Psychologists and other mental health experts work hard to create definitions of psychological disorders

1-      Psychologists and other mental health experts work hard to create definitions of psychological disorders. They might use infrequency, deviation from social norms, personal distress, or impairment in daily functioning as a way to draw the line between normal and abnormal.

In your opinion, how should that line should be drawn?

Of the four criteria mentioned, which one do you think is the most important and why?

What other criteria could be used to distinguish abnormal from normal (generated at least one factor); why do you think psychologists don’t consider it?

2-      Do you agree with the hypothesis that gender-specific socialization influences the rates of anxiety disorders among men and women?

Imagine two soccer games on adjacent fields—one between teams of 7-year-old girls, the other between teams of 7-year-old boys. Each game happens to include a player with a specific phobia of lightning and thunder.

–          When dark clouds appear and the first thunderclap sounds, how do you think parents and coaches will react to the terrified boy and girl?

–          What if the kids were age 15 rather than age 7?

–          What does your response suggest about the influence of socialization on the development of anxiety disorders?

–          How might socialization impact the development of other disorders? Discuss a specific example from another class of disorders.

3-      As technology improves, the option of seeing a therapist via a videoconference app (similar to Skype or FaceTime) is increasingly available. In fact, in the current health crisis, most outpatient mental health treatment in the US has transitioned to this format.

–          From your perspective, what are the most important pros and cons of cybertherapy in contrast with traditional in-person therapy?

–          What groups of people would benefit most from having cybertherapy as an option? Explain your answer.

–          What groups of people may not receive the mental health treatment they need if cybertherapy is their only option? Explain your answer.


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