Term Paper: IQ Discrimination

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Schizophrenia is a brain disorder that interferes with a person's ability to think clearly, manage emotions, make decisions and relate to others. The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (www.nami.org/helpline/schizophrenia.htm) describes the cause as-"like many other medical illnesses such as cancer or diabetes, schizophrenia seems to be caused by a combination of problems including genetic vulnerability and environmental factors..."

Almost all publications (fact sheets, brochures, articles, etc.) describe mental illnesses as medical illnesses, despite their behavioral component. This is based on the fact that there is agreement that there is a chemical imbalance underlying these illnesses. Modern technology, for example MRIs, have allowed the physical examination of the brain confirming that mental illnesses involve physiological problems. Behavior therapy or psychotherapy is no longer relied on as the only treatment for mental illnesses. The use of drugs or chemicals has advanced as effective treatments, especially with the clearer understanding of the chemical imbalances in the brain that cause these mental illnesses. Diagnosis and treatment of mental illness now depend heavily on psychiatrists. It is noteworthy that a psychiatrist is described as a medical doctor who specializes in mental disorders

Considering all of this, it is clear that mental illnesses must also be considered as medical illnesses.


Marano, Haran Estroff (1999). Depression beyond serotonin. Psychology Today. March 1999. 30-41

National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. Anxiety Disorders Fact Sheet. Retrieved from the world wide web. www.nami.org/helpline/anxiety9909.html

National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. Schizophrenia Fact Sheet. Retrieved from the World Wide Web.

A www.nami.org/helpline/schizophrenia.htm

The Effectiveness of Various Therapies.

Therapy is a treatment process that uses specialized techniques of caring that have been designed to offer effective, long lasting help for people suffering from a wide range of difficulties, such as emotional distress, anxiety, marital strife, fears, a significant loss or a clinical disorder. Therapy can also help fulfill aspirations for personal growth or self-improvement" (www.4therapy.com).The therapist helps the client to make personal and life changes. The basic approaches to therapy can be classified as-: biomedical therapies, electro-convulsive treatment and psychotherapy.


Treatment with medications has benefited many patients with emotional, behavioral and mental disorders and is often combined with other therapies. "Some people who suffer form anxiety, bipolar disorder, major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and schizophrenia find their symptoms improve dramatically through careful monitoring of appropriate medication. (www.mentalhealth.org).


This is generally reserved for patients with severe mental disorders who are unresponsive to or unable to tolerate medication or other treatments. It is used with major depression, psychosis (delusions or hallucinations) and selected cases of schizophrenia. ECT remains one of the most effective treatments for depression. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that 80-90% of people with severe depression improve dramatically with ECT (www.nimh.org).Though memory loss and other cognitive problems are common side effects of ECT, they are short-loved. Modern advances in ECT technique have greatly reduced the side effects of this treatment compared to earlier decades.


Psychotherapy is accomplished through a series of face-to-face discussions in which a therapist helps a person to talk about, define and resolve personal problems. This therapy seems to be more appropriate than medications and ECT for less severe forms of emotional distress. There are three main categories- psychodynamic, behavioral and cognitive. The psychodynamic explores relationships and experiences from early childhood. An example of psychodynamic approach is play therapy with children, where repressed feelings are allowed to emerge as the child symbolically acts them out using dolls, puppets, games and storytelling. Behavioral therapy focuses on changing unwanted behaviors through rewards, reinforcements and desensitization and uses various techniques and theories, such as assertiveness training, social skills training, operant conditioning, hypnosis/hypnotherapy, sex therapy and systemic desensitization. Behavior-oriented therapy is geared toward helping children see their problems as learned behavior that can be modified without looking for unconscious motivations or hidden meanings. Rewards and tokens are used as positive reinforcement. Cognitive therapy aims to identify and correct distorted thinking patterns that can lead to feelings and behaviors that may be troublesome, self-defeating or even self-destructive. The goal is to replace such thinking with a more balanced view that leads to more fulfilling and productive behavior. Cognitive behavior therapy is used with children and adolescents especially in treating anxiety, depression and issues involving social skills.

Other forms of psychotherapy have come out of these three. Cognitive-behavioral and interpersonal therapy help patients change the negative styles of thinking and behaving often associated with depression. Research on children and adolescents with depression support cognitive-behavioral therapy as useful initial treatment. Family therapy involves many members of the family and is usually short-term. Psychotherapy provides an increased insight or improved understanding of one's own mental state and so greater self- acceptance. Psychotherapy also helps patients to resolve conflicts that would otherwise be in the way of the patient living a reasonably happy and productive life.

Seligman (1995) reported that many efficacy studies have been done to determine the effectiveness of drug therapy and psychotherapy and that "these studies show, among many other things, that Cognitive therapy, interpersonal therapy, and medications all provide moderate relief from unipolar depressive disorder; that exposure and clomipramine both relieve the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder moderately well but that exposure has more lasting benefits; that cognitive therapy works very well in panic disorder; that systematic desensitization relieves specific phobias; that "applied tension" virtually cures blood and injury phobia; that transcendental meditation relieves anxiety; that aversion therapy produces only marginal improvement with sexual offenders; that disulfram (Antabuse) does not provide lasting relief from alcoholism; that flooding plus medication does better in the treatment of agoraphobia than either alone; and that cognitive therapy provides significant relief of bulimia, outperforming medications alone." He goes on to say that psychotherapy has not been adequately studied for effectiveness since it does not lend itself well to efficacy-type studies. However, Consumer Report conducted a survey on psychotherapy and drugs in 1994. Seligman believes that the study is a valuable one and the results are to be taken seriously. Some of the findings of this survey were that psychotherapy was indeed very effective; that long-term therapy worked better than short-term therapy and that no one form of psychotherapy was better than the other.


National Mental Health Information Center. Traditional Therapies. Retrieved form the World Wide Web.

A www.mentalhealth.org/publication/allpubs/ken980053/default.asp

National Institute of Mental Health. Depression research. Fact sheet. Retrieved from the World Wide Web.

A www.nimh.org/depressionresearch.htm

Seligman, Martin E.P. (1995). The effectiveness of psychotherapy. The Consumer Report study. American Psychologist. Vol.50 No.12. pp.965-974

4 therapy network. How does therapy work. Retrieved from the World Wide Web. http://www.4therapy.com/consumer/about_therapy/item.php?uniqueid=31&categoryid=27

Uses and abuses of personality testing.

Personality tests are used to shed light on a person's needs, attitudes, motivation and behavioral tendencies. They consist of questions that gauge a person's comfort level in five categories- whether we are social or solitary; whether we strive for more innovation or efficiency; the degree to which we stick to our position or accept others' ideas and whether we are more linear or flexible in our approach to our goals. Personality tests have been designed for use with children from as young as four years to adults. One of the drawbacks of these types of tests is that they do not measure functioning in the natural environment. Thus they must be used with caution. Personality tests have been used to assess the social behaviors of children and adolescents in attempts to assist them to improve their functioning in social settings-in school, within the family, etc. Personality tests have become more popular in organizations to match people with the most appropriate job or role in the organization.

Personality testing for children and adolescents involves several approaches including behavior rating scales, self-report inventories and projective techniques. Extremely common tools for assessing children are the drawings, inkblot test and verbal/story telling techniques. Five- twelve-year-olds are asked to draw the family doing something together. The drawing is then interpreted in terms of the distance between individuals and the degree of interaction among them. The most popular inkblot, the Rorschach, uses ten bilaterally symmetric inkblots for interpretation. The use of this test declined in the 1960s and 1970s because of inadequate reliability and validity. However there are clearer guidelines now for administering and scoring, and there is more normative data so that they can be used with children and adults. Story telling techniques include the Thematic Apperception Test, used with adults and children and the Children's Apperception Test. Halpin (1998) suggests that "few clinicians use systematic procedures for administration and true scoring is rarely done." He thinks that the interpretation of the story is influenced by what the examiner knows about the client and so there is not enough objectivity. Because of this susceptibility to subjectivity it is recommended that personality testing with children and adolescents be done with caution and be used in tandem with other types of assessments.

Personality testing has been gaining popularity in the business world. Although experts warn against too much emphasis on personality testing, reports… [END OF PREVIEW]

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