Biological ModelThe model presumes that mental disorders, which defines the case for abnormality, stem from medically instigated biochemical processes akin to the manner in which pathogenic microorganisms cause a variety of diseases in the human body (Deacon, 2013). The approach asserts that unlikely behavioral variations arise due to diseases in the human body and therefore warrants a disease treatment approach (Kinderman, 2005). If an individual is mentally impaired and therefore behavioral imbalanced, then the diagnosis seeks to single out for instance by elimination which medical condition or disease could be the root causes of the condition and then apply standard procedures in the administration of suppressive drugs or electroconvulsive therapy in other cases. For instance and individual diagnosed with clinical depression is said to be subject to biochemical imbalances in the brain and therefore will be subjected to antidepressant drugs or ECT therapy.

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Approaches to Abnormal Behavior

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Psychodynamic Model
Abnormality could be understood from a psychological perspective which is the supporting argument for the psychodynamic model. Proponents of the model postulate that intrapsychic conflicts within the subconscious mind are the cause of the behavioral abnormality. The abnormal individual suffers from the inability to balance the “substance” of the self or rather an ego, and bursts of anxiety triggered by external stimuli interpreted by the brain (Kinderman, 2005). The individual in questions, therefore, juggles between normalcy and abnormality as they try to get a hold of their mental process viz-a-viz their emotions. The treatment approach is psychoanalysis as the therapist walks the individual through a mind exploration exercise and subsequent empowerment to control their mental and emotional process in a mature manner. An example would be a patient succumbing to anxiety disorders where the therapist walks them through a mental exploration exercise to help them come to terms with the causes of the anxiety to guide them on how to handle each of the haunting memories.

Behavioral Model
A different view of the potential causes of anomalies is the surrounding environment and its compelling forces that will most likely affect an individual through either stretching of mental limits, in which case behavior and perception changes or stepwise learning by watching others (Kinderman, 2005). The model asserts that the environmental variables could impel behavioral imbalances through the bombardment of stimuli specifically tied to occupying or living within a particular social context. The model argues that in the same argument that behavior is learnable, abnormality could also be learned through examples from the surrounding environment. For example, a gruesome murder could instigate both paranoia when meeting strangers or hypersensitivity to banging sounds. Therefore the most appropriate approach to treating such an emulated abnormality is the removal from the location to refresh memory and encourage the suppression of the abnormal behavior.

Cognitive Model
The model arises from a behaviorist presumption that human behavior stems from thought dynamics that further on coalesce in patterns that manifest as behavior. However, since thought mediation processes are unique to the individual there is the chance that a particular mannerism of mediating thought, or rather cognition may be distorted such as through generalizations and biased beliefs that subsequently reflect as behaviors that deviate from what would be considered normal (Freeman et al., 2002). Treatment would use behavioral therapy to influence the individual to change perception. For example, a person may subscribe to the idea of cultural, spiritual healing and subsequently shun modern medicine even though they may be severely ill and need a diagnosis and medical treatment. The treatment approach exploited by the therapist would be invoking behavioral adjustment for the patient to consider modern medicine.

Humanistic Model
Humanism takes on a different approach from other propositions since it addresses the individual as a coherent whole and is not quick to label any behavioral/psychological incongruence as a medication condition. According to the model, an individual may experience a psycho-emotional split between their real personality and that they consider ideal, a case that qualifies as an abnormality (Churchill et al., 2010). The method of treatment of such an abnormality is case-specific nurturing therapeutic scenarios that try to bridge the two personalities into one coherent and acceptable form. For example, colonized populations suffer from an inferiority complex that manifests in the form of their real self, and their “ideal” Western identity. The nurturing therapy would come in handy to empower their view of themselves and elevate their self-esteem.

Family Systems Model
Out of all the nurturing dimensions that a child needs to develop into a fully functioning adult with behavioral coherence as would be within a family setting, the suppression, abandonment, or deliberate skipping of any of any of the requisite requirements is more likely to create and reinforce behavioral anomalies (Langroudi, Bahramizadeh, & Mehri, 2011). The model, therefore, asserts that familial upbringing could explain a variety of behavioral maladaptation that renders an individual peculiar from the general population. For instance, a peculiarly disadvantageous low self-esteem may be due to wrong disciplinary measures taken by the parent of the person while they were young due to the maladaptive schemas already forged by the individual. Treatment may take the form of conjoint (inclusive) family therapy, a strategic, or structured approach inclusive of the family.

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  • Deacon, B. J. (2013). The biomedical model of mental disorder: A critical analysis of its validity, utility, and effects on psychotherapy research. Clinical Psychology Review, 33(7), 846-861.
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