Book Notes 2 - Chapter 5 Diagnosis and Classification in...

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Chapter 5: Diagnosis and Classification in Clinical Psychology (Pgs. 115-135) 18:54 Introduction When clinicians attempt to classify the types of psychological problems that people experience, trying to describe accurately and systematically the nature and scope of these problems. The Importance of Classification If we assume: o Each individual is unique with respect to the causes of, and the potentially useful treatments for, his or her psychological difficulties = No need to classify one’s problems with other individuals. o Problems are not unique, difficulties may be similar to those experienced and displayed by other people, may share common causes and may be treated with a common therapeutic approach (may gain better understanding by being able to compare one situation with others) Syndrome – A constellation, or collection, of symptoms. Classification as a Characteristic Activity of Humans Classification: o Necessary to facilitate our understanding of people and their problems, provide a basis for an understanding of the etiology and course of different types of problems, and to provide adequate treatment of those in need. o Systems for personality and psychopathology are inherently problematic dehumanization of individuals can contribute to the development of stereotypes of those who are placed in certain diagnostic categories. Tendency to classify is an inherent feature of the way the human beings process knowledge. Classification as a Characteristic of Science Major task is to identify the structures and patterns that exist in nature (including those that are reflected in the behaviors, thoughts, and emotions of people). Taxonomy – the development of a reliable and valid system of classification. o A necessary step in the advancement of any science.
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o Dmitry Mendeleyev (1869) – the periodic table The Benefits and Costs of Classification 2 Major benefits: o Organized information about the characteristics of people whom we try to help can be useful when clinicians make treatment decisions. o Allows professionals to communicate with one another in an informed manner, facilitates better understanding and treatment of problems and leads to new insights. Costs: o Tendency for professionals to develop stereotypes based on their assumptions about the nature of the categories within the classification system. Classification in Clinical Psychology Emil Kraepelin : assumed that identification and classification of specific psychological disorders was necessary in order to determine the particular cause of each. o Each form of mental illness was distinct from all other disorders, exhibited with a particular set of symptoms, followed a unique and predictable course.
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Book Notes 2 - Chapter 5 Diagnosis and Classification in...

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