Aversion therapy can be used as psychological treatment. It uses a number of behavior changing techniques which have proved useful in the past. Aversion therapy can treat a number of conditions, which include unwanted thoughts and behaviors, though it’s not limited to them. The therapy can also be used to fight obsessions and compulsions, to a certain degree. Even though in most cases, the aversion therapy tends to be used for psychological conditions that are more serious, in some cases it can be used for something minor as well. Since you can work to get an aversion to all kinds of actions or thoughts, this method of therapy can be useful in many different situations.
This type of therapy works by giving a certain behavior, feeling or thought an association which is negative and it does this in a number of ways. The method which is the mildest of all uses hypnosis. Through hypnosis, the therapist suggests certain images and ideas to clients, and they are related to the habit which is not wanted anymore. The suggestions go to the subconscious of the individual. By creating unpleasant feeling and thoughts, the therapist tries to create aversions to the behavior that is being treated. From nail biting to excessive drinking or smoking, the aversion therapy can be used to treat all kinds of conditions.
Besides hypnosis, there are many other methods which can be used to bring on an aversion to something. Since in some cases the aversion can appear naturally if something bad happens when you’re thinking or doing something, you can use aversion therapy by working on just this type of negative consequence. An example would be eating a type of food, after which you become sick. The result would be avoiding that particular food in the future. The same goes for trying to break habits. If something negative takes place while you’re smoking, in the future you might be less inclined to do it. The intensity of the consequences can vary a lot and in most cases the therapy begins with something mild, like a hypnotic suggestion which is unpleasant.
Because this type of treatment is useful in many cases, a lot of people can benefit from it. An added advantage is the fact that this type of therapy will be faster than a normal therapy where you talk about it and try to resolve it by rationalizing. The only focus of aversion therapy is trying to eliminate the behavior which isn’t wanted, with the help of the aversion you feel when you try to engage in that behavior again. In most cases therapy attempts to find out what causes the problem, but aversion therapy tries only to fix it, so it’s much faster and efficient. Normal therapy might be more helpful since it goes deeper, but if you have to do it for a couple of years you will quickly look for something which is more efficient. Aversion therapy might just be the thing to do it.
Alcohol aversion therapy
The addiction to alcohol can appear because of a number of different facts, but in most cases there is no single cause which you can blame for it. With different types of treatments for alcohol abuse, you get different methods on how its done and different thoughts about what makes it happen. Each person responds to alcohol abuse treatments in a different way, so before he gets started with one of them, he needs to be assessed, so that the treatment that he’ll go through will be as successful as possible.
The treatment programs for alcohol abuse are many and they will range from programs which work on the behavior, like therapeutic support or inpatient treatment, to treatments like acupuncture, hypnotism or pharmacotherapeutic treatments. The alcohol aversion therapy is considered to be biologically based and it tries to make the patient associate this form of addiction with an outcome which is negative.
In many cases, alcohol addiction is based psychologically, so the brain will get a well being feeling when he consumes a substance which is addictive. As the person repeats the act which is addictive, his brain will start to associate good memories which are false with the addictive substances. The aversion therapy can be quite successful in cases like this because it will work on the brain and it will try to associate the addictive substances with reactions which are negative, instead of positive.
One way to do alcohol aversion therapy is by using chemicals, where substances like the ones based on disulfiram will modify the metabolic process as soon as alcohol is consumed by the patient. In most cases the alcohol will be turned into acetic acid, but with this type of aversion therapy it will not be broken down anymore, since the needed enzyme will be blocked. The end result is something which resembles a very bad hangover. The patient can experience side effects like vomiting, nausea, flush feelings, increases or decreases in heart rate, headaches, palpitations of the heart and breath shortness.
Aversion therapy definition
The aversion therapy is considered a type of psychological treatment, where patients will be exposed to different types of stimulus and at the same time it will experience some type of discomfort. The aversion therapy tries to use conditioning to make the patient associate that type of stimulus with a sensation which is unpleasant, with the purpose of stopping that type of behavior in the future.
There isn’t a single type of aversion therapy, since it can be used in many different ways. One of them would be using substances which taste bad on someone’s fingernails, when you’re trying to make them stop chewing their nails. Another would be to give a patient electric shocks when he engages in certain behaviors. There are many types of negative effects which can be paired with certain behaviors, so this is a very powerful type of therapy.
Aversion therapy examples
Aversion therapy is mainly used these days to treat addiction to drugs and alcohol. Since 1932, aversion therapy has been used constantly and it works by trying to change the positive associations created by the brain when it comes to the taste, smell or sight of drugs and alcohol. The studies which have been done at certain periods of time after the treatment, showed that this type of therapy has managed to improve the rate of abstinence. When you compare patients which were in programs of aversion therapy to those in normal programs, there wasn’t any increase in the people which chose to leave the hospital, despite the doctor’s recommendations.
The aversion therapy doesn’t necessarily need the help of professionals. In certain cases, the treatment can be done by the patient himself and it’s one of the methods used by the community which promotes self-help methods. A mild form of this type of therapy by yourself is to use an elastic band, which snaps against the wrist when a negative experience is needed as a result for a certain behavior or thought.
The aversion therapy used initially either electrical or chemical aversion, but these days the aversion in imagination is much more popular and it’s known as covert sensitization.
The covert sensitization is quite effective and powerful and one can use it to treat alcoholism, juvenile delinquency or compulsive gambling. Covert sensitization is also known to do well in treating smokers, especially when you compare its results with what other treatments manage to do.
A number of studies, which looked at the effectiveness of this type of treatment, concluded that it was both cost effective and quick when it came to offering results. The studies analyzed an alcoholic, a chocolate addict, a smoker, a lady which was obese, a smoker of cannabis and a biter of fingernails. In all cases the behavior was eliminated with this type of treatment.
Food aversion therapy
Food aversion therapy can be used to help a patient avoid certain types of foods. The conditioned taste aversion has also the names of Garcia effect or the Sauce Bearnaise Syndrome in Psychology. It’s considered as Pavlovian conditioning. This type of food aversion appears when a patient associated a certain food’s taste with the same symptoms he would experience if he ingested something poisonous, spoiled or toxic. In most cases, this taste aversion will appear after you ingest food which causes vomiting, sickness or nausea.
The food aversion therapy works because humans have a survival mechanism which allows the body to be trained to avoid the effect of substances which are poisonous, so they can’t have a negative effect. As the body learns that a certain taste is associated with a negative reaction, it will try to prevent it from being consumed in the future.
The conditioned taste aversion can appear even without being intentional and without being truly related to a certain food. If a patient gets sick with the flu and he ate a certain food before it happened, the body might associate that food with the effects of the flu.
The name behavior modification is used to describe the use of techniques which are designed to change behaviors. One example would be the alteration of the reactions and behaviors of a person, by offering negative or positive reinforcement of the adaptive behavior. The modification can also work to reduce the behavior, with the help of therapy, punishments or extinction.
The consultation and therapy will not be effective if the context of the behaviors isn’t understood and this process is known as functional behavioral assessment. This type of assessment is best done with the help of the approach known as ABC, which looks at the Antecedents, the Behaviors and finally, at the Consequences. The method tries to look at the things which appear before the behavior takes place, how the behavior manifests itself and what happens once it’s finished. By looking at the patterns which emerge from the data which is collected, a clearer view will appear of the way to treat it. When it comes to special or regular education, this is the method which is most often used to support positive behavior in schoolchildren.
The modifiers of behavior will use a number of techniques based on evidence and they will take place at all the levels of the context. When a behavior takes place only when certain events take place, the modifying of the behavior can be done by eliminating the setting which triggers the behavior. When the pattern of the behavior has a certain trigger, one can train another behavior when that trigger appears again in the future.
When the behavior which is treated is too complex, an analysis of the tasks can be done, with its component parts being taught with the help of chaining.
The group therapy is considered a type of psychotherapy, where at least one therapist (or more) will treat a group of clients together. You can use this term to describe any of the types of psychotherapy, as long as they are administered to an entire group. This will include interpersonal therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy. When you look at it as a broad concept, this term can be used for any type of process which helps an individual when it’s administered as part of a group. This can include anger management groups, relaxation training, support groups and groups for psycho education. In some cases, the group therapy examples can include forms which are a bit more specialized, like music therapy or dance therapy, among others.
Besides the standard group therapy where people talk, you can also fnd examples where it’s based on expressivity, like music therapy, art therapy, psychodrama or drama therapy.
Depression is one of the conditions which can be treated with the help of group therapy and studies have shown that the effect of this type of treatment is quite high.
As you can see, there are many cases where aversion therapy can be used in a successful way, to help people with addiction problems to get rid of their unwanted behaviors.