The chapter is above helping people overcoming fear and anxiety related disorder.
Defining fear and anxiety problems:
Fear: Is composed of both operant and respondent behavior. Typically a person is afraid
of a particular stimulus or stimulus situation. When the stimulus is present, the person
experiences unpleasant bodily responses (automatics nervous system arousal) and
engages in the escape or avoidance behavior. The bodily response is respondent behavior
we called anxiety. This acts as an establishing operation in that the person is more likely
to engage in escape or avoidance behavior at that time.
It is comprised of both respondent conditioning (CS see a snake▯CR is autonomic
nervous system arousal involving increase HR/BP etc. It also involves operant behaviors
in the spider▯elicits a call for a husband to kill the spider ▯ the spider is gone and the
anxiety decrease and the call for husband is reinforced.
Another example: think (overt condition) about presentation▯automatic arousal (CR).
Dropping a class that has presentation is reinforced by the fact that it decreases anxiety.
It is important to conduct a functional analysis to determine that is the purpose of the fear
behavior (often a child saying he is scared, and hitting things, might just not want to go to
school and rather instead of the act of being in fear it is just an operant behavior with not
respondent behavior. Another example is a child claiming fear of dark and the parent
coming in to sleep with him. If It does not produce any automatic arousal (CR) then it is
Procedures to reduce fear and anxiety:
Relaxation training: are procedures that people use to decrease the automatic arousal
that they experience as component of fear and anxiety problems. Usually produces these
opposite bodily responses, he or she reports a decrease in anxiety. There are 4 different
relaxation training approaches are used:
Progressive muscles relaxation (PMR): alternately tensing and relaxing different
muscle groups while resting. This leaves the muscles more relaxed than they were before.
But the person must learn (either through therapist, videos etc.) to relax and tense her/his
muscles. Often if you do it yourself you got to memorize to relax and tense different
muscles in a sequences. Often you may want to include a word in the procedure so it can
pair up with the relaxation response. Later in a problem situation, then instead of doing
actual PMR you can just say like “ relax “ and that will make you feel good.
Diaphragmatic breathing (deep breathing):
Using the muscles of the diaphragm to breathe deeply and slowly in a rhythmic patter and
is usually characterized by expansion of the abdomen instead of just the chest during
breathing, and upward movement of shoulders and the the person focuses on the act of
breathing (such as sensation of breathing deep ▯ so you don’t focus o what causing you
anxiety). It also helps because it changes the pattern of breathing from rapid (in anxiety) to slow and calm and thus decreasing anxiety. It can be used with relaxation training
Attention focusing exercises: Direct attention to a neural or pleasant stimuli to remove
the attention form anxiety producing stimuli meditation, guided imagery and hypnosis all
example. Guided imagery: person imagines pleasant and peaceful scenes and images
(when the therapist or you just hear the words) take attention away from the unpleasant
things. Hypnosis: the person focuses his attention on the hypnotic suggestions. You can
even do hypnosis yourself by reciting hypnotics scripts to induce a state of relaxation.