Essay on biological model cognitive model and humanistic existential model

The understanding of abnormality is derivative. It depends on the definition of normality. Its definition has over the past evolved from associating it with spiritual events, to erroneous behaviors and finally abnormality currently understood as a disorder.

Biological model

This medical model makes the critical assumption that behavioral and psychological abnormalities have biological causes. Mental disorders result from biochemical imbalance. The state of the brain influences human behavior and experience.
One of the biological factors that cause abnormality is genetics. The genes we inherit from the parents’ link as the blueprint for the brain and body. Thus, a minute abnormality in the parent gene may result in a person’s brain abnormal functioning with the deadly consequence of their behavior becoming abnormal. Infection also can cause a possible abnormality. Since the brain lacks an immune response, it protects itself using a barrier. If the infections succeed in getting inside the brain, then the resultant is a widespread damage to the brain. Finally, a person develops abnormal experience or begins to behave in abnormal ways. Chemicals also play a role, since brain cells rely on various chemicals such as hormones and neurotransmitters to relay messages round the nervous system and brain. Therefore, a slight deviation of the number of chemicals can cause the brain to function abnormally. Finally, yet important, environmental factors affect have a role to play in abnormality. Personal experiences for example, high levels of stress catalyze biological reactions that normally create a knock-on-effect on brain functionality. Various factors such as toxins, pollutants and gases can affect the brain functionality directly. These deadly pollutants include mercy, lead metals and chlorine gas (Comer, Ronald 58).

This Model explains exact situation Robin is going through and the state of her mental state. From her childhood, she has been critically depressed. She lacked family emotional warmth; her overly critical mother emotionally abused her. Moreover, her mother often criticized her appearance, personal decisions and her intelligence. Dropping out of school, suicide attempt and disapproved relationship, verbal abuse by both her parents and husband piled misery on her. Robin is severely depressed; she has extremely low moods, guilt and feelings of helplessness. She is unable to motivate herself and subsequently became social withdrawn.

The Cognitive model

This model explains that people thought process shape behaviors. The assumption being that psychological disorders are because of faulty thoughts or perception. Moreover, this model views therapy as a useful method in helping patients to transform their irrational perception. This model categorically places irrational or faulty perception and thoughts as the main cause of psychological behaviors. Depression triggers a highly pessimistic outlook of life. Therefore, a depressed person critically imposes negative views about his or herself, future and the world. For instance, when a student laments that he is stupid just because he did not get an A in a certain paper.

This model is the most conclusive in terms of explaining and treatment of psychological disorders such as stress and phobia formed due to irrational thinking. It is true that people suffering from anxiety are many times likely to suffer from low self-esteem. People with low esteem towards themselves, the future and the world, always, tend to combine negative schemas and form cognitive biases. This is the foundation of the unconventional and inescapable heap of negative thoughts in a person’s mind (Cardwell, Mike & Cara Flanagan 32).

Example of these negative, cognitive biases include arbitrary inferences; a personal assumption that lacks evidence for instance when a person arranges a barbecue fest, and it ironically rains then he or she considers himself as a failure. In addition, there is the over generalization biasness; a negative conclusion on all situations one finds himself. For example, a trivial even such as an examination and fails a unit. Automatically, the person generalizes his thoughts, believes he is stupid and does not belong in a college or university. Cognitive Model blames the patients for their situation because they have developed their own perception.

For a patient to recover using this method, then a series of therapy involved. The most significant thing about these therapies is that patients are assisted to change their perceptions and get rid of any existing negative biases. Thus, the patient must totally change their behavior and include healthy ration beliefs and healthy negative emotions. Therapy furthermore are oriented towards assisting people form new values and new thought processes.

Robin justify herself as enduring her husband infidelity in marriage because she fears to be alone and that she would never succeed alone. Her husband’s pornography addiction that soon spread to her kids moreover, upset and depressed. Her thoughts are white washed by all the negative events since her childhood until her old age.

A person ailing from depression after failing a driving test may pile up negative thoughts not only towards driving, but also to other key areas of his life. He may label himself as a failure. These thoughts are irrational and with assistance from the therapist, he will change his thought and enhance the use of positive reinforcements.

Humanistic-existential model

This model argues that all human beings have the capability to acquire philosophical goals for instance, freedom of choice, self-awareness, meaningful life and strong values. Therefore, an individual’s own experiences supersede the actual surrounding events. The assumption is that humans are born with natural attributes that make them constructive, cooperative and friendly. Moreover, according to this model, people are forced to self actualize or rather acquire aspects of goodness and growth (Nairne & James 74).

This is possible if human beings recognize and accepts their strengths and weaknesses in order to build commensurate personal values for existence. Therefore, humans ought to have real awareness of both themselves and freedom for psychological positioning. This model does not support the labeling of people through diagnosis for various mental disorders. All the problems are unique, and the ultimate therapy lies in the provision of nurturing, therapeutic conditions to ease an individual’s solution in sort the problem.
The model offers a more beautiful view of personality. Moreover, it highly facilitates the human power for self-cure. However, it is reluctant to diagnosis making it difficult for treatment of other disorders.

A person with despair and lack of motivation normally feel worthless due to lack of a nurturing environment. Gradually, he will lose contact with himself, value himself in negative ways, and feel unacceptable and hated. To address this problem, he needs to get in touch with his identity in order to inculcate acceptance, empathy and understanding.


All models are valuable in understanding abnormal behavior, and different models are applicable for differing prevailing conditions. Therefore, an integrative approach would create a framework about abnormal behavior and allow the specification of the aspects pertinent to disorders.


Comer, Ronald J. Fundamentals of Abnormal Psychology. New York: Worth Publishers, 2011. Print.

Cardwell, Mike, and Cara Flanagan. Psychology As: The Complete Companion. Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes, 2005. Print.
Nairne, James S. Psychology. Australia: Thomson/Wadsworth, 2009. Print.