Describing what you see, or what you think you see Clinical descriptions lead to diagnostic labels Labels can be helpful and/or harmful Presenting problem: many different approaches –The “complaint” what the person describes or someone else describes as the reason for seeking treatment –Clear descriptions lead to clearer treatment
Now it’s your turn: Tom is uncomfortable riding elevators. Your office is on the fifteenth floor and Tom walked all the way up and not for the exercise Rachel has been caught urinating in the corner of her bedroom.
What is different about abnormality? Prevalence Incidence Course –Chronic, episodic, time-limited –Prognosis Onset –Acute, insidious
Lots of other possible factors Culture Ethnicity Race Gender Age Developmental stage
Some considerations Causation: etiology –Some quite clear, others unknown or not understood –Biopsychosocial model: we’ll return to this What to do or what not to do about it: treatment –Will it go away on its own or get worse? –Empirically validated treatments –Confounding variables: did the treatment work or was it something else? –The Placebo Effect