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Behaviourists explain maladaptive behaviour in terms of learning principles that sustain and maintain it. Discuss this statement and show how a behaviourists approach to therapy is in stark contrast to a psychoanalytic one

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Introduction

´╗┐Shirley Conway (BOURN2S) Behaviourists explain maladaptive behaviour in terms of learning principles that sustain and maintain it. Discuss this statement and show how a behaviourist?s approach to therapy is in stark contrast to a psychoanalytic one . Shirley Conway (shirleyconway@rocketmail.com) (07763145560) (2283 words) Introduction In this essay I will try explain maladaptive behaviour in terms of learning principles that sustain and maintain it. Also I will show how the main behaviourist principles relate to maladaptive behaviour and compare the behavioural approach with a psychoanalytical approach. Maladaptive behaviours refer to types of behaviors that inhibit a person?s ability to adjust to particular situations. This type of behavior is often used to reduce one?s anxiety, but the result is dysfunctional and non-productive. For example, avoiding situations because you have unrealistic fears may initially reduce your anxiety, but it is non-productive in alleviating the actual problem in the long term. Main Essay Behavioral psychology, also known as behaviorism, is a theory of learning based upon the idea that all behaviors are acquired through conditioning. Conditioning occurs through interaction with the environment. According to behaviorism, behavior can be studied in a systematic and observable manner with no consideration of internal mental states. There are two major types of conditioning: Classical conditioning is a technique used in behavioral training in which a naturally occurring stimulus is paired with a response. ...read more.

Middle

As it begins to turn toward the piano more frequently, it begins to be rewarded only when it looks directly at the piano or moves toward it. Eventually it is rewarded only when it touches the piano, and so forth. This shaping of behavior or "successive approximation" has proven to be a very successful teaching technique. It has been adapted to teach people to overcome phobias or other disruptive behaviors. Fred Skinner's beliefs and techniques were not radical enough in themselves to cause the storm of controversy that eventually began to swirl around him. One factor contributing to this storm was the "baby tender". The baby tender was a device Fred Skinner invented to keep his second daughter, Deborah in a safe, thermostatically controlled environment while he worked. It was the high-tech equivalent of a playpen, but was misunderstood and construed as a diabolical device that Fred Skinner was using to experiment upon his hapless child. He was accused of keeping Deborah, who became known as "the baby in the box" inside the baby tender for three years, depriving her of fresh air and human companionship. Although this was far from the truth, magazine articles painted Fred Skinner as an unfeeling, inhumane parent. In 1971, Fred Skinner published a book that would prove to be even more shocking to the American public. ...read more.

Conclusion

Cognitive-behaviorists and psychoanalysts share a common interest in the importance of perspectives and belief systems and their impact on individual freedom, and comparative research on therapeutic effectiveness could yield benefits for both therapeutic approaches. Locus of control and self-efficacy are central elements in cognitive-behavioral psychology, and they play an important role in cognitive-behavioral therapy. Although the psychoanalytic approach does not explicitly employ those concepts, psychoanalytic therapists are obviously concerned with problems of effective action and internal obstacles to action. Attention to these two perspectives and their overlapping interest?s offers potential benefits for both the cognitive-behavioral and the psychodynamic approaches to psychological research and therapy. One potential benefit is the development of useful tools for advancing empirically based research on psychoanalysis. As Lehrer (1999) states, it is advantageous to ground psychoanalysis in "firm empirical evidence whenever possible." Although there have obviously been significant positive steps in that direction (Singer 2003; Weiss 1995, 1988; Weiss and Sampson 1986), psychoanalytic researchers have recognized that one source of difficulty is in finding clearly measurable research objectives and hypotheses, freedom, locus of control, psychoanalysis, self-efficacy, volition. After writing this essay I have realised I still have much to learn and there are many types of therapy approaches and to be a successful therapist you must have a good understanding of a variety of approaches. ...read more.

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