Chrysalis Module 4 25

Good Essays
Behaviourists explain maladaptive behaviour in terms of the learning principles that sustain and maintain it. Discuss this statement and show how a behaviourists approach to therapy is in stark contrast to psychoanalytic one.

The term ‘therapy’ literary means, “curing, healing” and is defined as a treatment intended to relieve or heal a disorder. Historically, there has been considerable development in the range and types of therapy that can be used to help a client overcome their problems in a modern world. Some of these theories are very different whilst others share some similarities.
Edward Thorndike proposed the ‘Law of Effect’ whereby behavioural responses which were closely followed by pleasant consequences, would ensure that
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According to behaviourism, behaviour can be studied in a systematic and observable manner with no consideration of internal mental processes. As human beings we are driven to understand who we are and how the facets of our own personality make us unique individuals. Behaviourists believed that we are born with a handful of innate responses known as stimulus response and that all of our complex behaviours are through learning by interaction with the environment
As one of the oldest theories of personality, behaviourism dates back to Descartes, who introduced the idea of a stimulus and called the person a machine dependent on external events whose soul was the ghost in the machine. Although most theories operate to some degree on the assumption that humans have some sort of free will and are moral thinking entities, behaviourism does not accept that maladaptive characteristics are inherent in a person’s nature. “In the mind of the behaviourist, persons are nothing more than simple mediators between behaviour and the environment” (Skinner, 1993, p 428).
There are two major types of conditioning:
1. Classical conditioning is a technique used in behavioural training in which a naturally occurring stimulus is paired with a response. Next, a previously neutral stimulus is paired with the naturally occurring stimulus. Eventually, the previously neutral stimulus comes to evoke the response without the presence of the naturally occurring
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