Psychology: Psychology and Relaxation Techniques Essay

Submitted By RobNo3
Words: 295
Pages: 2

How would behavioural treatments be used to treat a psychological disorder, anxiety?
Anxiety is a reaction caused by a stimulus that an individual is afraid of and can cause a number of symptoms, raised heart rate, high blood pressure, sweating etc. A way in which anxiety can be caused is by a phobia. A phobia is an irrational fear of an object or situation. Behaviourists state that if we are able to learn a phobia, then it can be unlearnt. One way in which the behaviourist deals with helping an individual get over a phobia would be to use systematic desensitisation. This starts off by using relaxation techniques to calm the individual down until they are in a state of mind and body where they feel comfortable enough and no longer feel vulnerable. Next, you would move the individual onto the fear hierarchy in which the individual would move through the stages from thinking of the stimuli in their head, once they are comfortable with this then they would go to seeing pictures of the stimuli, then they would move onto being in the same room as the stimuli if that were the case and eventually be able to overcome the phobia to touch or be in the situation with the stimuli that caused them the anxiety. An example of this is McGraths study of Lucy and her phobia of loud noises through which the use of party poppers and balloons was used to help her overcome her fear. By using the relaxation techniques, whilst working through the fear hierarchy, she was eventually, by the 10th…