Практическое пособие для студентов IV курса специальности «Психология», страница 18

The last several centuries have witnessed gradual reform in mental institutions and in mental-health care. There is a growing awareness of possible organic causes of mental disorder as well as of unconscious factors and environmental influences.

Mental institutions were reformed throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Unfortunately, little was known about helping psychotics and people with other mental disorders.

the era of psychology.

The last alleged witch to be publicly murdered by a sanctioned institution died in Switzerland in 1782. As enlightenment spread, the scientific method became the accepted way to advance knowledge, and a new understanding of behavior emerged.

By the mid-1800s, physicians and anatomists had begun to realize that abnormal behavior could result from damage to the brain or nervous system. They discovered, for instance, that syphilis was the cause of an organic psychosis known as general paresis.

Proponents of organic theory made a sharp break with demonologists in arguing that abnormal behavior was due to underlying physical causes. By implication, rectifying the underlying problem could lead to a cure. In many people who demonstrated abnormal behavior, however, problems with the brain or nervous system were not evident. Consequently, additional avenues of interpretation were sought to supplement the organic view.

By the late 1800s a psychological revolution was beginning. Psychiatrists argued that abnormal behavior might be the result of too much stress or unresolved unconscious conflicts. Sigmund Freud, more than anyone else, championed these ideas.

In the United States, too, interest in understanding mental disorders was growing, owing in part to the publication of Clifford Beers's book A Mind that Found Itself (1908). Beers described his own emotional breakdown and recovery. The effect of the book was wide-ranging, and a number of influential Americans began financial and political projects to develop therapies for people suffering from mental disorders.

The first half of the twentieth century saw advances in learning theory and humanistic therapies, both of which attempted to explain and treat mental disorders. Then, in the 1950s, medical and biological therapies advanced by great leaps, as scientists found certain drugs that helped to control psychotic disturbances and to alter mood. Our expanding knowledge of drug and brain chemistry and our new techniques for examining the brain indicate that the 1990s may herald another important scientific leap in medical and biological understanding of abnormal behavior and its treatment.

Today, many people are still treated in hospitals or special institutions for the mentally ill. Although these institutions vary widely, they typically offer a number of therapeutic techniques in response to the needs of individual patients. In the next few pages, we'll investigate some of these modem therapies.

Questions for discussion.

1)  What does trephining mean and when was it used?

2)  In what way can we characterize the therapy of The Greek and Roman Era?

3)  What was one of the major Christian treatises of the Middle Ages?

4)  What were the characteristic features of  the Renaissance?

5)  Speak about the era of psychology in details.

Summing Up : Terms and Concepts to Remember

interpretation In psychoanalysis, the analyst's assisting the patient to note and understand resistances and other significant behaviors in order to promote insight.

lithium A chemical that provides an effective drug therapy for the mood swings of bipolar (manic-depressive) disorders.

lobotomy A psychosurgical procedure once used to calm uncontrollably emotional or violent patients. In this procedure the nerves that connect the frontal lobes to the emotion-controlling centers of the inner brain are cut. Also called frontal (or prefrontal) lobotomy.