Systematic Desensitisation

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Treatment of phobias-Systematic Desensitisation (learning approach)

Based on the assumption that psychological disorders are behaviours learned from the environment by classical and operant conditioning and social learning.

Treatments frocus on changing the abnormal behaviour rather than cosidering thought processes or underlying causes. If we assume that psychological disorders are learned behaviours, then treatment aims to help the person unlearn the maladaptive behaviour and subtitute a more adaptive response in its place.

Based on the principle of imcompatible respsonses, the idea you cannot be both relaxed and anxious at the same time. Phobias are thought to be learned anxiety responses to particular stimuli. The treatment therefore assumes that the phobia can be removed by teaching someone to relac when in contact with the phobic object.

Process; takes place over a number of sessions depending on the severity of the phobia and the ability of the client to relax. Therapist and client agree on the therapeutic goal and the therapy is a sucess once that goal is met.
1.Functional analysis-careful questioning to discover the severity of the phobia and the triggers.
2.Anxiety Hierarchy is made-client and therapist devise a hierarchy


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