Non-Biological Treatments for Mental Illness

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  • Non-Biological Treatment for Mental Illness
    • Flooding
      • based on classical conditioning
      • maximum exposure to the most feared situation until fear subsides
      • initial adrenaline will start to subside and the patient starts to feel calmer, which they will start to associate the feeling of calm with the original phobia stimulus
    • Aversion Therapy
      • based on classical conditioning
      • unwanted behaviour is associated with an unpleasant stimulus eg. nausea or electric shock
      • this is suitable for some types of addiction eg smoking, overeating, alcoholism, in which the individual may be given drugs to induce sickness
    • Token Economy
      • based on operant conditioning
      • tokens are given for 'good' behaviour that can be saved up and exchanged for a reward later
      • used to shape the behaviour of patients in mental hospitals
    • Systematic Desensitisation
      • based on classical conditioning
      • previously negative association can be removed and positive association can be learnt
      • the patient creates a hierarchy of fear from least to most fear provoking
        • relaxation techniques will be learned
      • gradual exposure to a feared situation/object wile relaxed whilst practicing relaxation techniques as they move through the hierarchy
        • by the time they reach the top of the hierarchy they now associate stimulus with feeling calm
      • McGrath's study on systematic desensitisation
        • they practiced systematic desensitisation on a 10 year old girl called Lucy
          • she had a fear of loud noises and objects associated with loud noise such as balloons and party poppers
        • They had Lucy create a hierarchy of fear that was worked through systematically
          • they taught her to imagine herself playing with her toys at home and over the course of 10 sessions her fear gradually reduced
            • Lucy was asked to self rate her fear: her fear of balloons was decreased from a 7/10 to 3/10 and her fear of party poppers was decreased from a 9/10 to 3/10


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