Recognizing The Emotional Life of The Individual With Mental Retardation
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Lassen, Anne Sofie1, Forfatter
Dammeyer , Jesper 2, Vejleder
1Det Samfundsvidenskabelige Fakultet, Københavns Universitet, København, Danmark, diskurs:7001              
2Institut for Psykologi, Det Samfundsvidenskabelige Fakultet, Københavns Universitet, København, Danmark, diskurs:7012              
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Ukontrollerede emneord: Psychotherpy, Mental Retardation
 Abstract: The research and practice of psychotherapy with the mentally retarded is meager because the endeavor is regarded with skepticism. As my literature search revealed, treatment attention with this population seems to be primarily cognitive and behavioral at present. In this thesis, I first and foremost aim to question whether cognitive behavioral approaches such as skill building and behavioral modification are ample given the adverse life circumstances which the individual with MR faces intoday’s society. The discussion about current therapeutic methods and psychopathology will introduce the prospect of implementing a more humanistic approach. Psychotherapy will be discussed relative to addressing common psychosocial issues encountered by this population. Literature on mental health and mental retardation suggests that helplessness and dependency is prone to develop due to circumstantial factors. As a result, people with MR generally have poor intrinsic direction which impedes their capacity for reflective thought. To assess their reflective thinking and emotional intelligence, I devised a qualitative study. The study examined emotional comprehension, emotional awareness, emotional connection and problem solving skills in four adults with mild mental retardation (Debilitas Mentas, IQ, 50-69). Ten vague yet emotionally explicit images depicting people interacting were used to elicit responses which would later be evaluated according to the four variables. Findings consistently showed that all four
participants exhibited poor problem solving skills and excellent emotional awareness, comprehension and connection. The results suggest that reflective thinking is poor in people with MR, while their emotional intelligence is intact.
The theoretical foundation for the development of helplessness and the findings of my study suggest that improving self-concept and autonomy would be conducive to their mental health. Subsequently, inviting the individual with MR into the psychotherapeutic room is warranted because they possess ample emotional intelligence to participate and would benefit from improving their reflective capacity.
Adapting psychotherapy for use with this population becomes the next matter of concern. To address the question of adaptation, Feurstein and Rand’s attributes of mediated learning will be discussed relative to cognitive and emotional needs of the individual with MR.
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 Type: Speciale
Alternativ titel: Erkendelse af Det Udviklingshæmmed Individs Følelsesliv
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Sprog: English - eng
 Datoer: 2013-01-15
 Sider: -
 Publiceringsinfo: København : Københavns Universitet
 Indholdsfortegnelse: Abstract . 3
Introduction 4
Thesis Structure 6
The History of the Treatment of Mental Retardation. 8
The Dawn of Special Education 8
Psychology and Eugenics 10
An Era of Forgotten People . 11
De-institutionalization and the Rise of Behaviorism . 13
The Present and Implications for the Future 13
Part 1: Psychopathology, Psychosocial Theories & Therapeutic Intervention. 15
Psychopathology and Psychosocial Treatment 16
Models of Etiology. 16
Current Trends in Therapeutic Treatment: Behavioral and Cognitive Intervention 17
Problem Behaviors . 18
Depression & Anxiety . 18
Psychopathology 19
Depression and Anxiety . 20
Aggression and Self-Injury 21
Challenging Current Therapeutic Approaches . 22
Etiology: Psychopathology as a Biopsychosocial Phenomenon 23
Positive Reaction Tendency: The Role of Social Stigmatization and Rejection . 24
Positive Reaction Tendency: The Role of Low Ability. 25
Rigidity Theory 27
Treatment Implications (Positive Reaction Tendency & Rigidity) 27
Learned Helplessness . 28
Treatment Implications (Learned Helplessness) 29
Dispelling the “Retarded Personality” Myth 30
Overlooking the Emotional Life of People with MR . 31
Part 2: Applicability of Psychotherapy, Inspirational Studies on Psychotherapy &
Original Study . 35
Psychotherapy and Mental Retardation 36
Self-Determinism: Development of an Impoverished Personality Construct 36
Why Psychotherapy . 37
An Old and Upcoming Method: Psychotherapy and Mental Retardation 41
 Note: -
 Type: Speciale
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