Is Anyone Really Normal? Perspectives on Abnormal Psychology

Is Anyone Really Normal? Perspectives on Abnormal Psychology

Author: Drew Westen

“Human beings can’t just stick to the facts. Human beings always impose order on what they see. Beginning with the assertion that there are “no facts” in the study of psychology, Professor Drew Westen reveals the intriguing and varied ways that psychologists have explained reality.

For much of this century, we have accepted that Freud was to the mind what Newton had been to the physical universe, having mapped the topography of the psyche and having explained the movement of the forces within it. The reverence for Freud has waned with the rise of other perspectives on the understanding and treatment of disorders, which suggests a different model of human mental life.

In this course, Professor Westen brings this clash of perspectives into the open and suggests ways in which they might inform each other and afford us a more comprehensive understanding of ourselves and others. The lectures are designed to be accessible to anyone interested in the mysteries of the abnormal mind and its treatment. Professor Westen examines the ways in which a psychologist’s perspective determines how abnormalities are seen and treated . or even if treatment is needed at all.

Is psychology an empirical science or a discipline of interpreration, or both? How do Freuds traditional views of dreams, motivations, development, and the conscious and unconscious mind differ from those who have followed him, such as Erikson? What role do sexual complexities play in creating the abnormal mind? Most of all, how do contemporary psychodynamics, behaviorism, and cognitive-social approaches differ in the way abnormalities are perceived and treated?

Course Lecture Titles

1 How Perspectives Influence Us
2 Freud: From Dreams to Drives
3 Freud ‘s Theories of Motivation and Development
4 The Psychoanalytic Theory of Conflict
5 Contemporary Pschodynamic Thinking
6 The Behaviorist Alternative
7 Cognitive Social Approaches
8 Cognition, Social Behavior, and Cognitive Behavioral therapies

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