Flashcards in 1.3.2 Systematic Desensitisation Deck (32):
What is systematic desensitisation?
A behavioural therapy used to treat phobias
What does the behavioural approach say about behaviour?
All behaviours have been learnt
According to classical conditioning when people have a traumatic experience with an object of situation...
They associate the object or situation with fear and anxiety
If we learn behaviours what else can we do?
Unlearn maladaptive behaviours
Whatever has been learnt...
Can be relearnt (unlearned)
What does systematic desensitisation aim to do?
Extinguish maladaptive behaviours and enable individuals to learn new more adaptive behaviours to replace them
Which case formed the basis of systematic desensitisation?
The case of little Peter (1924)
What did little Peter have a fear of?
Small furry animals particularly rabbits
How did they overcome little peters fear?
Associated rabbits with the unconditioned stimulus food to get the conditioned response of happiness
How did little peters study link with the principles of classical conditioning?
Little Peter made an association or rabbits with food and pleasantness
How did little peters study link positive reinforcement with the principles of operant conditioning?
Positive reinforcement as Peter was rewarded with food for coping with the rabbit
How did little peters study link with negative reinforcement in the principles of operant conditioning?
Removed the unpleasantness (phobia)
Based on little peters experiment who developed systematic desensitisation? (1950)
What did Wolpe do in his experiments to cause a fear?
He taught cats to be scared of boxes by placing them in the box and giving them electric shocks
How did Wolpe reverse the fear?
By using food to bring the cat closer and closer to the box until it had no fear
What did the success of wolpes experiments in reducing extreme anxiety lead him to suggest...
A similar process could be used to treat phobic disorders in humans
What do behaviourists say about animal research?
It can be applied to humans as we both learn in the same way (via conditioning)
What is step 1 of SD?
What do patients learn in step 1/relaxation?
Patients are taught relaxation techniques that they are to use when faced with their phobia
What is relaxation (step 1) important?
A relaxed state is incompatible with anxiety (reciprocal inhibition)
How does step 1 (relaxation) link with the principles of operant conditioning?
It is negative reinforcement, the relaxation removes the anxiety
What is step 2 of SD?
Drawing up the hierarchy
What happens in step 2?
Client and therapist ire together to draw up a hierarchy of anxiety provoking situations (least to most scary)
Give an example of a hierarchy for someone with fear of dogs (step 2):
Toy dog > photo of real dog > video of real dog > real dog on leash at a distance > real dog close by > not on leash > dog jumps on you
What are steps 3 and 4?
3 - desensitisation
4 - achieving relaxation
What happens during step 3 and 4?
Client faced with situation at the bottom of the hierarchy
Applies relaxation techniques
What happens during step 3/4 when the client achieved relaxation?
They move to the next anxiety provoking situation in the hierarchy
Step 3 and 4 are done at...
The clients pace
What is step 5 of SD?
What happens during step 5?
The client can stay relaxed when confronted with the situation at the top of the hierarchy
According to the principles of classical conditioning when the client reaches the top of the hierarchy in step 5 what have they experienced?