Treating Phobias

What are the two ways of treating phobias?
Flooding and Systematic Desensitisation
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What is Systematic Desensitisation?
based on classical conditioning, aims to extinguish a fear response by replacing it with a more desirable incompatible response (relaxation)
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What is the first stage of systematic Desensitisation?
therapist and client construct a hierarchy of fear from least frightening to most frightening
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What is the second stage of Systematic Desensitisation?
Client given training in deep muscle relaxation, taught breathing exercises and meditation to help relax
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What is the third stage of Systematic Desensitisation?
Client is exposed to phobic stimulus using relaxation techniques at each stage of the hierarchy
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How does Systematic Desensitisation start?
Therapy starts with least fearful situation and progresses to next stage when the client is ready, and gradually exposed to the hierarchy of feared situations
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What is the aim?
client eventually can remain calm when confronted with the phobic object or situation
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Advantages of Systematic Desensitisation?
Highly effective - 75% responded & reduced level of fear in aerophobics & suitable for wide range of patients & no ethical objections & long lasting - spider phobic lasted up to 33 months
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Disadvantages of Systematic Desensitisation?
doesn't work equally well for all phobias nor is it 100% effective for everyone - individual differences
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What is flooding?
alternative, client taught relaxation techniques to use and then exposed to their most feared situations without the possibility of escape for a prolonged period of time
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What is the aim of flooding?
eventually, the fear begins to subside due to partly relaxation techniques and the time limit on body fear response normally decreased after 2-3 hours
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So how does flooding overcome the phobia?
patient replaces fear response with calm and relaxed response to phobic stimulus, using classical conditioning as relaxation response learned which extinguishes fear
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How can both Systematic Desensitisation and flooding be done?
Virtual Reality or Real Life
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Advantages of Flooding
girl with agoraphobia, drove round in car for 4 hours & superior to Systematic Desensitisation & studies confirmed reporting continued improvement for 9 years
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Disadvantages of Flooding
case study - no data of long-term effectiveness (girl with agoraphobia) & Ethical Issues & Client needs to be motivated
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Card 2

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What is Systematic Desensitisation?

Back

based on classical conditioning, aims to extinguish a fear response by replacing it with a more desirable incompatible response (relaxation)

Card 3

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What is the first stage of systematic Desensitisation?

Back

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Card 4

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What is the second stage of Systematic Desensitisation?

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Card 5

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What is the third stage of Systematic Desensitisation?

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