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Chapter: Psychology: Treatment of Mental Disorders

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Treatments Past and Present

Early Treatments for Mental Disorders • Current Treatments for Mental Disorders

TREATMENTS PAST  AND PRESENT

 

Mental disorders have been with us since the dawn of recorded history. So too have efforts to alleviate the suffering—as well as the problematic behaviors—associated with these disorders. Early treatments stemmed from the view that mental disorders were caused by evil spirits, and these treatments were often harsh and rarely effective. As our understanding of mental disorders grew, other (often more humane) treatments developed. We will examine two major types of treatments— psychological and biomedical—and assess whether these treatments work as intended. Before doing so, we first set the stage by considering historical trends as well as contemporary practices.

 

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