Treatment Dysfunctional Behaviours

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There are different treatments for dysfunctional behaviours with each treatment having both advantages and disadvantages. The treatments available for dysfunctional behaviours are Systematic Desensitisation (SD), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Fluphenazine. SD is a behavioural treatment for dysfunctional behaviours such as phobias. SD is based on the principles of classical conditioning as phobias are learnt behaviours so the person with a phobia associates their fear with a pleasant stimulus to remove their conditioned fear. SD is a safe treatment to using medication which can have toxic side-effects or be addictive. This treatment was used by McGrath to treat Lucy, a 9 year old who had a specific noise phobia so she feared sudden loud noises such as balloon, party poppers and fireworks. However, this treatment can take time and commitment in several sessions to be effective as a psychotherapist is required who with the patient creates a hierarchy of fear and then teaches relaxation techniques to associate with the fear. For Lucy’s fear to reduce on the hypothetical ‘fear thermometer’ used to rate her level of fear between 1 to 10, ten sessions were required but even then she still showed some fear at balloons popping as her scores reduced from 7/10 to 3/10 . Therefore, SD is effective in the treatment of phobias but requires time and commitment from the patient. CBT is a cognitive treatment for dysfunctional behaviours such as schizophrenia considered to have a cognitive cause as are simply distortions of a person’s perception so such people hear voice. Using CBT, it should be possible to logically re-structure to a more normal view by identifying problematic thoughts and behaviours. CBT can be time-consuming as it aims to change the way someone thinks or acts to treat dysfunctional behaviours. For example, in the study by Sensky, 45 minutes sessions

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