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The cognitive model of abnormality

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  • Pages: 3
  • Word count: 651
  • Category: Model

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Bech believes that if your thought becomes disturbed it can have a knock on effect which will eventually lead to mental illness. He says that your distorted thought patterns can lead to feelings of inadequacy, meaning that you do not feel as good as every one else and a feeling that every one looks down at you. Basically a feeling of self-loathing. He then says that this leads onto a change in behaviour, which will be seen as abnormal by the rest of the “normal” populace. This is then said to lead on to Mental illness as the feelings of worthlessness become ever greater and more prominent in the persons mind.

So therefore: Distorted feelings Change Mental Thoughts (inadequacy, of behaviour illness Hopelessness) According to this model your distorted thoughts as mentioned earlier come about through faulty learning, or making inferences on the basis of inadequate information. People who have this tend to have what is called a “negative attributional style”, this meaning that if something bad happens to them, they put the blame onto themselves and see it as fault in them or some aspect of their personality.

But the other side of it is if something good happens they try to shift the praise onto someone else or try to dampen down their performance. So therefore because of this depression when trying to interpret information they have a tendency to maximise negative effects and minimise or totally ignore the positive factors. The cognitive triad is a way of trying to show how people who are depressed and who suffer from other mental ailments think. They firstly have negative thoughts about them self and soon after begin to have negative thoughts about how the world sees them.

They then think if the world hates them now what will it be like for them in the future. They then think back to themselves showing a continuing cycle of low self-esteem. The cognitive model is often linked to the behavioural model as irrational thought can very often lead to changes in behaviour, which can in turn lead to mental disturbance and illness. With every model there are different and some times controversial ways in which a psychologist believes that a patient with a mental disorder should be treated.

This is no exception; Ellis (1962) came up with, Rational Emotional therapy or (Ret). He suggested that patients develop a set of irrational beliefs, which lead them to react to situations with undesirable emotions (ABC – Activating event – Beliefs about the activating event – Consequences). For example a person might believe that he has to be the best at every thing that he does in order for others to believe that he is worth -while. And when the person fails at something he falls into despair.

The way in which this is treated is quite simple, the therapist is very direct and aggressive with his questioning and challenges the persons beliefs. e. g. ‘ Who says that you have to be perfect? ‘ , thus then leading the patient to ask him or herself the same questions. To back this treatment up Bradsma et al (1978) reported that RET is effective with certain types of patient (those who are perfectionist and capable of rational thought), therefore leading me to conclude that this treatment will not work generically for mental disorder of this type on for certain specific cases.

In conclusion these therapies are generally quick and therefore may seem to be an easy option, but because of this it may not be the correct treatment as these treatments only work on specific cases. But with the target group, which the treatment seems to have effect on the treatment, is generally very successful. Its weaknesses how ever are much like that of the behavioural model, this approach does not investigate causes but just treats the behaviours which would appeal to patients who do not wish to search for deep meanings.

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