Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology

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Week 1 Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology
PSY-410

Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology
The best theoretical model incorporates aspects of multiple theories, recognizing that historically, psychology is a very young science, as is the field abnormal psychology. This fledgling scientific field has been developed to aid in understanding the causes of, and treatments for, abnormal behavioral disorders. Although the primary purpose of the science is to benefit those suffering from abnormal behaviors and disorders, some less than beneficial means were employed through the annals of time. Treatments have ranged from torturous procedures to imprisonment to sympathetic therapy occurring before the official formation of psychology. Following the breakaway from philosophy, numerous theorists and treating professionals worked diligently to support and legitimize the science of psychology, improve treatment, and improve supportive practices for those who exhibit abnormal behavior patterns.
Origins of Abnormal Psychology
Abnormal behavior and treatments have been recognized extensivly throughout history long before the development of psychology as an independent science. During the height of the Greek and Roman civilizations, those with mental illnesses were treated quite well and provided with “baths, exercise, and emotional support” (Hansell & Damour, 2008, p. 26). Unlike the original Greek and Roman asylums, patients in the post-Roman era were treated more like wild or badly behaved animals. People were involuntary interned in asylums and were often subjected to beatings, bloodletting, and other cruelties. A variety of techniques were used to isolate those suffering with mental illness, as they were thought to be defective, cursed, or more animal than human.
In the eighteenth century, those suffering from psychiatric issues were…...

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