Behaviourists Explain Maladaptive Behaviour In Ter

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Behaviourists are convinced that behaviour is determined by conditioning and this can be reinforced by positive or negative rewards. Positive rewards will ensure that the behaviour will be repeated while negative rewards will lead to ceasing of that behaviour. The early behaviourists were even claiming that if given neutral youngsters they would be able to mould them into ways of behaving suited for a particular purpose. It is here where psychoanalysts would argue that human behaviour cannot be measured or just reduced to stimulus response. Both behaviourists and psychoanalysts would deny the existence of a free will. Where I believe those two approaches differ is in trying to help the client to discover it. Clients in the behaviourist tradition would be completing certain homework tasks set each week by the therapist, whereas during psychoanalysis the client would be talking freely about experiences from childhood with a view to help make sense of their lives. Behaviourists believe that what can be learned can be unlearned and that behaviour can be improved by changing negative thoughts into positive ones. In psychoanalysis the main emphasis is put on experiences of early childhood, how the child manages to negotiate each of the psychosexual stages and the Oedipal complex and for the client to re-experience the early childhood relationships with he therapist through transference and counter-transference. The unconscious and interpretations of dreams also play a major role. In this essay the two approaches will be briefly explained, drawing attention to which extent the two approaches differ. References will be made to my personal experience as well as that of one of my volunteer clients. A particular attention will be paid to anxiety and phobias, which is an irrational fear and how the two approaches view it. A person with a healthy coping mechanism would

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