“Behaviourists explain maladaptive behaviour in terms of the learning principles that sustain and maintain it. Discuss this statement and show how a behaviourist’s approach to therapy is in stark contrast to a psychoanalytic one”.
The term ‘therapy’ has been defined as an activity which ‘involves the treatment of a disease or disorder, by some remedial, rehabilitating, or curative process’. Historically, there has been considerable development in the range and types of therapy that can be used to help a client overcome problems in a modern world, with some sharing similarities but also differences. The intent of this essay is to compare and contrast the behaviourist perspective with a psychoanalytical approach, drawing out their
…show more content…
From this, they define the best solution, with clear targets and outcomes that are monitored. The role of the counsellor within behavioural therapy is to provide a framework. Therapeutic work focuses very much on reorganising the cognitions of the mind, to associate previously problematic thoughts with something positive. The priority is to find the correct approach that works for the client and then to ‘fix’ them. The term ‘fix seems appropriate due to the image of cognitive behavioural therapy being presented as ‘mechanical’; the metaphor of the computer is often used to communicate that change can occur through retraining the cognitions of the mind, just as one can reprogram a computer (McLeod, 2008) The use of the principles of behavioural therapy have been used effectively in the treatment of phobias, and obsessive-compulsive disorders. Treatments programmes such as Systematic desensitisation in which an anxiety – producing stimulus is linked with a positive response help unlearn the negative behaviour. The opposite result of making a desirable stimulus unpleasant can be obtained through ‘aversion conditioning therapy’ in which a behaviour that a person wants to stop, for example addictions such as alcoholism is paired with an unpleasant stimulus , such as a nausea producing drug. The ethics of some of these treatments could be raised when we