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Assignment 11.1: Personal Assumptions


Our tacit assumptions about human nature unquestionably influence how we view and serve individuals who seek psychological services.

—M.J. Mahoney

The thoughts and opinions you have about clients will influence your treatment of them. To discover your own assumptions about those with mental health disorders, answer the following questions based on your own thoughts and opinions. There are no right or wrong answers.


  1. What causes the movement on the adaptive–maladaptive mental health continuum? That is, what motivates people to exhibit maladaptive behaviors?


  1. How will you measure therapeutic success? Take into account the degree of maladaptation possible. 


  1. Describe your thoughts/beliefs about the following:
  2. Mental illness
  3. Depression
  4. Cutting
  5. Anorexia
  6. Hoarding
  7. Anxiety
  8. Rumination
  9. Manipulation
  10. Passive aggression
  11. Bullying


  1. Are humans trustworthy? Are clients with mental illness trustworthy?


  1. Are clients with mental illness generally self-centered and selfish or do they have the ability to empathize and show concern for others? Take into account the degree of maladaptation.


  1. Can clients with mental illness change? Again, take into account the degree of maladaptation present.


  1. Do you believe that mental illness is prevalent? Why or why not?

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