- The behavioural approach to treating pobias:
- Systematic desensitisation (SD)
- This is based on classical conditioning and reciprocal inhibition. The therapy aims to gradually reduce anxiety through counterconditioning: the phobia is learned so that phobic stimulus (conditioned stimulus, CS) produces fear (conditioned response, CR). CS is paired with relaxation and this becomes the new CR. Reciprocal inhibition - it isn't possible to be afraid and relaxed at the same time, so one emotion prevents the other.
- Formation of an anxiety heirarchy. Patient and therapist design an anxiety heirarchy - a list of fearful stimuli arranged in order from least to mst frightening. An arachnophobic (fear of spiders) might identify seeing a picture if a small spider…