboratories where philosophers and psychology students would be able to get together and share their views and opinions were modeled on this initial laboratory created by Wilhelm Wundt. (Wilhelm Wundt, German philosopher and psychologist)

D. Bulimia Nervosa

There are two types of people who have been afflicted with the disorder named 'bulimia nervosa', and while one is the 'purging' type, the other is the 'non-purging type'. Any individual with bulimia nervosa engages in the following cyclical actions, whereas on one hand he indulges in discrete periods where he will over eat considerably, on the other hand he will compensate for his previous over indulgence by several attempts to lose the weight that he may have supposedly gained during his bouts of over eating. One typical episode of over eating in an individual with bulimia nervosa would mean that he would consume an amount of food that one would normally consider to be excessive. (Bulimia Nervosa: International Eating Disorder Referral)

The basic factor in a bulimic's mind is the lack of control that he generally has over his own eating, and while on one side he may indulge in excessive or binge eating, he would invariably make attempts to compensate for this by self-induced vomiting, or by a misuse of laxatives, or by caloric restrictions achieved through dieting, or by using enemas, diuretics, and exercising excessively and so on. The bulimic may base his self-evaluation on his own perception of his body or image, and he would be an individual who is at all times excessively or obsessively concerned about his shape or his size and weight. (Bulimia Nervosa: International Eating Disorder Referral)

1. Definition of Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia Nervosa can therefore be defined as an 'eating disorder' wherein the affected individual more often than not indulges in consuming great amounts of food in one sitting, also called binging, and then compensates for his actions by vomiting or purging, both self-induced. As a matter of fact the vomiting is generally triggered by a fear of weight gain, and the individual may exhibit a stomach pain, and also suffer from a great amount of guilt due to over eating. In most of the cases of bulimia nervosa, the individual either misuses laxatives, or diuretics, or enemas, or some other forms of medicines that would cause him to eliminate the food that he would have consumed in the earlier bout of over eating. Self condemnation and feelings of depression and of guilt are all hallmarks of bulimia nervosa. As far as the diagnosis of the disorder is concerned, the individual must indulge in such episodes of over eating and then fasting for three moths in a row, and at least two times a week. (Definitions of bulimia nervosa on the Web)

Bulimia is often termed as a 'social epidemic', which is at present approaching epidemic proportions, not only in the U.S.A. But in most other parts of the world as well. The American Psychiatric Association has brought out both practice… [END OF PREVIEW]

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