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University of Massachusetts Amherst
Psychology & Brain Sciences

Psychotherapy Psychotherapy: uses psychological techniques to help someone overcome psychological difficulties and disorders, resolve problems in living, or bring about personal growth Biomedical therapy: relies on drugs and medical procedures to improve psychological functioning Classical Therapies Psychoanalysis: Goal: to help clients gain an understanding of the unconscious, unresolved conflicts, repressed childhood experiences through therapist interpretation and insight How/when/where: - individual therapy in office - 4-5 times/week for several years - therapist is neutral, only talks to interpret Techniques: - dream analysis - free association - resistance - insight Relationship with therapist: Transference Behavioral Therapy Goal: change the problem behavior; no thoughts, no reflection on past Techniques: From classical conditioning Exposure: people are confronted gradually or suddenly to a feared stimulus but with no bad outcome (positive event). - eventually the anxiety will be distinguished Exposure and Ritual Prevention: effective treatment for OCD, anxiety and phobias - Goal: to extinguish a patient’s fears by exposing them to what they fear while preventing their escape response (compulsion) Systematic Desensitization: 1. create anxiety hierarchy 2. teach relaxation techniques 3. pair relaxation with anxious stimuli (example: arachnophobia) Anxiety Hierarchy: - hold the snake in your hands - see free snake from up-close - see a real snake in its cage - see and touch a fake snake - see a picture of a snake Aversion therapy: pair behavior with a negative event to extinct it - example: smoking cessation programs Techniques: From operant conditioning Token Economy Who: used with schizophrenics, adolescents How: create a system where certain behaviors are rewarded with tokens or money Client Centered Goal: help the client solve their own problems by creating warm, calm environment, and granting authority How: non-directive, collaborative approach - genuine - accepting - empathic Techniques: - re
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