Phobias Explainations and Treatments

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  • Created by: hlouiset
  • Created on: 02-03-16 11:02
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  • Phobias
    • Explainations
      • Classical Conditioning
        • Initiates the phobia
        • Associate stimulus with fear
        • Example
          • Fear of dogs
          • Being bitten - UCS
          • Fear - UCR
          • Dog - NS
          • Dog - CS
          • Fear - CR
          • Association takes place
      • Operant Conditioning
        • Reinforces the phobia
        • Most commonly negative reinforcement
        • Example
          • Fear of dogs
          • Initiated through classical conditioning (example below)
          • Person with this fear sees a dog while out walking
          • They cross the road to avoid the dog
          • The dog makes them feel anxious
          • The anxious feeling is removed
    • Treatments
      • Systematic Desensitisation (SD)
        • Relaxation
          • Patients are taught relaxation techniques
          • Breathing techniques
          • Mindful of 'here and now'
          • Focusing on a particular object
          • Visualising a peaceful scene
          • Progressive muscle relaxation
        • Desensitisation heirarchy
          • Gradually introducing the patient to the feared stimulus
          • Taken in steps
          • At each step relaxation techniques are used until patient is fully relaxed
          • Steps taken
            • 1  Patient is taught how to relax their muscles completely
              • 2   Therapist and patient together construct a heirarchy
                • 3   Patient works their way through the heirarchy
                  • 4   Once they are fully relaxed in one situation they move on to the next
                    • 5   Patient eventually overcomes feared stimulus
          • A series of imagined scenes, eaach one causing more anxiety than the last
        • Counter-conditioning
          • Patient is taught a new association
          • This runs counter to the original association
          • The common response patients would be taught is relaxation instead of fear
      • Flooding
        • One session
        • Patient experiences phobia at its worst while practising relaxation
        • Session continues until patient is fully relaxed
        • Can be conducted using actual exposure or in virtual reality
        • Steps taken
          • 1   Patient is taught how to relax their muscles completely
            • 2   Patient overcomes the feared stimulus
  • Little Albert
    • Conditioned to fear anything white and furry
    • Watson & Rayner (1920)
    • White Rat - NS
    • Loud Noise - UCS
    • Fear - UCR
    • Association between the rat and loud noise
    • Fear - CR
    • White Rat - CS
    • Aim
      • To demonstrate that emotional responses could be learned through classical conditioning
    • 'Subject'
      • 11 month old boy called 'Little Albert'
    • No response
    • White Rat- NS
  • Evaluation of Treatments
    • Effective?
      • Flooding
        • Is an effective method for patients that choose to use it and stick with it for the whole session
        • More effective than SD - Choy (2007)
      • SD
        • Been successful for a range of phobic disorders
        • About 75% of patients with phobias respond to SD - McGrath (1990)
        • Acual exposure is more effective than virtual
    • Appropriate?
      • SD
        • Not for all phobias
        • Not as effective for phobias involving survival components (fear of dangerous animals etc.) - Ohman (1975)
      • Flooding
        • Highly traumatic
        • Patients may quit before the end of the session
    • It is possible the success of each method is due to exposure rather than relaxation
    • Symptoms of a phobia being removed does not mean the cause has been removed
      • Symptoms could return if the cause remains (symptom substitution)

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