Psychological Treatment of Phobic disorders

Systematic desensitisation and CBT

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1. What did McGrath et al. find?

  • There's no evidence to support substitution of symptoms in SD
  • 75% of patients responded well to SD
  • After 12 weeks of SD, aerophobics somatic and psychological effects were reduced during a flight simulation apart from 2 participants
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2. What is logical disputing?

  • Challenging irrational thoughts based on logic
  • Irrational thoughts aren't consistent with reality
  • Challenging irrational thoughts based on upon the idea that these thoughts are not useful

3. Advantage of CBT

  • Could be considered a holistic treatment as it tackles both irrational thoughts and the behaviour that occurs as a result
  • More effective than SD
  • Is effective immediately

4. What Ohman et al. state?

  • 75% of patients responded well to SD
  • Those with disorders had accurate predictions of the likelihood of an natural disaster
  • SD cannot treat all phobias as some are caused by evolutionary survival factors based on ancient fears that were used to aid survival in hunter-gatherer times so the phobia is harder to remove considering SD is based upon past experience
  • There's no evidence of substitution of symptoms in SD

5. Limitation of SD

  • Instead of removing symptoms, the symptoms are just substituted for new symptoms which then must be treated also
  • Takes too long to carry out, disorders may need to be immediately treated


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