Date: December 1973
Creator: Vance, Ivan Noel
Description: One of the newer techniques to be utilized in the treatment of a variety of behavioral disorders is anxiety-relief conditioning (Thorpe, Schmidt, Brown, and Castell, 1964; Solyom and Miller, 1967; Wolpe and Lazarus, 1966). In its theoretical formulation, reciprocal inhibition by anxiety-relief is similar to Wolpe's reciprocal inhibition by progressive relaxation (Solyom and Miller, 1967). Whereas Wolpe's method utilizes Jacobsonian relaxation principles to provide the medium through which anxiety is reciprocally inhibited, the procedure employed in anxiety-relief conditioning utilizes the relief following termination of an aversive stimulus to set an occasion which will permit reciprocal inhibition to take place. Many of the problems encountered in relaxation induction and control are thus avoided (Wolpe, 1958; Thorpe et al., 1964). Anxiety-relief conditioning appears to have been successful in patients that previously had been unsuccessfully treated by psychotherapy and chemotherapy for as long as 20 years (Myers, 1957; Thorpe et al., 1964; Solyom and Miller, 1967). Solyom and Miller reported successfully treating six of seven phobic patients who complained of severe depression, difficulty in interpersonal relationships and anxiety attacks when meeting people, as well as excessive fear of crowded places. These patients had an average length of illness of 11.1 years, ranging from ...
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