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Sample Essay on Psychology About Student Anxiety and EBD

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Students often have to write psychology essays about issues that poorly resonate with what might actually disturb them. The piece below is a different matter. Drawing on the example of a particular student, it focuses on the issue of anxiety and emotional behavioral disorders college goers might experience during their educational endeavors. You are invited to read this sample and use the showcased writing techniques when developing your own essay about psychology issues in students.

Anxiety and Emotional Disturbance in Students

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Of the many health issues affecting university students, mental health disorders are inarguably the most prominent. This can be attributed to the multiple stressful changes and negative emotions that students experience in college. Student anxiety is one of the most prevalent mental health disorders reported in higher education institutions. Therefore, colleges are obliged to have the capacity and resources to help the students struggling with the problem. This is not always an easy task for universities due to the fact that many school counselors lack the professional expertise and skills needed to diagnose anxiety in learners. However, some university counselors remain undeterred by this professional requirement as they strongly believe in their competency to diagnose the condition. This is what befell Jake after he started taking harder classes in his major. In this case study, the university counselor diagnosed the student with an anxiety disorder after observing that he had become very anxious ever since that time. But was the university counselor's diagnosis valid and accurate?

Unlike the diagnosis made by the university counselor, a psychotherapist relying on the behavioral approach would diagnose Jake with an emotional behavioral disorder (EBD). Also known as emotional disturbance, EBD is an umbrella term encompassing several mental disorders associated with high levels of anxiety. From a behavioral perspective, anxiety is regarded as an EBD when it is disproportionately higher in severity compared to its causative factors. Therefore, the behavioral approach would attribute the origins of Jake's anxiety to the emotional changes he underwent after starting to take harder classes in his major. For that reason, the approach would recommend behavioral therapy as the best treatment for his condition.

Conversely, a humanistic approach would view Jake's anxiety as originating from issues related to his innate human nature and context. Some of these issues would include Jake's self-growth, self-esteem, self-regard, and self-understanding. Consequently, humanistic therapy would be recommended as the best treatment for his anxiety. This is because it considers the therapeutic relationship as the most important mechanism for accomplishing change. In this client-centered approach to therapy and counseling, special attention would be given to the way in which Jake perceives himself. This differs from the first two approaches that seek to interpret his unconscious thoughts and ideas.

As regards the cognitive approach, it would see Jake's anxiety as a consequence of worrying too much. This would be the case because the most culpable cause would be the cognitive changes that Jake experienced once he started taking harder classes. Consequently, his treatment would entail cognitive therapy aiming at correcting the negative cognition leading Jake to worry excessively. This treatment has the capacity to resolve interpersonal issues by deliberately reconstructing negative perceptions as determined by Jake's good cognitions. This implies that besides the university counselor's approach, there are three other frameworks that can be used to diagnose and treat Jake's anxiety. But what views do modern psychologists have concerning these approaches?

The behavioral approach is regarded as classical conditioning by modern psychologists. This is informed by the psychological variable of perceived control, which predicts a person's vulnerability to anxiety. This is why anxiety disorders are claimed to be effects of classical conditioning by some psychologists. Such professionals would attribute Jake's anxiety as having been caused by the difficult learning experiences that he may have encountered in the past. Incidentally, many students associate excellent ad poor performance with positive and poor negative consequences respectively. This conditioning might have led to Jake's anxiety as taking harder classes implied increased workload, which may potentially lead to bad grades.

Contemporary psychologists would also perceive the humanistic approach as ideal in identifying Jake's unmet needs. Tracing its roots to the works of Abraham Maslow, humanistic psychology aims at developing a detailed and comprehensive conception of human personality. In this case, the psychologist would focus on ensuring that all Jake's basic and essential needs have been met. This substantiates the view that Jake's anxiety could be a result of his fear of not meeting his objectives and goals in the new classes. This viewpoint would also prove that he was attempting to attain self-actualization, which is considered the highest level of attainment in Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

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Lastly, today's psychologists would view the cognitive approach as ideal for explaining Jake's anxiety as being caused by underlying internal mental processes. Known to occur between stimulus and response, these processes may lead to anxiety, especially when an individual has lost cognitive control. Therefore, the psychologist would focus on the internal processes leading to Jake's anxiety rather than merely using observable aspects of human behavior. In this regard, genetic influences could be cited as causing Jake's anxiety and making him more vulnerable to other anxious feelings. The proposed treatment would feature the relevant medications to prevent Jake from these excessive worries and overthinking, causing his anxiety. Therefore, it is evident that in all these three approaches, a modern psychologist would be able to recognize that Jake's anxiety was the consequence of another problem, which may be internal or external. This implies that, in any case, this student was in dire need of treatment to address his problems.

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