feelings by applying in a clinical context the methods used and the discoveries made by experimental
psychologists in their study of both normal and abnormal behaviour.
Counter-conditioning and exposure:
because learning paradigms assume that behaviour is the result of learning, treatment often involves
relearning a new, more adaptive response.
counter-conditioning is relearning achieved by eliciting a new response in the presence of a particular
stimulus. A response to a given stimulus can be eliminated by eliciting a new response in the presence of
- A person who suffers from anxiety works with the therapist to compile a list of feared situations,
starting with those that arouse minimal anxiety and progressing to the most frightening.
- The person is also taught to relax deeply
- Step-by-step, while relaxed, the person imagines the graded series of anxiety-provoking
- The relaxation tends to inhibit any anxiety that might otherwise be elicited by the imagined
- The fearful person becomes able to tolerate increasingly more difficult imagined situations as he
climbs the hierarchy over a number of therapy sessions.
aversive conditioning: a stimulus attractive to the patient is paired with an unpleasant event, such as
a drug that produces nausea, in the hope of endowing it with negative properties.
Several behavioural procedures derive from operant conditioning.
Problem behaviour is thought to have four possible consequences; attention seeking, e