Behavioral therapies for phobias

Functional analysis, systematic desensitisation, flooding and modelling

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Learnt through OC, CC and SLT. Maladaptive can be unlearnt and replaced
with new behaviours. It is highly effective in treating phobias, it is widely used.
Aim: To adapt strategies to enable the person to function effectively.
1. Identify level of functioning STRENGTHS:
2. What came before the maladaptive response Appropriate for treating phobias - quick compared to psychodynamic
3. Decide on treatment techniques approach. There are no side effects
SD is very effective - McGrath et al found SD effective for around 75% of
people with specific phobias.
Barlow and Lehman reported that specific phobias, graded exposure (different
stages of SD) were effective and the preferred choice by patients. They also
found that for blood/inject injury types of phobias, 90% of patients were
cured in about 5 sessions of graded exposure.
Agoraphobia - difficult to treat. However SD has helped treat between
60-90% of cases
SD is equally effective for phobias when administrated alone, or with a
combination of other treatments, e.g. CBT or drugs.
SD can result in symptom substitution, however no such evidence exists.
Relapses occur 50% in 96 patients. Beurs et al found that SD combined with
drug treatment was effective treatment for panic disorders with agoraphobia.

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Unpredictable - no one can't anticipate what may occur during the course of
the therapy e.g. flooding = this is classed as unethical and inappropriate if left
People with phobias have no recollection of any experience involving the
object of their fear.
A phobia is merely a symptom - signal from unconscious that something is
wrong. Removing phobia through behavioural technique will result in
developing a new phobia.…read more

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