Psychology

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Introduction

Psychology is a branch of science that deals with the study of mental and behavioral occurrences. Psychologists are concerned about the well being of a society and they do this by establishing general principles which help them to analyze the society.

With regard to the objective of helping the society, psychologists have always conducted research on behavior in societies. Such research activities have resulted in significant contributions in the science of psychology.

This paper seeks to discuss major contributors to the field of psychology with respect to the branch of clinical counseling. The paper will look into some of the personalities whose contributions to the field of psychology have been significantly recognized. The paper will also analyze significance of the contributions to the modern clinical counseling.

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Clinical counseling

Clinical counseling involves the application of “clinical mental health counseling values, principles and methods”(Aegis, n.d., p. 1) in order to help people develop insights into factors that can promote developments in a society (Aegis, n.d.). Such factors include aspects like “self growth, personal effectiveness, interpersonal relations, life adjustments, spiritual growth and mental health” among others(Aegis, n.d., p.1).

The core objective of clinical counseling, following its evolution, lies in the control of traits and symptoms that are socially identified to be negative and promoting healthy attitudes that enhances intra and interpersonal relationships.

In its establishment, clinical counseling thus creates an environment in which services that pertains to general education as well as the well being of mental health are fostered (Aegis, n.d.).

Historical figures in psychology- Alfred Alder

Following the development of the study of psychology, a lot of contributions have been made on the subject from a number of researchers and scholars. One of the figures that have been recognized in the field of psychology for contributions made to the subject is Alfred Adler. Alfred was born in the year 1870 to Jewish parents who lived in Vienna.

Following physical complications in his early life, Alfred made up his mind to be a physician. He grew up in an academic atmosphere and studiedmedicine graduating in the year 1895 from the University of Vienna. He later shifted to psychiatry in the early twentieth century.

One of the major contributions of Alfred is the concept of motivation. He established the idea that all forms of behavior as witnessed in human beings together with what a person undergoes in life are driven by some sort of force. Alfred later attributed this force to be existing in individual persons and he identified the force as the “striving for perfection” (Boerre, 2006, p.1).

The concept of striving for perfection was explained as a self driven urge that a person has for the fulfillment of objectives in one’s life. Alfred’s idea of strife as used in his theory was in reference to reactions that a person yields following other factors in lives such as needs to fulfill necessities in life.

In his theory or idea of strife, Alfred established the concept of a person’s desire to always conquer challenges and overcome situation in a concept that he described as compensation.

The concept of compensation, according to Alfred can be used to gauge a person’s personality through the things that a person can undertake to do and those things that a person cannot do in reaction to a problem of a challenge. Also significant in Alfred’s contribution to psychology was an approach to the society’s general conceptions about gender.

Although he concurred with the observations that were made over masculinity and feminism, Alfred held the idea that the superiority of boys as compared to girls was due to the society’s culture that encouraged the boy child and yet discouraged the girl child (Boerre, 2006).

The ideas of Alfred Adler as expressed by George have been used as some of the basis to clinical counseling psychology. Clinical counseling, with specification to mental counseling is, for example, based on rules that can be traced to the ideas that were laid down by Alfred.

Concepts such as fostering equity when dealing with patients under clinical counseling for example bears its roots from Adler’s ideas of discrimination with respect to gender.

According to Alfred, the society has been biased towards male in which the social set up encouraged boys to express their abilities and potentials while girls were exposed to a set up in which a passive nature was instilled on them.

In the current day’s clinical counseling, the concept of equal treatment is being established by counselors in line with Alfred’s critical idea that men were not actually more superior to women.

It has thus been established that as clinical counselors attend to their patients, attention be paid to factors such as “cultural bias in the implementation and interpretation of assessment protocols”(CMHC, n.d., p. 1) in the process of counseling.

The element of evaluation of a patient’s possibility of posing danger to him or herself can also be related to Alfred’s concept of a person’s ability to react to issues.

As part of professional skills, aclinical counselor examines a client to establish the extent and nature of reaction to issues. Thus in line with Alfred’s concept of response to circumstances, clinical counselors employee screening techniques to try, identify, and if possible threats are considered in a patient, necessary measures be taken in the process of counseling the patient.

Owing to the fact that some of his ideas are beingconsidered in the current application of clinical counseling, Alfred can be considered as a significant contributor to the field of clinical counseling (CMHC, n.d.).

Abraham Maslov

Another personality that has been identified for his contribution to thefield of psychology is Abraham Maslow. Abraham was born in the year 1908 in the United States and undertook his studies in psychology attaining a PhD honor in the year 1930 (Boerre, 2006). Abraham made a number of recorded contributions to the field psychology.

One of his contributions to psychology was the theory of “self-actualization” (Weitenet al., 2008).Abraham suggested that in human beings, motives are organized in a sequential manner in which a level of preference can be identified.

The human needs that act as drivers to these motives were identified to include “needs for knowledge, understanding, order, and aesthetic beauty” (Weiten et al., 2008, p. 1). These needs were crowned under Abraham’sidea of motivation in which he postulated that “what a man can be, he must be”(Weiten et al., 2008, p. 1).

The motivational theory that was established by Abraham as based on his idea of “self actualization” expressed the idea of making decisions from among choices that are available for a person’s motive. He explained that an individual must not be indifferent in pursuit for objectives. He also investigated and established concepts about “healthy personality” (Weiten et al., 2008). In his research, Abraham established that healthy minds were characterized with orientation to a level of growth in an individual.

The results of Abraham’s research into healthy minds led him to a number of conclusions about the people he considered to fall under his category of healthy minded individuals.

One of his identified characteristics of a healthy mind was a person’s ability to understand nature and peacefully cope with it. He characterized factors such as having a mission that is not self centered, established relations with other people, having democratic personality among others as characteristics of healthy minded people (Weiten et al., 2008).

Also significant among the contributions made by Maslow was his deviation from other psychologists’school of thought that dwelt on how people were subject to stress.

Abraham established ideas of how people can overcome stress and develop healthy minds. His development of ideas about “affection and strong bonding”(Seaward, 2006, p. 1) together with “belongingness and love needs”(Seaward, 2006, p. 1) was instituted in his concept of self-actualization(Seaward, 2006).

The application of clinical counseling to establish developments in personality together with relationships between people as well as that within an individual can be identified to be based on these ideas that were developed by Abraham. His postulates still stand to be recognized in the field of clinical counseling to help patients in developing their attitudes towards a better society (Seaward, 2006).

Conclusion

Clinical counseling is a developed branch of the general psychology. The application of clinical counseling for this reason depends on the concepts and theories that were established by psychologists such as Abraham Maslow and Alfred Alder among other figures that contributed to the field of psychology.

References

Aegis, K. (n.d.). Seeing a clinical counselor. Retrieved on May 1, 2011 from:
http://psycserv.com/people/peop_counsellors.htm

Boerre, G. (2006). Personality theory-Alfred Adler. Retrievedon May 1, 2011 from:
http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/adler.html

CMHC. (n.d.). Clinical mental health counseling. Retrievedon May 1, 2011 from: https://www.southernct.edu/counseling_schoolpsychology/uploads/textWidget/wysiwyg/documents/CMHC_learning_outcomes.pdf

Seaward, Brian. (2006). Managing stress: principles and strategies for health and wellbeing. London, UK: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Weitenet al. (2008). Psychology Applied to Modern Life: Adjustment in the 21st Century. New York, NY: Cengage Learning.

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Causes, May, which is also a peak

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Causes, Symptoms, Complications and Treatments for the eating disorder Anorexia Nervosa.


Eating disorders are devastating behavioral maladies brought on by a complex interplay of factors, which may include emotional and personality disorder, family pressure, a possible genetic or biological susceptibility and a culture in which there is an over abundance of food and an obsession with thinness. Eating disorders are generally characterized as bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa and eating disorders not other wise specified. According to the World of Psychology anorexia is defined as ” an eating disorder characterized by an overwhelming, irrational fear of being fat, compulsive dieting to the point of self starvation and excessive weight loss.”(World of Psychology Page 317). There are some causes, symptoms, complications and treatment of anorexia nervosa.

There is no single cause for the eating disorder anorexia but a number of factors including emotional disorders and cultural influences. Researchers have shown that emotional disorders such as depression collaborate in causing anorexia nervosa. This is because most anorexic patients have been found to have abnormal levels of certain neurotransmitters particularly serotonin, that are associated with depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. According to a research conducted by Dr. John .E. Godine of Harvard Medical School ” studies are finding that low blood levels of amino acid tryptophan, a component in food that is essential to the production of serotonin, can produce depression and may also contribute to anorexia nervosa” (Psychology Today Page 17, May 97). Researches have also shown that changes in seasons affects both depression and eating disorders and also that onset of anorexia appears to peak in May, which is also a peak month for suicide. Anxiety disorders are also very common with anorexia. Phobias and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) usually precede the onset of the eating disorder, while panic disorder tends to follow. Studies have shown that people with anorexia are especially prone to obsessive compulsive disorder.

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Cultural influences can also cause anorexia as can be seen in most western cultures. The social pressures of western cultures certainly play a major role in triggering eating disorders such as anorexia. On the other hand, advertisers heavily market weight reductions programs and present anorexic young models as the paradigm of sexual desirability and on the other hand again, the media floods the public with ads for junk food. According to the World of Psychology “over the past quarter century, the ‘ideal’ female figure as portrayed in the media and by fashion and entertainment industries, has become even thinner, often to the point of emancipation”(World of Psychology Page 317). Due to cultural influences in a country where obesity is epidemic, young women who achieve thinness believe they have accomplished a major cultural and personal victory; they have overcome the temptations of junk food and at the same time, created an image idealized by the media. This false sense of accomplishment is often reinforced by the envy of their heavier friends who may perceive anorexic patients as being stronger and more sexually attractive than they are. The media definitely plays a major role in the cause of anorexia. According to the World of Psychology “It is difficult to pinpoint the cause of this disorder. More anorexic individuals are well-behaved and academically successful”(The World of Psychology Page 371). Some investigators even believe that ” young women who refuse to eat are attempting to control a portion of their lives, which they feel unable to control in most situations”(Psychology Today, May 98).

The symptoms of anorexia vary since most women with the disorder keep it a secret but the major symptom is the change in size. According to an article from WebMd ” the primary symptom of anorexia is major weight loss from excessive and continuos dieting which may either be restrictive dieting or binge-eating and purging”(www.webmd.com). The feet and hands of the anorexic patient may be cold or swollen sometimes. The stomach is often distressed after eating and is often bloated. Thinking may be confused or slowed, and an anorexic patient may have poor memory and judgement. Again all of these symptoms vary from individuals as could be seen in young women who have diabetes and anorexia. Such people may have a normal weight or even be overweight but still anorexic. A study conducted by Harvard medical school psychiatrist Dr. Theodore .A. Stern concluded, “the most bewildering symptom of anorexia is the distorted body image”(Psychology Today May 96). In another study people with anorexia tended to have an accurate perception of their upper body, but over estimated the size of their abdominal and pelvic area.

There are a lot of complications that could arise from anorexia. Studies of anorexic patients reported death ranging from 4% to 20% (The World of Psychology Page 317). According to the FDA heart disease is the most common medical cause of death for people with anorexia. This is because the heart can develop dangerous rhythms, including slow rhythms known as bradycardia.

Electrolyte imbalances can occur as a result of anorexia. Minerals such as potassium, Calcium, Magnesium and Phosphate are normally dissolved in the body fluid. Calcium and Potassium are particularly critical in maintaining the electric currents that cause the heart to beat regularly. The dehydration and starvation of anorexia can reduce fluid levels and mineral contents, a condition known as electrolyte imbalance, which can be of very serious and even life threatening, unless the fluids and minerals are replaced.

Reproductive and hormonal abnormalities can occur due to anorexia. Anorexia causes low levels of reproductive hormones, changes in thyroid hormones, and increases the level of stress hormones, which causes amenorrhea. According to Psychology Today “long term irregular or absent menstruation is common which eventually may cause sterility and bone loss. The major scare of anorexia is that it can cause death. According to the e world of psychology ” Unfortunately up to 20% of those suffering from anorexia nervosa eventually die of starvation or complications from organ damage”(The World of Psychology Page 371). The World of Psychology summarizes the complications that could arise from anorexia and concludes that ” anorexics may also develop low blood pressure, impaired heart function, dehydration, electrolyte disturbances, and/or sterility”(The World of Psychology Page 371). This is in clear similarity to the other researches conducted by psychologists and shows the complications that could arise from anorexia.

The major difficulty in treating an eating disorder like anorexia is often the resistance of the anorexic patient, who believes that the emancipation is normal and even attractive. According to the World of Psychology “Anorexia is very difficult to treat. Most anorexic patients are steadfast in their refusal to eat, while insisting that nothing is wrong with them”(The World of Psychology Page 371). Most moderately to severely ill anorexic patients should be admitted to the hospital for immediate treatment.

In addition to immediate treatment of any serious medical problem, the goal of the anorexic patient is to increase weight. To do this therapy could be used until the anorexic patient succeeds in overcoming this difficult disorder. Anorexic patients who are severely malnourished should begin with a calorie count as low as 1500 calories a day, in order to reduce the chances for stomach pain and bloating, fluid retention and heart failure. The World of Psychology summarizes the treatment of anorexia. According to Samuel Wood and Ellen Green ” the main thrust of treatment, therefore is to get the anorexic individual to gain weight. The patient may be admitted to a hospital, a few controlled diets, and given rewards for small weight gains and increase in food intake. The treatment usually includes some type of psychotherapy and/or a self-help group”(The World of Psychology Page 371).
Since anorexia nervosa has no real treatment, the only real treatment for now could be eating healthy, exercising moderately and also doing constant medical checkups
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