Severe Psychopathology

  • T. Mark Harwood
  • Luciano L’Abate


The more severe forms of psychopathology are perhaps the least amenable to pure, individually delivered, self-help forms of treatment. Patients suffering from severe psychopathology are characterized by chronic, complex problems that often result in a relatively large degree of functional impairment. Additionally, functional impairment, the degree to which planful behavior has been diminished by the patient’s difficulties (Harwood & Beutler, 2008) is a prognostic indicator; social support is another prognostic indicator that is often insufficient for patients suffering from complex, chronic problems. Functional impairment, social support, and problem complexity and chronicity, all empirically supported indicators of patient prognosis (Harwood & Beutler, 2008), may impact upon how self-help treatments are applied and how efficacious they are. Essentially, when self-help materials are included in the treatment of individuals suffering with severe psychopathology, clinician involvement is expected and this involvement should be maximal in the majority of cases. In this respect, self-help treatments may be viewed as adjunctive to more intensive, multi-person, clinician-based psychosocial treatments and pharmacotherapy. Further, in some instance when the foregoing prognostic indicators are deficient, self-help treatments may be tailored predominantly for use with family members and significant others rather than to the patients themselves.


Bipolar Disorder Smoking Cessation Bipolar Patient Smoking Cessation Rate Severe Psychopathology 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Mark Harwood
    • 1
  • Luciano L’Abate
    • 2
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentWheaton CollegeWheatonUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyGeorgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA

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