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Behavioral and Cognitive Approaches In Anxiety Management

Uploaded by drinksbeer on Jan 06, 2005

Behavioral And Cognitive Approaches In The Management Of Anxiety

[i:9e44f2d528]Compare and Contrast Behavioural and Cognitive Approaches in the Management of Anxiety[/i:9e44f2d528]

The Behavioural Model sees the cause of abnormality as the learning of maladaptive habits. It aims to discover, by laboratory experiment, what aspect of the environment produced this learning, and it sees successful therapy as learning new and more adaptive ways of behaving. There are two kinds of basic learning processes that exist: Operant and Pavlovian conditioning. These have generated a set of behavioural therapies.

Pavlovian or Classical therapies begin with the assumption that emotional habits have been acquired by the contingency between a conditioned stimulus and an unconditional stimulus. The formerly neutral conditioned stimulus now produces a conditioned response, which is the acquired emotion. Two Pavlovian therapies, Systematic Desensitisation and Flooding, extinguish some maladaptive emotional habits quite successfully.

Systematic Desensitisation is a behaviour therapy primarily used to treat phobias and specific anxieties. The phobic is first given training in deep muscle relaxation and is progressively exposed to increasing anxiety-evoking situations (real or imagined). Because relaxation and fear are mutually exclusive, stimuli that formerly induced panic are now greeted calmly. A classic demonstration of this therapy was carried out by Jones (1924). She successfully treated a young boy's fear of rabbits by having him eating in the presence of a rabbit, while gradually bringing the rabbit closer to him over a number of occasions. The encourage of a pleasant response such as eating is incompatible with fear.

In Flooding the phobic is exposed to situations or objects most feared for an extended length of time without an opportunity to escape. In one study, agoraphobics went through several sessions in which they had to go out into the street and walk alone until they could no longer manage. A few such sessions led to a marked improvement as judged by both client and therapist (Emmelkamp and Wessels ,1975). In flooding, the treatment is carried out in vivo, that is, in real life. But, real-life exposure to threatening stimuli is often impossible or impractical. It's not all that easy to bring snakes and dogs into a therapist's office to do flooding therapy. Under the circumstances, the next best thing is in vitro, in a simulation, and refers to the use of imagery. One example is implosion therapy, and the patient must imagine the most terrifying situation he could...

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Uploaded by:   drinksbeer

Date:   01/06/2005

Category:   Psychology

Length:   5 pages (1,094 words)

Views:   19984

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