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Therapeutic theories

Person-centred counselling

Person-centred counselling: This is a form of therapy that was developed by Carl Rogers in the 1940s. It is based on the idea that people have the potential to grow and change if they are given the right conditions of empathy, congruence and unconditional positive regard by the counsellor. Person-centred counselling is also known as non-directive therapy because the counsellor does not give advice or tell the client what to do, but rather helps them explore their own feelings and experiences.

Psychodynamic theory

Psychodynamic theory is a form of psychotherapy that is based on the theories of Sigmund Freud, who is widely regarded as the founder of psychoanalysis. This therapy aims to explore the unconscious motivations and conflicts that influence a person’s behaviour and emotions. By bringing these hidden aspects of the self to the surface, psychodynamic therapy helps the person gain insight and resolve their psychological issues.

Behavioural theory

Behavioural theory is a psychological approach that uses techniques derived from learning theories to treat various mental disorders. It is based on the idea that behaviour can be influenced by the environment and can be changed through reinforcement or exposure. Behaviour therapy was developed by several researchers in the 20th century, such as Ivan Pavlov, John B. Watson, B.F. Skinner, John Dollard, Neal Miller, Joseph Wolpe, and Albert Bandura. They applied the principles of classical conditioning and operant conditioning to explain and modify human behaviour. Behaviour therapy has been used to treat phobias, anxiety disorders, depression, addiction, and other problems.

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Biological psychology

Biological psychology is a branch of psychology that studies the biological basis of behaviour, cognition, emotion, and mental health. It explores how the brain and the nervous system interact with the environment and influence human and animal behaviour. Biological psychology uses various methods, such as brain imaging, genetics, animal experiments, and neuropsychology, to investigate the relationship between mind and body. Biological psychology is also known as physiological psychology or behavioural neuroscience.

Social Psychology

Social psychology is a scientific field that explores how people’s thoughts, feelings, and actions are influenced by others and by social situations. It examines how people perceive themselves and others, how they form and maintain relationships, how they cooperate or compete, how they conform or resist, and how they change or stay the same. Social psychology helps us understand ourselves and the world around us by applying theories and methods from psychology to real-life issues and problems.

Theories of human behaviour
Self-concept and Rogers’ theory of personality

Self-concept is the perception that we have of ourselves, our answer when we ask ourselves the question “Who am I?”. It is formed and regulated by our interactions with others and our experiences in life. Rogers’s theory of personality emphasizes self-concept as a central factor in human behaviour. He believed that every person has an innate tendency to grow and achieve their potential, which he called Self-actualization. However, this process depends on the quality of the environment that provides us with genuineness, acceptance, and empathy. These qualities help us develop a positive and congruent self-concept, which means that our ideal self (who we want to be) matches our actual self (who we are). A positive and congruent self-concept leads to a fully functioning person who is open to new experiences, creative, and authentic.

cognitive theory

cognitive theory is a broad and interdisciplinary field of study that encompasses various aspects of human cognition, such as perception, memory, reasoning, problem-solving, decision-making, and learning. This theory aims to explain how the mind works, what are the mental processes and representations that underlie cognitive phenomena, and how they are influenced by biological, social, and environmental factors.

Attachment theory

Attachment theory is a psychological framework that describes how humans form emotional bonds with others. It proposes that the quality of these bonds depends on the early experiences of care and responsiveness from caregivers, which shape the expectations and behaviours of the individual in later relationships. According to attachment theory, there are four main types of attachment styles: secure, anxious, avoidant and disorganized.

The biomedical model

The biomedical model is a theoretical framework that assumes that mental health problems are caused by biological factors, such as genetic abnormalities, chemical imbalances, or brain dysfunctions. According to this model, mental disorders can be diagnosed and treated in the same way as physical illnesses, using objective methods such as laboratory tests, brain scans, or medication.

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The biopsychosocial model

The biopsychosocial model is a holistic approach to understanding health and illness that considers the biological, psychological, and social factors that influence a person’s well-being. According to this model, health is not merely the absence of disease, but a state of optimal functioning across multiple domains.

depression theories

The psychological approach to depression is assuming that mental disorders are caused by maladaptive thoughts, emotions and behaviours that interfere with one’s well-being and functioning. There are several theories that underpin this approach, such as:

cognitive theory of depression

cognitive theory of depression: This theory proposes that depression is the result of distorted and negative thinking patterns that lead to low self-esteem, hopelessness and helplessness. According to this theory, depressed people tend to have irrational beliefs, such as “I am worthless”, “I can never do anything right” or “The world is a hostile place”. These beliefs influence their perception of reality and their emotional reactions to events.

Behavioural theory of depression

Behavioural theory of depression: This theory suggests that depression is the outcome of learned helplessness, which is the tendency to give up and stop trying when faced with repeated failures or uncontrollable situations. According to this theory, depressed people have a low sense of self-efficacy and expect negative outcomes from their actions. They also tend to avoid or withdraw from rewarding activities that could improve their mood and motivation.

Interpersonal theory of depression

Interpersonal theory of depression: This theory emphasizes the role of social relationships and interactions in the development and maintenance of depression. According to this theory, depressed people have difficulties in communicating their needs and feelings, establishing and maintaining satisfying relationships, and coping with interpersonal conflicts and losses. They also tend to experience loneliness, rejection and isolation from others.

Psychodynamic theory of depression

Psychodynamic theory of depression: This theory focuses on the unconscious conflicts and childhood experiences that underlie depression. According to this theory, depressed people have unresolved issues with their parents or caregivers, such as anger, guilt or attachment problems. They also tend to repress or deny their true feelings and desires, which leads to a loss of identity and meaning in life.

Biological theory of depression

The biological theory of depression is based on the idea that depression is caused by “imbalances or dysfunctions of certain neurotransmitters” in the brain, such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine

trauma theories

The psychological approach to trauma is based on several theories that aim to explain how people cope with traumatic events and their consequences. Some of the main theories are:

The psychodynamic theory of trauma

The psychodynamic theory of trauma, which suggests that trauma triggers unconscious conflicts and defences that interfere with the integration of the traumatic memory. Psychodynamic therapy helps trauma survivors access and find resolution to their repressed feelings and impulses.

The behavioural theory of trauma

The behavioural theory of trauma, which assumes that trauma creates conditioned associations between stimuli and responses, resulting in avoidance, fear, and hyper-arousal. Behavioural therapy helps trauma survivors extinguish their conditioned reactions and learn new coping skills.

The humanistic theory of trauma

The humanistic theory of trauma, which emphasizes the impact of trauma on the sense of self and the need for meaning and growth. Humanistic therapy helps trauma survivors restore their self-esteem and find purpose and value in their lives.

Split-brain theory

The split-brain theory suggests that the two hemispheres of the brain can function independently and have different modes of processing information. trauma can affect the communication between the hemispheres, leading to dissociation, memory loss, or emotional dysregulation. By understanding how the split-brain theory relates to trauma, we can develop better interventions and treatments for trauma survivors.

Dissociative theory of trauma

The dissociative theory of trauma is a psychological perspective that explains how people cope with overwhelming and unbearable experiences. According to this theory, trauma can cause a split or dissociation in the person’s consciousness, memory, identity, or perception of reality. This means that the person may not fully remember or feel the traumatic event, or may feel detached from themselves or their surroundings. dissociation is seen as a survival mechanism that helps the person escape from the emotional and physical pain of trauma.

cognitive theory of trauma

The cognitive theory of trauma is a psychological framework that describes how traumatic events can affect a person’s mental processes and beliefs. According to this theory, trauma can disrupt the person’s sense of safety, predictability and control over their environment, and challenge their existing schemas or assumptions about themselves, others and the world. This can lead to cognitive distortions, such as overgeneralization, catastrophizing, self-blame or denial, that interfere with the person’s ability to cope and recover from the trauma. The cognitive theory of trauma also suggests that the person can heal from the trauma by modifying their maladaptive schemas and developing more adaptive and realistic beliefs that restore their sense of meaning and coherence.

Sociocultural theory of trauma

The sociocultural theory of trauma is a framework that examines how trauma affects individuals and groups within their social and cultural contexts. It recognizes that trauma is not only a psychological phenomenon, but also a product of historical, political, and interpersonal factors that shape the meaning and impact of traumatic events. The sociocultural theory of trauma also emphasizes the role of resilience, coping, and healing processes that are influenced by the availability and quality of social support, cultural values, and collective identity.

The NeuroAffective Relational Model (NARM)

The NeuroAffective Relational Model (NARM) is a cutting-edge method of psychotherapy that addresses the impact of attachment, relational and developmental trauma, also known as complex trauma. complex trauma can result from adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) that disrupt the normal development of the self and impair the capacity for connection and regulation. NARM integrates neuroscientific, somatic and relational perspectives to help clients heal from complex trauma and reclaim their authentic identity.

anxiety Theories

The psychological approach to anxiety is assuming that anxiety is a learned response to certain stimuli or situations that are perceived as threatening or stressful. The psychological approach aims to understand the cognitive, emotional and behavioural factors that contribute to the development and maintenance of anxiety, as well as the strategies that can help people cope with or overcome their anxiety.

The cognitive theory of anxiety

The cognitive theory of anxiety, which proposes that anxiety is caused by distorted or irrational thoughts and beliefs that exaggerate the likelihood or severity of negative outcomes. The cognitive theory suggests that changing these maladaptive cognitions can reduce anxiety and improve coping skills.

The behavioural theory of anxiety

The behavioural theory of anxiety, which suggests that anxiety is a result of classical or operant conditioning, where a neutral stimulus becomes associated with a fearful or aversive stimulus, or where a behaviour is reinforced or punished by its consequences. The behavioural theory emphasizes the role of exposure and extinction in breaking the associations between anxiety-provoking stimuli and responses, and in increasing positive reinforcement for adaptive behaviours.

The psychodynamic theory of anxiety

The psychodynamic theory of anxiety, which views anxiety as a manifestation of unconscious conflicts or impulses that are repressed or denied by the ego. The psychodynamic theory focuses on exploring and resolving these underlying issues through insight and catharsis.

The humanistic theory of anxiety, which considers anxiety as a natural response to the challenges and uncertainties of life, and as an opportunity for personal growth and Self-actualization. The humanistic theory emphasizes the importance of empathy, acceptance and unconditional positive regard in creating a safe and supportive environment for people to express and explore their feelings and needs.

stress theories

The psychological approach to stress is assuming that stress is a subjective phenomenon that depends on how individuals perceive and cope with the demands and challenges of their environment. There are several theories that underpin this approach, such as the transactional model, the cognitive appraisal theory, the coping theory, and the cognitive-behavioural theory.

The transactional model

The transactional model, proposed by Lazarus and Folkman (1984), suggests that stress is the result of a dynamic interaction between the person and the situation, in which both the person’s appraisal of the situation and their coping resources and strategies determine whether they experience stress or not. The model distinguishes between primary appraisal, which is the evaluation of the significance and meaning of the situation for the person’s well-being, and secondary appraisal, which is the assessment of the person’s ability to cope with the situation. The model also identifies different types of coping strategies, such as problem-focused coping, which aims to change or eliminate the source of stress, and emotion-focused coping, which aims to regulate or reduce the negative emotions caused by stress.

The cognitive appraisal theory

The cognitive appraisal theory, developed by Lazarus (1966), focuses on how people interpret and evaluate stressful events in terms of their personal goals and values. The theory proposes that there are three types of appraisals: harm/loss, which refers to the damage or loss that has already occurred; threat, which refers to the anticipation of future harm or loss; and challenge, which refers to the potential for growth or gain from overcoming a stressful situation. The theory also suggests that people can modify their appraisals through cognitive restructuring, which is a process of changing one’s thoughts or beliefs about a stressful situation to make it less threatening or more manageable.

The coping theory

The coping theory, proposed by Carver and Scheier (1994), emphasizes the role of self-regulation in managing stress. The theory argues that people cope with stress by pursuing personal goals that are relevant to their self-concept and values. The theory distinguishes between approach coping, which involves confronting or engaging with the source of stress, and avoidance coping, which involves withdrawing or distancing from the source of stress. The theory also proposes that people use feedback loops to monitor their progress toward their goals and adjust their coping strategies accordingly.

The cognitive-behavioural theory

The cognitive-behavioural theory, based on the work of Ellis (1962) and Beck (1976), assumes that stress is caused by irrational or distorted thoughts or beliefs that interfere with one’s perception of reality. The theory proposes that people can reduce their stress by identifying and challenging their negative thoughts or beliefs and replacing them with more realistic or positive ones. The theory also advocates for using behavioural techniques, such as relaxation training, exposure therapy, or assertiveness training, to enhance one’s coping skills and reduce stress-related symptoms.

Addiction theories

The psychological approach to addiction assumes that addictive behaviours are influenced by cognitive, emotional and social factors. Some of the main theories that underpin this approach are:

The learning theory

The learning theory, which suggests that addiction is a result of operant conditioning, classical conditioning and social learning. Operant conditioning refers to the process of reinforcing or punishing behaviours based on their consequences. Classical conditioning refers to the process of associating a neutral stimulus with an unconditioned stimulus that elicits a response. Social learning refers to the process of observing and imitating others’ behaviours and attitudes.

The cognitive theory

The cognitive theory, which suggests that addiction is a result of distorted or irrational beliefs, expectations and attitudes. cognitive theory proposes that addicts have cognitive biases that make them overestimate the benefits and underestimate the costs of their substance use. They also have faulty coping skills that make them rely on substances to deal with stress, negative emotions and challenging situations.

The biopsychosocial theory

The biopsychosocial theory, which suggests that addiction is a result of the interaction between biological, psychological and social factors. Biological factors include genetic predisposition, brain chemistry and physical health. Psychological factors include personality traits, mental health and motivation. Social factors include family background, peer pressure and cultural norms.

Eating disorder theories

The psychological approach to eating disorders assumes that eating behaviours are influenced by cognitive, emotional and interpersonal factors. Some of the main theories that underpin this approach are:

cognitive-behavioural theory

cognitive-behavioural theory: This theory proposes that eating disorders are caused by distorted beliefs and thoughts about body image, weight and food. These cognitions lead to maladaptive behaviours such as bingeing, purging, restricting and overexercising. cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) aims to challenge and modify these irrational beliefs and thoughts, and to teach coping skills and strategies to deal with negative emotions and stressors.

Psychodynamic theory

Psychodynamic theory: This theory suggests that eating disorders are a manifestation of unresolved conflicts and traumas from childhood, especially related to attachment, autonomy and identity. Eating disorders serve as a way of coping with these issues, as well as expressing emotions that are otherwise repressed or denied. Psychodynamic therapy focuses on exploring the unconscious motives and meanings behind the eating behaviours, and on developing a more integrated sense of self and healthier relationships.

Interpersonal theory

Interpersonal theory: This theory emphasizes the role of social and relational factors in the development and maintenance of eating disorders. According to this theory, eating disorders are a response to interpersonal problems such as loneliness, rejection, abuse, criticism or lack of support. Eating disorders can also affect interpersonal functioning by creating isolation, conflict and mistrust. interpersonal therapy (IPT) aims to improve interpersonal skills and communication, and to address the underlying issues that contribute to the eating disorder.

phobia theories

The psychological approach to phobias is assuming that phobias are the result of maladaptive learning processes and irrational beliefs that can be modified through various forms of therapy. There are three main theories that underpin this approach: psychoanalytic, learning-based and biological.

The psychoanalytic theory

The psychoanalytic theory, proposed by Sigmund Freud, suggests that phobias are the manifestation of repressed conflicts between the id and the superego, which are two parts of the psyche that represent primal impulses and moral values respectively. According to this theory, phobias are symbolic of some other internal source of anxiety that originated in childhood and was either repressed or displaced onto the feared object or situation.

The learning-based theory

The learning-based theory, influenced by Ivan Pavlov and other behaviourists, proposes that phobias are acquired through classical conditioning, operant conditioning or observational learning. Classical conditioning involves pairing a neutral stimulus with an aversive stimulus until the neutral stimulus elicits a fear response. Operant conditioning involves reinforcing or punishing a fear response until it becomes more or less likely to occur. Observational learning involves imitating or modelling a fear response after witnessing someone else’s reaction.

The biological theory

The biological theory, supported by neuropsychologists and medical researchers, posits that phobias are influenced by genetic factors and brain chemistry. This theory suggests that some people may have a genetic predisposition to develop phobias or a heightened sensitivity to fear stimuli. It also suggests that certain neurotransmitters and hormones may play a role in regulating fear responses, and that some medications may help reduce phobic symptoms by altering brain activity.

These three theories are not mutually exclusive and may interact with each other in complex ways to cause phobias. The psychological approach to phobias aims to identify and modify the underlying cognitive and behavioural factors that contribute to phobic reactions. The most common form of therapy for phobias is exposure therapy, which involves gradually confronting the feared object or situation in a safe and controlled environment until the fear response is extinguished.

post-traumatic stress disorder theories

The psychological approach to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is assuming that traumatic events can have lasting effects on the mental health and functioning of individuals. There are several theories that underpin this approach, such as:

The cognitive theory of PTSD

The cognitive theory of PTSD, which proposes that PTSD results from maladaptive beliefs and appraisals of the trauma and its consequences, as well as difficulties in processing and integrating the traumatic memories.

The emotional processing theory of PTSD

The emotional processing theory of PTSD, which suggests that PTSD develops when the emotional response to the trauma is not adequately processed and resolved, leading to fear structures that are easily activated by trauma-related cues.

The social cognitive theory of PTSD

The social cognitive theory of PTSD, which emphasizes the role of social factors and interpersonal relationships in the development and maintenance of PTSD, such as social support, stigma, attribution, and coping styles.

The learning theory of PTSD

The learning theory of PTSD, which views PTSD as a conditioned response to trauma-related stimuli, and explains the symptoms of PTSD as manifestations of classical and operant conditioning, such as avoidance, hyper-arousal, and numbing.

These theories provide a framework for understanding the psychological mechanisms and processes involved in PTSD, and inform the development of evidence-based interventions and treatments for individuals with PTSD.

obsessive-compulsive disorder theories

The psychological approach to obsessive-compulsive disorder (ocd) is based on several theories that attempt to explain the causes and maintenance of the disorder. Some of the most influential theories are:

The cognitive-behavioural theory, which proposes that ocd is caused by dysfunctional beliefs and interpretations of intrusive thoughts, images, or impulses. These beliefs lead to excessive anxiety and distress, which in turn trigger compulsive behaviours or mental acts to reduce the discomfort. The compulsions reinforce the beliefs and create a vicious cycle of obsessions and compulsions.

The learning theory

The learning theory, which suggests that ocd is a result of classical and operant conditioning. Classical conditioning involves learning to associate a neutral stimulus (such as a door handle) with a feared outcome (such as contamination). Operant conditioning involves learning to perform a behaviour (such as washing hands) to avoid or escape from a negative consequence (such as anxiety). The compulsions become habitual and resistant to extinction due to the intermittent reinforcement they receive.

The biological theory

The biological theory, which hypothesizes that ocd is influenced by genetic and neurobiological factors. This theory posits that ocd is associated with abnormalities in the brain regions and neurotransmitters involved in regulating emotions, impulses, and habits. For example, ocd may be linked to dysfunctions in the serotonin system, which modulates mood and anxiety. The biological theory also considers the role of environmental factors, such as infections, trauma, or stress, that may trigger or exacerbate ocd symptoms in genetically vulnerable individuals.

Bipolar disorder theories

Bipolar disorder is a complex mental health condition that affects mood, energy, and behaviour. The psychological approach to bipolar disorder aims to understand the psychological factors that contribute to the onset, course, and outcome of the disorder. Some of the theories that underpin the psychological approach are:

cognitive theory

cognitive theory: This theory proposes that bipolar disorder is influenced by distorted or irrational thoughts and beliefs that affect how people perceive and respond to their emotions and situations. For example, people with bipolar disorder may have unrealistic expectations of themselves or others, or may interpret events in extreme or negative ways.

Behavioural theory

Behavioural theory: This theory suggests that bipolar disorder is related to learned patterns of behaviour that are reinforced by environmental factors. For example, people with bipolar disorder may engage in behaviours that provide short-term relief or reward, but have long-term negative consequences, such as substance abuse or impulsive spending.

Interpersonal theory

Interpersonal theory: This theory focuses on how bipolar disorder affects and is affected by interpersonal relationships and social support. For example, people with bipolar disorder may have difficulties in maintaining stable and satisfying relationships, or may experience stressful life events that trigger mood episodes.

Psychoanalytic theory

Psychoanalytic theory: This theory explores the unconscious conflicts and childhood experiences that may underlie bipolar disorder. For example, people with bipolar disorder may have unresolved issues with their parents or caregivers, or may repress or deny aspects of their personality or emotions.

Borderline Personality Disorder theories

The psychological approach to Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is assuming that BPD is a disorder of mood and how a person interacts with others, and that it can be treated with various forms of psychotherapy. Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, is the first-line treatment for people with BPD, and it aims to help them cope with their emotions, impulses, and relationships.

There are different types of psychotherapy that have been developed and evaluated for BPD, such as Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Mentalization-Based Therapy (MBT), Transference-Focused Psychotherapy (TFP), Schema-Focused Therapy (SFT), and Systems Training for Emotional Predictability and Problem-Solving (STEPPS).

These therapies differ in their methods, duration, and intensity, but they share some common goals, such as reducing self-harm, improving functioning, and enhancing emotional regulation. The psychological approach to BPD is supported by evidence from clinical trials that show beneficial effects for both comprehensive and non-comprehensive psychotherapeutic interventions. However, more research is needed to compare the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of different psychotherapies for BPD, and to identify the factors that influence their outcomes.

Dissociative Identity Disorder theories

One of the main questions in the field of psychology is which theories underpin the psychological approach to Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). DID is a rare and complex mental disorder that involves the presence of two or more distinct identities or personality states in a single individual. According to Psychology Today, DID is often caused by severe trauma or abuse in childhood, and it can result in memory loss, depression, anxiety, and other symptoms that impair functioning. There are different psychological theories that attempt to explain the origin and nature of DID, as well as how to treat it effectively. Some of the most common theories are:

cognitive behavioural theory

cognitive behavioural theory: This theory suggests that DID is a result of dysfunctional thoughts and beliefs that stem from traumatic experiences. People with DID may develop different personalities to cope with their negative emotions and expectations. cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) aims to challenge and modify these thoughts and beliefs, and help people process their trauma and cope with their depression.

Dialectical behaviour theory

Dialectical behaviour theory: This theory proposes that DID is a manifestation of emotional dysregulation and lack of coping skills. People with DID may switch between different personalities to avoid or escape from overwhelming feelings or situations. Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) focuses on teaching people skills to tolerate distress, be mindful of the present moment, regulate their emotions, and communicate effectively with others.

Psychodynamic theory

Psychodynamic theory: This theory views DID as a defence mechanism against unbearable psychological pain. People with DID may dissociate from their core self and create alternative personalities to protect themselves from the reality of their trauma. Psychodynamic psychotherapy aims to uncover and resolve the unconscious conflicts and feelings that underlie DID, and help people integrate their different personalities into a coherent whole.

eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) theory

eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) theory: This theory assumes that DID is caused by unprocessed traumatic memories that are stored in the brain in a dysfunctional way. People with DID may have difficulty accessing or recalling these memories, or they may experience them as intrusive flashbacks or nightmares. EMDR therapy uses eye movements or other forms of bilateral stimulation to help people process and reconsolidate their traumatic memories, and reduce their emotional distress.

Schema theory

Schema theory: This theory posits that DID is a result of maladaptive schemas or core beliefs that are formed in early childhood as a result of unmet emotional needs or abusive relationships. People with DID may have schemas such as abandonment, mistrust, defectiveness, or shame, that influence their perception of themselves and others. Schema therapy aims to identify and modify these schemas, and help people develop healthy coping strategies and secure attachments.

Complex post-traumatic stress disorder theories

The psychological approach to complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD) is based on several theories that attempt to explain the development and maintenance of the disorder. CPTSD is a severe mental disorder that emerges in response to traumatic life events that are chronic or repeated, such as childhood abuse, domestic violence, or torture. CPTSD is characterized by three core post-traumatic symptom clusters (re-experiencing, avoidance, and hyper-arousal), along with chronic and pervasive disturbances in emotion regulation, self-concept, and relationships.

Some of the most prominent psychological theories of CPTSD are:

The emotional processing theory

The emotional processing theory, which proposes that CPTSD results from the failure to process the meaning and emotions associated with the trauma. According to this theory, successful processing requires accessing and modifying the fear structure that contains the traumatic memory, the stimuli that trigger it, and the responses that follow it. emotional processing can be hindered by factors such as cognitive avoidance, negative beliefs, or emotional numbing.

The dual representation theory

The dual representation theory, which suggests that CPTSD involves two types of memory representations of the trauma: a verbally accessible memory (VAM) that can be integrated into autobiographical memory and a situationally accessible memory (SAM) that is triggered by sensory cues and causes intrusive re-experiencing. According to this theory, CPTSD occurs when the VAM is weak or distorted and the SAM is strong or uncontrolled. Dual representation theory emphasizes the role of contextualization, narrative construction, and social sharing in enhancing the VAM and reducing the SAM.

The cognitive model of PTSD

The cognitive model of PTSD, which posits that CPTSD is maintained by negative appraisals of the trauma and its aftermath, as well as by maladaptive coping strategies such as rumination, suppression, or dissociation. According to this model, CPTSD can be treated by modifying the dysfunctional appraisals and enhancing adaptive coping skills.

These theories draw on earlier work in conditioning, information processing, and classical cognitive theory. They also incorporate elements of psychodynamic and attachment theory, which have influenced the understanding of how trauma affects self-organization and interpersonal functioning.

Schizophrenia theories

The psychological approach to schizophrenia assumes that the disorder is caused or influenced by psychological factors, such as cognitive distortions, emotional disturbances, interpersonal difficulties, and maladaptive coping strategies. Some of the main theories that underpin this approach are:

Transcendence therapy for schizophrenia

Transcendence therapy for schizophrenia is an innovative and new thesis based proposal by self-transcendence Research for the treatment and transcendence of individuals with schizophrenia. It combines the concepts of the trauma theory of schizophrenia, transcendence theory and Jungian-based psychoanalysis to provide an integrative approach which seeks to allow the therapist to help individuals with schizophrenia to transcend their illness through a process of self-actualisation and transcendence.

The cognitive model of schizophrenia

The cognitive model of schizophrenia, which proposes that schizophrenia results from faulty or irrational beliefs and interpretations of reality, such as delusions and hallucinations. According to this model, these beliefs and interpretations are maintained by cognitive biases, such as jumping to conclusions, overgeneralizing, and personalizing. The cognitive model also suggests that negative symptoms of schizophrenia, such as apathy and social withdrawal, are caused by low self-esteem and hopelessness.

The psychodynamic model of schizophrenia

The psychodynamic model of schizophrenia, which traces the origins of schizophrenia to early childhood experiences, especially those involving trauma, abuse, neglect, or dysfunctional family relationships. According to this model, schizophrenia represents a regression to a primitive state of mind, in which the ego is overwhelmed by the id and the superego. The psychodynamic model also emphasizes the role of defence mechanisms, such as projection, denial, and splitting, in coping with the unbearable anxiety and conflict generated by these experiences.

The social model of schizophrenia

The social model of schizophrenia, which focuses on the impact of environmental and social factors on the development and course of schizophrenia. According to this model, schizophrenia is influenced by stressors such as poverty, discrimination, isolation, stigma, and lack of social support. The social model also considers the role of cultural factors, such as beliefs, values, norms, and expectations, in shaping the expression and interpretation of schizophrenia symptoms.

The biomedical model of schizophrenia

The biomedical model of schizophrenia is an approach that considers schizophrenia as a brain disease caused by genetic factors, biochemical imbalances, or structural abnormalities. According to this model, schizophrenia can be diagnosed and treated using biological methods such as brain scans, blood tests, and psychotropic medications. The biomedical model does not consider the psychological or social factors that may influence the development or expression of schizophrenia.

The biopsychosocial model of schizophrenia

The biopsychosocial model of schizophrenia is a framework that considers the complex interactions of biological, psychological and social factors in the development and maintenance of schizophrenia. Biological factors include genetic vulnerability, brain abnormalities and neurotransmitter dysregulation. Psychological factors include cognitive deficits, emotional disturbances and coping styles. Social factors include family dynamics, stressors and social support. The biopsychosocial model of schizophrenia aims to provide a comprehensive and holistic understanding of the disorder and its treatment.

The trauma theory of schizophrenia

The trauma theory of schizophrenia proposes that traumatic experiences can trigger biological, psychological, and social factors that contribute to the onset and maintenance of schizophrenia. In this article, we will review the evidence for the trauma theory of schizophrenia and explore how it can inform a therapeutic model for the healing of schizophrenia. We will also integrate Jungian psychotherapy into this model, as well as transcendence theory, to suggest a method whereby Schizophrenics could make a full recovery.

Developmental trauma Disorder theories

The psychological approach to Developmental trauma Disorder (DTD) is based on several theories that explain how early and chronic exposure to adverse events can affect the development of children and adolescents. Some of these theories are:

Attachment theory

Attachment theory: This theory proposes that children form emotional bonds with their caregivers that shape their sense of security and trust in the world. When these bonds are disrupted or damaged by trauma, children may develop insecure or disorganized attachment styles that impair their ability to regulate their emotions and relate to others.

Object relations theory

Object relations theory: This theory suggests that children internalize the images and representations of their caregivers and themselves that are formed through their interactions. When these interactions are abusive or neglectful, children may develop distorted or negative self-concepts and expectations of others.

Developmental theory

Developmental theory: This theory describes how children progress through different stages of psychological development that involve different tasks and challenges. When trauma interferes with these stages, children may experience difficulties in achieving developmental milestones or regress to earlier stages.

Neurobiological theory

Neurobiological theory: This theory explains how trauma affects the structure and function of the brain, especially the areas involved in stress response, memory, learning, and emotion. trauma can alter the brain’s development and plasticity, leading to dysregulation of the nervous system and increased vulnerability to future stressors.

Self-psychological theory

Self-psychological theory: This theory focuses on how children develop a sense of self and identity through their interactions with others. When trauma disrupts or invalidates these interactions, children may experience a loss of self-cohesion and coherence, resulting in low self-esteem, shame, guilt, and dissociation.

Mentalization theory

Mentalization theory: This theory emphasizes the ability to reflect on one’s own and others’ mental states, such as thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and intentions. When trauma impairs this ability, children may have difficulties in understanding themselves and others, empathizing with others, and regulating their emotions.

These theories provide a framework for understanding the complex and multifaceted impacts of developmental trauma on children’s psychological functioning and well-being. They also inform the development of interventions that aim to address the specific needs and challenges of this population.

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