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Concepts of pathology as treated by the traditions of clinical psychology and psychiatry define what is normal and abnormal in human behaviour Various psychological paradigms exist today each emphasising diverse ways of defining and treating psyopathology Most commonly utilised is the medical model which is limited in many respects criticised for reducing patients problems to a list of pathological symptoms that have a primarily biological base and which are to be treated behaviourally or pharmacologically Schwartz Wiggins 1999 Such reductionistic positivist ways of viewing the individual maintain the medical discourse of borderline personality schizoid paranoid or clinically depressed often failing to address the wider socio- ltural environment of the individual Pilgrim 1992 suggests that such diagnostic pidgeon-holing does not enhance humanity nor aid those who are dealing with the distressed individual to find meaning It also neglects to consider life beyond the physical failing to address the more philosophical questions that abound from our very existence Existential psychiatry and psychology arose in Europe in the 1940s and 1950s as a direct response to the dissatisfaction with prevailing efforts to gain scientific understanding in psychiatry Binswanger 1963 Existentialism is the title of a set of philosophical ideas that emphasise the existence of the human being the lack of meaning and purpose in life and the solitude of human existence Existentialism stresses the jeopardy of life the voidness of human reality and admits that the human being thrown into the world a world in which pain frustration sickness contempt malaise and death dominates Barnes 1962 How one positions oneself in that world becomes the focus for existential notions of pathology a responsibility that is present for every human being not one confined to the mentally ill In this sense the human being is response-able to the existential predicament that is life and the necessary struggles that arise through negotiating these conditions in every lived moment In this essay I will give a
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