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Discuss the use of one or more psychological treatments of abnormality (12 marks)

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Discuss the use of one or more psychological treatments of abnormality (12 marks) Systematic desensitisation is one form of behavioural therapy used to treat abnormality, with a particular focus on phobias. A phobia is an irrational fear that prevents an individual from living their life normally. It is a type of anxiety disorder. Behaviourists believe that abnormal behaviour develops through classical conditioning and operant conditioning. Classical conditioning is when a person develops a fear of something through association, as was seen in the study of Little Albert. ...read more.


The third and final stage requires the patient to start at the bottom of the fear hierarchy, working their way up to the top and imagine each scenario whilst practicing the relaxation techniques learnt in stage one. Often, for clients with phobias, imagining a scenario can be just as frightening as actually experiencing it. This technique will help them to overcome their fears and eventually, they will master the feared situation that caused them to seek help in the first place. ...read more.


Barlow 2002 showed that it was 60% effective in treating arachnophobia and 90% effective in treating blood phobias. However, Choy (2007) suggested that flooding can often be a more effective way of overcoming phobias than systematic desensitisation. Furthermore, the SD treatment makes no attempt to address deeper psychological issues i.e. where the fear comes from. By ignoring the root causes of the phobia and simply addressing the phobia itself, the client risks redeveloping the phobia. In addition to this, it is claimed that SD is only relevant to anxiety disorders and cannot be used to address other types of abnormalities, limiting its overall effectiveness as a treatment for abnormality. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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