Complete Psychology

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Section 7 Psychopathology and health psychology

Chapter 32 Basic issues in psychopathology
This chapter provides a necessary introduction to psychopathology and clinical psychology, and is concerned with how we identify, define and classify psychopathology and psychological disorders. The chapter is divided into three main sections covering the concept of madness (i.e. how we try to explain mental illness), definitions of abnormality, and the classification of psychological disorders. Finally, the chapter briefly discusses what it means to have good psychological health.

Chapter 33 Psychopathology and its causes
This chapter describes some of the main forms of psychopathology and discusses contemporary accounts of their causes (aetiology). It is divided into five main sections covering anxiety disorders, mood disorders, schizophrenia, personality disorders and eating disorders. These topics are chosen because they represent some of the most prevalent and most thoroughly researched psychopathologies (e.g. depression, anxiety disorders and schizophrenia), and they also represent psychopathologies that are of contemporary interest, either because of media interest (e.g. eating disorders) or because they give the reader an insight into broader ethical and political issues related to psychopathology (e.g. PTSD).

Chapter 34 Treating psychopathology
This chapter describes a broad range of therapies and treatments that has developed to treat psychopathology. The treatments discussed cover biological treatments (such as drug-based treatments) and the major psychotherapies that have been developed from a range of different theoretical perspectives (e.g. psychoanalysis, humanistic therapies, behaviour therapies and cognitive therapies). Each section introduces the reader to the main principles upon which these therapies are based. Finally, this chapter discusses methods for assessing the effectiveness of therapies.

Chapter 35 Health psychology
This chapter introduces the reader to the relatively new area of health psychology. It begins by describing the topics and activities that make up health psychology, and some of the aims that health psychology has set itself in terms of understanding and changing health-related behaviour. The chapter is then divided into three broad areas, and gives the reader a flavour of how psychological factors play an important role in (1) predicting health-related behaviours, (2) understanding how people interact with health care professionals, and comply with their advice, and (3) understanding physical illness.