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Systematic desensitisation

An overview of a behaviourist treatment for abnormality

Vicky Maile

on 5 February 2013

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Transcript of Systematic desensitisation

Step 1: Step 2: Step 3: Behaviourist treatments Systematic desensitisation The client learns deep muscle or
progressive relaxation techniques.

What do you think this involves? Suggest some strategies that a therapist could use to help a client learn how to be relaxed. The client and therapist create a 'hierarchy of fear'.

What do you think this means?
Create a hierarchy for a phobia of clowns. The client works through this hierarchy, focusing on remaining relaxed at each stage.
If they become too anxious, they can return to an earlier stage in the hierarchy and practice their relaxation techniques until they are ready to move on again.

Create a spider diagram with the possible strengths and weaknesses of this technique. Question: The behaviourist approach sees abnormal behaviour as being learned from experiences in the environment. How do you think that a behavioural psychologist would set about changing abnormal behaviour? Tends to be used for anxiety disorders (e.g. phobias).
Involves gradually learning to be less anxious when facing the source of the anxiety.
Involves a set of stages that the 'client' works through (called an 'anxiety hierarchy').
Involves relaxation techniques. What is systematic desensitisation? I'm cured!
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