Psychology Journals & Treatment Practices

Gathering Collateral Information

Each assignment in this course will help you prepare your Final Paper. For all assignments, you will use the movie character or historical figure that you used in your Week Two assignment and selected in your Week One journal. (I chose the movie “Mommy Dearest.” Assignment with corrections is attached.)

After gathering your patient’s history, it is considered good practice to contact people who interact with the patient on a regular basis and/or are related to the patient. These people often provide valuable insights into the patient’s behavior(s) and mindset. Typically, the gathered information provides a context for the patient’s environment.

For this assignment, you will write another section of your Final Paper.  View the complete instructions for the Final Paper in the link within Week Five of your online course or the “Components of Course Evaluation” section of this guide.   Your assignment this week must cover the following section of your psychological report and include the heading as listed:

  1. Collateral Within this section, you will interpret specific collateral information as it relates to your patient’s abnormal behavior and behavior patterns. You will also integrate information and knowledge regarding the patient’s culture in your evaluation of the maladaptive behavior as reported by the collateral sources.

Typically, this section within a psychological report seeks to answer the following questions (further elaboration within this section is encouraged where possible):

  1. What do other people have to say about the patient’s behavior?
  2. Are there any commonalities between the collateral sources’ reports?
  3. Do the collateral sources have any psychological issues that might exacerbate the patient’s problems?
  4. Are there any police reports?
  5. Are there any personality testing or intelligence testing reports available?

Your assignment should be a minimum of one page and include sufficient depth and detail to support and inform your diagnostic impression. A title page is not necessary; however, a reference page must be included. A cursory or surface level investigation of the patient’s interpersonal relationships will not provide enough information for your diagnostic impression. If no collateral information is available, create collateral information on your own to inform your diagnostic impression.

Journal 1: Your Personal Attitudes Toward Psychopathology

For this journal, you have two tasks:

Task 1: Indicate which character or historical figure you will investigate for your Week Two assignment, Week Three assignment, and your Final Paper. The character must be the same for each assignment, and you may not alter your choice after the conclusion of Week Two.

Review this list of movies or this list of historical case studies that are approved for use for this assignment.  You must choose from the provided lists.

Task 2: This week’s discussion forum and readings may have triggered some personal thoughts and feelings regarding abnormal psychology. One of the most important aspects of developing competence in abnormal psychology is to be honestly and completely aware of your personal attitudes toward people who have mental health conditions.

This 250- to 500-word journal entry is an opportunity for you to honestly reflect on your thoughts regarding abnormal psychology. For instance, what insights on bias or prejudice does this topic raise? What potential perception issues or conflicts between belief systems and knowledge sets might arise? Consider any other questions that came up for you over the course of this week’s assignments. You may share as much or as little as you wish, as long as it is evident in your journal that you have taken the time to reflect.

Journal 2: Responding to Bias and Prejudice Toward Psychopathology

In last week’s journal, you honestly reflected on your thoughts regarding abnormal psychology. Through that reflection, you may have recognized that you have some biases or prejudices toward specific groups of people. Recognizing any possible biases and prejudices is an essential step toward becoming a scholar of psychology. Taking reasonable steps toward resolving those biases and prejudices is a significant opportunity for personal growth and professional development.

This 250- to 500-word journal entry is an opportunity for you to describe ways that you might go about resolving any biases and prejudices within yourself. Alternatively, you may want to write about how you will respond to bias and prejudice you might encounter in your everyday life.

For instance, what kinds of education or experiences might help you address bias and prejudice within yourself? How might you respond to a person who thinks that people with mental health conditions should be locked away in institutions and never allowed to rejoin society? What kind of education might you provide to a person who believes that Autism is due to poor parenting? What resources might you draw from to support healthy, accurate, and research-supported views regarding psychopathology? What available resources might you point people to who need more information on specific issues? If you have any favorite websites or web resources, please add entries for those into the Webliography for this course.

Journal 3: Questionable Treatment Practices in Psychology

This week’s discussion touched on changes in perception regarding psychopathology in response to shifts in societal attitudes toward specific behaviors. Now, let us look critically at treatments in general. A number of treatments for currently diagnosable disorders have been discontinued, such as trepanning and lobotomies, because they were discredited and are now considered crude and/or barbaric. A number of disorders have been completely removed from diagnostic manuals and their corresponding treatments have been discredited and discontinued. For example, the treatment known as conversion therapy or reparative therapy for lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals is known to be ineffective and even harmful.

In this 250- to 500-word journal entry, you will consider current treatment methods (e.g., electroconvulsive therapy, exposure, and response prevention). Choose a current treatment method and comment on what ways future researchers might consider this current treatment barbaric or crude. Explain why you chose to comment on this treatment. What would need to happen for current acceptance of this treatment procedure to change? What are the ethical implications involved in using a questionable treatment option?

Journal 4: The Subjectivity and Art of Diagnosis

Although psychology prides itself on being a science, the art of diagnosis goes beyond a simple checklist of symptoms. Clinicians generally recognize that any diagnostic exercise must include a culturally sensitive interpretation and analysis of symptoms. 
This week’s discussion touched on how an individual’s culture may influence the presentation of symptoms and syndromes. Keeping the discussion in mind, consider the importance and impact of a patient’s cultural background when making a diagnosis.

In this 250- to 500-word journal entry, begin by choosing one symptom or syndrome covered in the Wen-Shing (2006) article that resonated with you. Using the resources in the Ashford University Library, find at least one case study on the symptom or syndrome and briefly describe it for the reader. Google Scholar is not an acceptable resource for this journal. Explain clearly why you chose to comment on this symptom or syndrome instead of other options. If the symptom or syndrome appears to be similar to a condition found in the DSM-5, compare and contrast what is found in the DSM-5 with what is discussed in the Wen-Shing article. 

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