Author: William I. Gardner, Ph.D., Professor, Rehabilitation Psychology Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Dorothy Griffiths, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Child Studies Program, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
A significant percentage of persons with psychiatric disorders and neuropsychiatric abnormalities also present a range of nonspecific behavioral symptoms such as verbal and physical aggression, property destruction, and self-injury. It is not unusual for the clinician to view the behavioral symptoms as a reflection of these biomedical disorders and to use psychoactive medication as the major focus of treatment. Limitations of this approach are documented. A multimodal contextual diagnostic and treatment model is described that offers a number of possible contributions of psychiatric disorders on occurrence of nonspecific behavioral symptoms. Implications for an integrated biomedical and psychosocial treatment program are articulated.