The behavioural approach to treating phobias (Flooding (Person will…
The behavioural approach to treating phobias
Person will understand that their phobia will not cause them any harm so they shouldnt be afraid
Flooding is rarely used and if the one who is performing the flooding is not careful, it can be quite dangerous.
At first the sufferer will experience extreme panic and even stress, over time their body will leave the fight or flight state and calm itself down.
Success of flooding proves that phobias are a result of persistent avoidance of the feared object.
e.g claustrophobic person = put in a locked room
/ someone scared of the dark = put into the dark.
works by exposing the phobic sufferer to their fear directly.
hierarchy or anxiety provoking events.
e.g someone afraid of spiders would have
seeing a picture
of a spider
Person makes a list of their feared situations going from
Relaxation = the sufferer is taught how to properly relax.
They will need to go back to this stage after every anxiety provoking event.
When the feared situations are taking place the sufferer has to try and return to their state of relaxation.
If they manage to maintain their relaxation then they move on to the next technique
Pp goes through the stages that they laid out in the hierarchy one by one.
2.hierarchy of anxiety provoking situations
Based on reciprocal inhibition = as it's not possible to experience both severe anxiety and relaxation at the same time.
Not appropriate for all phobias
Ohman (1975) = SD may not be effective for phobias with underlying evolutionary characteristics
e.g fear of dangerous animals.
+Effectiveness of flooding
Reports = flooding is a rapid treatment that delivers immediate improvements
Especially when the pps are encouraged to expose themselves to their fear after therapy
Research support for SD
Research = SD is more effective than not treating the phobia at all
Flooding is stressful
Involves lots of stress and in some cases can make the phobia worse.
If the person does get too scared that they opt out of the treatment then they have enhanced their phobia