Various branches of the helping professions utilize the concepts of abnormal psychology differently, although in actual practice they are used very similarly. For example, from the biological view, such as psychiatry, abnormal psychology is viewed as biological and diagnostic. The goal is to determine diagnosis and prescribe effective treatment, often biochemical and talk based.
Social work, counseling and psychology tends to view abnormal psychology a bit differently. Although diagnostics are considered important by these groups, the primary goal of treatment is a person centered approach. Abnormal psychology becomes a way to understand a person, not to simply develop a treatment plan. The goal is to use the individuals strengths no matter what the diagnosis to assist the person in living the best life that he or she can.
The basic concept in abnormal psychology is that mental health disorders exist and at any given time, one out of five of us has a diagnosable mental illness. Therefore, the establishment of effective treatment is critical. However, the choice of treatment and methods of treatment in social work and counseling are much more individual than in the medical model.
Some of the concepts of abnormal psychology are:
- They are relatively numerous
- One fourth of the population is considered chronically mentally ill
- Treatment exists and if it is closely followed, can provide an 80 percent chance of recovery
- People with a mental illness are not considered dangerous. They have less of a chance of acting out than the mainstream population
- People with a mental illness can lead very productive lives
I hope this has been helpful,