Abnormal Psychology and Therapy

Normal psychology vs. Abnormal psychology

The word “normal” may differ in its meaning in different contexts of use, in societies, or in various groups of people. Literally, a person is normal if he or she exhibits the common behaviors as per the expectation of the particular society he or she is dwelling in. According to Kowalski & Westen, (2005) and Geyer (n.d), both normal and abnormal psychology differs from one society to another and through the perspectives on how different people perceive life and the manner in which they intend to live it. In comparison, both normal and abnormal psychologies are determined by society. An abnormal psychology in one society may be normal in another. For example, when an individual is admitted to an asylum, to the patients already in the asylum, he will appear as the only insane person. However, normal psychology varies from abnormal psychology in various ways.

Normal psychology is concerned with the desirable behaviors which are homogeneously acceptable in society. Abnormal psychology, on the other hand, deals with the undesirable behavior portrayed by individuals in society. Most of these undesirable behaviors are associated with mental illnesses and disorders. For instance, childhood disruptive behavior and Attention-Deficit Disorder which progresses in adulthood are some of the aspects of abnormal psychology. Schizophrenia, Borderline personality disorder, and anorexia are other kinds of abnormal psychological conditions (Kowalski & Westen, 2005). The latter two mental disorders will be examined hereafter.


This is a kind of abnormal psychological condition or a brain disabling disorder in terms of thinking, which makes people suffer from paranoia, cognitive deficits, and hallucinations.

The mental functioning of a person suffering from this condition is disoriented, and most of the time the victims seem to be withdrawn or fearful. This mental disorder is more of a psychological condition than an illness because is not caused by a vector, schizophrenia is a condition in the human brain Perlmutter (1992). The actual causes of schizophrenia remain a mystery. However, the disorder can be contained to avert these abnormal behaviors in persons suffering from the condition. Victims suffering from schizophrenia can fight the condition through chemotherapy medication or psychotherapy which seems to be more effective. Geyer (n.d) outlined some processes such as intuition and thinking which can be highly influential psychotherapy remedies in conjunction with chemotherapy to treat the condition. Perlmutter (1992) also advocated for psychotherapy in containing schizophrenia.

Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a serious mental disorder whose characteristics are chronic instability in moods, self-esteem, behavior, and interpersonal relationships NIMH (2009). The illness is another kind of psychological abnormality whose originality is the failure of the brain to regulate one’s emotions. According to Geyer (2009), the condition is more severe than schizophrenia and extensive medical attention in conjunction with psychiatric hospitalizations is needed, as the condition can easily lead to suicide if not well addressed. In the treatment of BPD, individual as well as group psychotherapy are advisable. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a new psychosocial treatment that has been developed in the treatment of the abnormality and is highly promising Geyer (2009).


  1. Geyer, Peter. (n.d). A Normal Psychology: C.G.Jung’s Psychological Types and the MBTI®.
  2. Kowalski, Robin M. & Westen, Drew. (2005). Psychology- Psychological Disorders (4e). London: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  3. Perlmutter, Alvin H. c., & Toby Levine Communications. (1992). The World of Abnormal Psychology. Annenberg Media.
  4. National Institute of Mental Health (2001). Borderline Personality Disorder: Rasing Questions Finding Answers.
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