Systematic DesensitisationDescribe and evaluate this formof therapy
What is a phobia?What is a phobia?An exaggerated fear of an object orsituationAccording to behaviourism, it is a learnedresponse to a stimulus
Remember LittleAlbert?Noise Fear UCRUCRCRUCSUCSNSCS+RatNoise FearRat Fear
Phobias• What do people with phobias do whenthey are confronted with their fearedstimulus?avoidance• How do you think we can treat thisdisorder without using drugs or talkingtherapy?counterconditioning
An example in everyday life...An example in everyday life...How Ivanbecame phobicof walking inthe forest
Work it out...Work it out...UCRUCRCRUCSUCSNSCS+
Systematic desensitisationSystematic desensitisationThis therapy aims to extinguish an undesirablebehaviour by replacing it with a moredesirable one .fearrelaxationWe cannotfeel fear andrelaxed at thesame timeThis calledreciprocalinhibition
How does it work?How does it work?It is a step by stepapproachThe client learns relaxationstechniquesThe client works out a hierarchy offear from the least frightening to themost frighteningFur PawDogMouthThe client worksthrough the hierarchylearning to userelaxation techniquesin the presence of thefeared object
TaskApply the desensitisation hierarchy tothe following scenario:Alana has an extremely anxious reaction tospiders. She completely freezes if aspideris in the room, no matterwhat thesize. She even struggles with plastic andcuddly toy spiders. Explain how abehavioural therapist might use SDtohelp Alana with herfearof spiders (6
Pair-work (if time)1. Therapist2. PatientThink of a phobia and work through hierarchyand any techniques below to help the patient.
Using systematic desensitisationWhat difficulties do you think thistherapy has?e.g. if someone is afraid of flying – whatdifficulty will the therapist have?
To the right are someaspects of flying thatmay cause differentlevels of anxiety.Anxiety GradeLow Anxiety 1–19Medium Low Anxiety 20–39Medium Anxiety 40–59Medium High Anxiety 60–79High Anxiety 80–100
Ways to overcome this...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQgKEp_NhHkAs the clip rolls, make notes on key psychologists’ namesand examples
IdeasPatient needs to be briefed well, so can give informedconsent. High levels of arousal/ distress possible.Approaches vary in extent to which patient exercisedcontrol over events.First approach involvesfar morerapid (and distressing)exposureto feared stimulus?Lesscontrol over eventsexercised by patient.Quicker analysis than drug therapy or lengthy psychoanalysis?Effect might diminish once removed from lab setting andpositive reinforcement from therapist, high chance ofrelapse?Psychotic, as opposed to neurotic, disorders?Disorders with no clearly identifiable behaviouralcomponent? Genetic/ physiological/neurochemical?
Other behavioural therapies• Aversion therapy• Modelling• Flooding• Token economy
EvaluationUse key words below (textbook) to write at least 2strengths and 2 weaknesses of SDResearch supportAppropriateness?Symptom substitutionDepends on the type of phobiaQuicker alternativesAlternatives to imagination