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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?


For me, the maladaptive and adaptive continuum continually changes and moves because of the amount of stressor or a trauma a person is exposed to and the person’s overall state during that exposure. For example, a first-time pregnant woman may experience anxiety and stress during the pregnancy but a pregnant women who is also experiencing divorce may become more distressed and have higher risk for postpartum depression and even miscarriage. The continuum moves depending on the amount of stress and current status the person is in. What motivates people to exhibit maladaptive behavior is when the person can no longer cope to the stress positively. So, they need to project and or vent out the stress through maladaptive behaviors.

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

Therapeutic success for me is when a client is receiving an intervention for. Mental health care issue and has successfully managed his signs and symptoms to point where the person has resumed work, has reduced any intrusive thoughts, and can engage with peers and socialize with family and most importantly, carry out his activities of family living.

3.      Describe your thoughts/beliefs about the following:

a.      Mental illness – is a condition of the mind which affects behavior and ability to carry out activities of daily living.

b.      Depression – an overwhelming feeling of sadness and lack of hope that prevents some to function productively. For me, depression is caused by multiple factors including biology, experiences, and trauma.

c.      Cutting – is a way for a person to project his or her frustration and anger towards self to relieve it

d.      Anorexia – a very difficult mental health care issue to treat because the patients are quite in denial that they have the disease and becomes very secretive.

e.      Hoarding – hoarding me for me is a desire of a person to fulfill something that frustrates him or her in the past or something that he has fixated in the past that the person has not attained and is now redirected to current hoarding.

f.       Anxiety – anxiety can be biologic and also caused by the lack of an effective coping skills.

g.      Rumination. – every people experience rumination but if comes to a point where a person can no longer function and become productive, then it becomes a problem.

h.      Manipulation – manipulation is a way for a person to gain control because gaining control is the person’s way of achieving balance and sense of purpose. When the person feels that he is losing control of the situation, that person becomes anxious.

i.       Passive aggression – a way for a person to express his suppressed aggression

j.       Bullying – I think the bully experience insecurities, trauma, or negative experience in the past and bullying is. Way for that person to feel more powerful and lessen his own insecurities.


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

Humans with positive intent are trustworthy, but not all humans are trustworthy. Clients with mental illness may have the inclination to lie and deceive because of their condition. We must approach them with caution because some menta illness are not controlled and can affect their behavior and thinking patterns.


5.      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.

No clients with mental illness have a different perception about things because of past experiences, psychodynamic factors, and also organic imbalance in the brain. I think they have the ability to empathize and show concern except for those with sociopathy or psychopathy who do not feel any remorse or guilt.


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

Client with mental illness may not entirely change, but they can adapt to their current situation and manage and try to control their signs and symptoms through positive coping skills. I think with the right mindset and adequate support, a client with mental illness can lead a near normal life and be productive.


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

Yes, I believe that mental illness is prevalent and also because of stigma, some of it remains to be underreported. So, I think there are much more incidence of mental illness as reported by health care agencies. I think mental illness has increased because of numerous factor sin the environment such as lack of adequate foundation in the home, increased divorce rates, violence, substance abuse, drug abuse, disasters, emergent diseases such as COVID, increased costs, and poverty. These factors increase the incidence of mental illness.

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