Habits reversal: chapter 21
Habits reversals: are procedures that are used to decrease the frequency of
undesirable habit behavior. They often do no interferes to any great extend with
person’s functioning but they tend to be annoyance to the person or significant other.
In some cases the frequency or intensity of the habit can produce negative physically
(i.e., tissue damage) or social (i.e., embarrassment, social stigma) effects for the
individual. In such cases the it is called habit disorder.
Example: shuttering, neck cracking, nails eating are are examples of habit. But they
cause a problem physical or social then they become disorder.
Defining types of habit behaviors:
Nervous habits: repetitive, manipulative behaviors that are assumed to occur when a
person experiences heightened nervous tension e.g., fingernail biting, teeth grinding,
thumb sucking when nervous. These are also called body focused repetitive behavior
problems. They are usually done to diminish nervous tensions. Usually don’t cause any
problem unless frequency and intensity goes up really high.
Motor tics: repetitive, jerking movements of the body e.g., facial tics, head jerking. It
may be due to increased muscle tension like a certain movement may produce relief to
injured area, but tic persists even after injury has healed and become habits (walking on
Vocal tic: repetitive vocal sound that does not convey information or serve a social
function e.g., excessive throatclearing, or uttered sounds
Tourette’s disorder/syndrome: includes multiple motor tics and at least one vocal tic
that persist for at least 1 year. Caused by both genetics and environmental factors.
Shuttering: speech dysfluency in which a person repeats syllables or words, prolongs the
length of a syllable or word, or experiences blocking of a phoneme which interferes with
Habit reversal procedures: It is an approach for decreasing a behavior that does not
concentrate on providing or withdrawing reinforcement and is implemented by the target
person, usually under the supervision of a behavior analyst or other therapist to decrease
a certain habit. Habit reversal therapy client learns two things.
1) Awareness training: person is taught to describe the problem behavior, and then to
watch for it and notice when it occurs (or is about to occur)
2) Competing response training: person is taught to perform a behavior that is
incompatible with the target behavior and practice this in session after each occurrence of
habit. He then imagines the situation in