Chapter 15 Therapies

Chapter 15 Therapies

Psychological Therapies Two broad forms of therapy are used by mental health professionals to help people with psychological disorders. 1. Psychotherapy is the treatment of emotional, behavioral, and interpersonal problems through the use of psychological techniques designed to encourage understanding of problems and modify troubling feelings, behaviors, or relationships. 2. Biomedical therapies involve the use of psychotropic medications, electroconvulsive therapy, or other medical treatments to treat the symptoms associated with psychological disorders. 3. Until very recently, only licensed physicians, such as psychiatrists, were legally allowed to prescribe the different forms of biomedical therapy; however, the situation is changing, with some states extending prescription privileges to properly trained psychologists, although not all psychologists support this change. I. Psychoanalytic Therapy A. Sigmund Freud and Psychoanalysis 1. Psychoanalysis is a type of psychotherapy originated by Sigmund Freud in which free association, dream interpretation, and analysis of resistance and transference are used to explore repressed or

unconscious impulses, anxieties, and internal conflicts. 2. Sigmund Freud originally developed psychoanalysis in the early 1900s; its assumptions and techniques continue to influence many psychotherapies today. 3. Psychoanalysis uses techniques designed to help unearth repressed memories of unresolved conflicts and frustrated urges so that the patient attains insight as to the real source of her problems. a. Free association is a technique in which the patient spontaneously reports all thoughts, feelings, and mental images as they come to mind, as a way of revealing unconscious thoughts and emotions. b. Resistance is the patients unconscious attempts to block the revelation of repressed memories and conflicts. c. Dream interpretation is a technique in which the content of dreams is analyzed for disguised or symbolic wishes, meanings, and motivations. d. Interpretation is a technique in which the psychoanalyst offers a carefully timed explanation of the unconscious meaning of the patients behavior, thoughts, feelings, or dreams. e. The psychoanalyst encourages transference, the process by which emotions and desires originally associated with a significant person in the patients life, such as a parent, are unconsciously transferred to the psychoanalyst. 4. All these psychoanalytic techniques are designed to help the patient achieve

insight into how past conflicts influence her current behavior and relationships, and then replace maladaptive behavior patterns with adaptive ones. 5. On average, the traditional psychoanalyst sees the patient three times a week or more, often for years. Short term Psychoanalysis B. Short-Term Dynamic Therapies 1. Many different forms of short-term dynamic therapies based on traditional psychoanalytic ideas are now available. These short-term dynamic therapies have several features in common. a. Therapeutic contact lasts for no more than a few months. b. The patients problems are quickly assessed at the beginning of therapy. c. Therapist and patient agree on specific, concrete, and attainable goals. d. In actual sessions, most therapists are more directive than traditional psychoanalysts. e. The therapist uses interpretations to help the patient recognize hidden feelings and transferences that may be occurring in important relationships in her life.

2. Interpersonal therapy (IPT), a particularly influential short-term psychodynamic therapy, focuses on current relationships and social interactions and is highly structured. It is based on the assumption that psychological symptoms are caused and maintained by interpersonal problems. Although originally conceived to be brief, it now may also be long term. a. The therapist helps the person identify and understand his particular interpersonal problem and develop strategies to resolve it. b. In the IPT therapy model, there are four categories of personal problems: unresolved grief, role disputes, role transitions, and interpersonal deficits. c. IPT is used to treat depression, eating disorders, and substance abuse. In addition, it is used to help people deal with interpersonal problems, such as marital conflict, parenting issues, and conflicts at work. d. Although traditional long-term psychoanalysis is uncommon today, Freuds basic assumptions and techniques remain influential. II. Humanistic Therapy The humanistic perspective in psychology emphasizes human potential, selfawareness, and freedom of choice. A. Carl Rogers and Client-Centered Therapy 1. Client-centered therapy (person-centered therapy) was developed by humanistic psychologist Carl Rogers. 2. Rogers deliberately used the word client rather than the medical term patient to avoid the implication that

the person was sick. 3. Rogers believed that the therapist should be nondirective and reflective; that is, the therapist must not direct the client, make decisions for the client, offer solutions, or pass judgment on the clients thoughts or feelings. The client directs the focus of each session. 4. Rogers believed that three qualities of the therapist are necessary: a. Genuineness: The therapist honestly and openly shares her thoughts and feelings with the client. b. Unconditional positive regard: The therapist must value, accept, and care for the client, whatever her problems or behavior. Rogers believed that people develop psychological problems largely because they have consistently experienced only conditional acceptance. c. Empathic understanding: The therapist reflects the content and personal meaning of feelings being experienced by the client. The therapist listens actively for the personal meaning beneath the surface of what the client is saying. 5. As a result of these therapeutic conditions, the client moves in the direction of self-actualization. 6. The client-centered approach has led to number of new techniques. Motivational interviewing (MI) is designed to help clients overcome their mixed feelings or reluctance about committing to change. 7. The client-centered approach has been applied to marital counseling, parenting, education, business, and even to community and international relations. III. Behavior Therapy Behavior therapy (or behavior modification) is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on

directly changing maladaptive behavior patterns by using basic learning principles and techniques. Behavior therapists assume that maladaptive behaviors are learned, just as adaptive behaviors are. A. Techniques Based on Classical Conditioning 1. Mary Cover Jones: The First Behavior Therapist a. Mary Cover Jones pioneered the use of behavioral techniques in therapy. She explored ways of reversing conditioned fears. b. In treating 3-year-old Peters fear of rabbits, Jones used a procedure now known as counterconditioning, a technique based on classical conditioning that involves modifying behavior by conditioning a new response that is incompatible with a previously learned response. c. Jones also used social imitation, or observational learning,techniques. 2. Systematic Desensitization a. Developed by South African psychiatrist Joseph Wolpe, systematic desensitization is a type of behavior therapy in which phobic responses are reduced by pairing relaxation with a series of mental images or real-life situations that the person finds progressively more fear-provoking; based on the principle of counterconditioning. b. Three basic steps are involved in systematic desensitization. (1) First, the patient learns progressive relaxation, which involves successively relaxing one muscle group after another until a deep state of relaxation is achieved.

(2) Second, the therapist helps the patient construct an anxiety hierarchy, which is a list of specific anxiety-provoking images, arranged in a hierarchy from least anxiety provoking to most anxietyprovoking; the patient also develops an image of a relaxing control scene. (3) Third, while deeply relaxed, the patient imagines the least threatening scene on the hierarchy; after he can maintain complete relaxation, he moves on to the next scene, and so on. c. In practice, systematic desensitization is often combined with other techniques, such as observational learning. Behavior Therapy, cont. 3. In Focus: Using Virtual Reality Therapy to Conquer Phobias a. Virtual reality (VR) therapy consists of computer-generated scenes that you view wearing goggles and a special motion sensitive headset. b. This therapy is easier and less expensive than standard therapy. c. VR therapy has become an accepted treatment for simple phobias and is now being extended. 4. The Bell and Pad Treatment The bell and pad treatment is a technique used to treat nighttime bedwetting by conditioning arousal from sleep in response to bodily signals of a full bladder. It is effective in about 75 percent of school age children who have difficulties with bedwetting. 5. Aversive Conditioning Aversive conditioning is a relatively ineffective technique that

involves repeatedly pairing an aversive stimulus with the occurrence of undesirable behaviors or thoughts. It is used in treating substance abuse, sexual deviance, self-injurious behavior, and compulsive gambling. B. Techniques Based on Operant Conditioning 1. Behavior therapists have developed several treatments derived from B. F. Skinners operant conditioning model of learning. a. Shaping involves reinforcing successive approximations of a desired behavior. b. Positive and negative reinforcement are used to increase the incidence of desired behaviors. c. Extinction, or the absence of reinforcement, is used to reduce the occurrence of undesired behaviors. 2. The first step in a treatment program is to identify specific problem behaviors and determine their baseline rate. The therapist then targets each problem behavior and objectively measures the progress toward specific behavioral goals. 3. In a token economy, the therapeutic environment is structured to reward desired behaviors with tokens or points that may eventually be exchanged for tangible rewards.

4. Contingency management interventions involve carefully specified behaviors, a target group of clients or patients, and the use of vouchers or other conditioned reinforcers that can be exchanged for prizes, cash, or other rewards. They have proven to be especially effective in the outpatient treatment of substance abuse and dependence. IV. Cognitive Therapies Cognitive therapies are a group of psychotherapies based on the assumption that psychological problems are due to faulty thinking; treatment techniques focus on recognizing and altering these unhealthy thinking patterns. A. Albert Ellis and Rational-Emotive Therapy 1. Psychologist Albert Ellis developed rational-emotive therapy (RET), which focuses on changing the clients patterns of irrational thinking. 2. The key premise of RET is that peoples difficulties are caused by their faulty expectations and irrational beliefs. 3. In RET, psychological problems are explained by the ABC model: When an Activating event (A) occurs, it is the persons Beliefs (B) about the event that cause emotional Consequences

(C). 4. Identifying the core irrational beliefs that underlie personal distress is the first step in RET; the second step is for the therapist to vigorously dispute and challenge the irrational beliefs. Rational-emotive therapists tend to be very direct and even confrontational. 5. From the clients perspective, rationalemotive therapy requires considerable effort. a. The person must admit her irrational beliefs and accept the fact that those beliefs are irrational and unhealthy. b. The client must radically change her way of interpreting and responding to stressful events. 6. RET is generally effective in the treatment of depression, social phobia, and certain anxiety disorders, and in helping people overcome self-defeating behaviors.

Cognitive Therapies, cont. B. Aaron Beck and Cognitive Therapy 1. Psychiatrist Aaron T. Beck developed cognitive therapy (CT), which focuses on changing the clients unrealistic beliefs. 2. Beck discovered that depressed patients have developed a negative cognitive bias, consistently distorting their experiences in a negative way. 3. Although CT has much in common with RET, Beck, unlike Ellis, believes that depression and other psychological problems are caused by distorted thinking and unrealistic beliefs.

4. The CT therapist encourages the client to empirically test the accuracy of his or her assumptions and beliefs. a. The client learns to recognize and monitor the automatic thoughts that occur without conscious effort or control. b. The client learns how to empirically test the reality of the automatic thoughts that are so upsetting. 5. The CT therapist strives to create a therapeutic climate of collaboration that encourages the client to contribute to the evaluation of the logic and accuracy of automatic thoughts.

6. CT is effective in treating depression, borderline personality disorder, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, PTSD, and relationship problems. It may also help prevent depression from recurring. C. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy 1. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) refers to therapy that integrates cognitive and behavioral techniques and that is based on the assumption that thoughts, moods, and behaviors are interrelated. 2. Cognitive-behavioral therapists challenge maladaptive beliefs and substitute more adaptive cognitions, and they use behavior modification, shaping, reinforcement, and modeling to teach problem solving and change unhealthy behavior patterns. 3. CBT is a very effective treatment for depression, eating disorders, substance abuse, and anxiety disorders. It can also help decrease the incidence of delusions and hallucinations in patients with schizophrenia and psychotic symptoms.

V. Group and Family Therapy A. Group Therapy 1. Group therapy is a form of psychotherapy that involves one or more therapists working simultaneously with a small group of clients. a. Groups may be as small as 3 or 4 people or as large as 10 or more people. b. Virtually any approach can be used in group therapy. 2. Group therapy has a number of advantages over individual psychotherapy. a. It is very cost-effective. b. The therapist can observe the clients actual interactions with others. c. Support and encouragement provided by the other group members may help a person feel less alone and understand that his problems are not unique. d. Group members may provide each other with practical advice for solving common problems and can act as models for successfully overcoming difficulties. e. People have an opportunity to try out new behaviors in a safe, supportive environment. 3. Group therapy is typically conducted by a mental health professional. In contrast, self-help groups and support groups are typically conducted by nonprofessionals. 4. Helping Yourself by Helping Others a. Self-help groups and support groups are typically organized and led by nonprofessionals. b. The groups are either free or charge nominal fees to cover the cost of materials. c. Typically, members have a common problem and meet for the purpose of exchanging psychological support.

d. The format of such groups varies enormously, but many follow a 12-step approach. e. Self-help groups can be as effective as therapy. f. More research is needed on why self-help groups are effective and on the kinds of people and problems that are most likely to benefit from them. B. Family and Couple Therapy 1. Family therapy is based on the assumption that the family is a system and it treats the family as a unit. 2. According to this view, every family has certain unspoken rules of interaction and communication. As interaction issues are explored, unhealthy patterns of family interaction can be identified and replaced with new rules that promote the psychological health of the family. 3. Many family therapists also provide marital or couple therapy. Most couple therapies have the goal of improving communication and problem-solving skills and increasing intimacy between the pair. VI. Evaluating the Effectiveness of Psychotherapy A. Decades of research demonstrate that psychotherapy is effective in helping people with psychological disorders. 1. Some people eventually improve simply with the passage of time, a phenomenon called spontaneous remission. 2. Researchers use a statistical technique called meta-analysis to combine and interpret the results of large numbers of studies. 3. Comparing people who receive psychotherapy treatment to no treatment controls, researchers consistently find that psychotherapyis significantly more effective than no treatment.

a. On average, the person who completes treatment is better off than about 80 percent of those in the untreated control group. b. Benefits are usually apparent in a relatively short period of time. c. Gains that people make tend to endure. d. Brain-imaging technologies show that psychotherapy alone produces distinct physiological changes in the brain that are associated with a reduction in symptoms. B. Is One Form of Psychotherapy Superior? 1. A surprising but consistent finding emerges: In general, there is little or no difference in the effectiveness of different psychotherapies. 2. The fact that there is little difference in outcome among empirically supported therapies does not mean that all forms of psychotherapy are equally effective. Alternative therapies 3. EMDR a. Eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR), developed by Francine Shapiro, is a therapy technique in which the client holds a vivid mental image of a troubling event or situation while rapidly moving his or her eyes back and forth in response to the therapists waving finger or while the therapist administers some other form of bilateral stimulation, such as sounding tones in alternate ears. b. Originally touted as a one-session treatment for PTSD, EMDR today often involves multiple sessions and is used to treat numerous disorders. c. Some researchers have found that patients benefit from EMDR and that EMDR is more effective than no treatment at all. d. But EMDR is less effective than exposure therapy (a behavioral treatment in which the person is repeatedly exposed to the disturbing object or situation under controlled conditions), while it is no more effective than other standard treatments for anxiety disorders, including PTSD.

e. Several research studies have found no difference in outcome between treatments that incorporated eye movements and sham EMDR. f. EMDR displays several of the fundamental characteristics of a pseudoscience. g. EMDR highlights an ongoing problem in contemporary psychotherapy- revolutionary new therapies are developed, advertised, and marketed before controlled scientific studies of their effectiveness have been conducted. C. What Factors Contribute to Effective Psychotherapy? 1. Researchers have identified a number of common factors related to a positive therapy outcome: a. Quality of the therapeutic relationshipthe most important factor. b. Therapist characteristicsa caring attitude, the ability to listen empathically, and sensitivity to cultural differences, among others. c. Client characteristicsmotivated, committed to therapy, and actively involved in the process. d. External circumstancesa stable living situation and supportive family members. 2. Increasingly, mental health professionals are moving toward eclecticismthe pragmatic and integrated use of techniques from different psychotherapies. Eclectic psychotherapists carefully tailor the therapy approach to the problems and characteristics of the person seeking help. Cultural hindrances to therapy American cultural values and may clash with the values of clients from other cultures.

a. A focus on the individualIn many collectivistic cultures, the needs of the individual are much more strongly identified with the needs of the group. (1) Native American network therapy is conducted in the persons home and can involve as many as 70 members of the individuals community or tribe. (2) Latino cultures stress the value of familismothe importance of the extended family network. (3) The goal of Japanese Naikan therapy is to replace the focus on the self with a sense of gratitude and obligation toward others. b. The importance of insightAsian cultures stress that mental health is enhanced by the avoidance of negative thinking. c. Intimate disclosure between therapist and clientIn some cultures, intimate details of ones personal life would never be discussed with a stranger. d. The demand for emotional opennessAsian and Native American cultures avoid public display of emotions. e. Recognizing the need for psychotherapists to become more culturally sensitive, the American Psychological Association has recommended formal training in multicultural awareness for all psychologists. VII. Biomedical Therapies It was not until the twentieth century that effective biomedical therapies were developed to treat the symptoms of mental disorders. Today, the most common biomedical therapy is the use of psychotropic medications, or prescription drugs that alter mental functions and alleviate psychological symptoms. A. Antipsychotic Medications

Antipsychotic medications (or neuroleptics) are prescription drugs that are used to reduce psychotic symptoms. They are frequently used in the treatment of schizophrenia. 1. The first antipsychotic drugs a. For more than 2,000 years, medical practitioners in India used the snakeroot plant to diminish psychotic symptoms. American researchers first became aware of this drug, reserpine, in the 1950s. b. Also in the 1950s, French scientists found that chlorpromazine (Thorazine) diminished psychotic symptoms but had fewer side effects than reserpine. c. These first antipsychotic medications effectively reduced the positive symptoms of schizophrenia by reducing dopamine levels. 2. Drawbacks of Antipsychotic Medications a. The early antipsychotics didnt actually cure schizophrenia; psychotic symptoms often returned if a person stopped taking the medication. b. They were not effective in eliminating the negative symptoms of schizophrenia, such as apathy and social withdrawal. c. They often produced unwanted side effects.

d. They globally altered brain levels of dopamine, sometimes producing motor-related side effects. Long-term use can cause a potentially irreversible motor disorder called tardive dyskinesia. e. Because of their negative side effects, people often stopped taking them. This resulted in a revolving door pattern of hospitalization, discharge, and rehospitalization. 3. The Atypical Antipsychotics

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