This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: tension and
anxiety in everyday stressful situations.
Research finds that, in most cases, EMG biofeedback,
like relaxation training, has only a modest effect on a person’s anxiety level (Brambrink, 2004). As you will see in the
next chapter, biofeedback has had its greatest impact when it plays adjunct roles in the
treatment of certain medical problems, including headaches and back pain (Astin, 2004;
Biofeedback at work This biofeedback
system records tension in the forehead
Engel et al., 2004).
muscles of an anxious person. The
system receives, amplifies, converts,
and displays information about
the tension, allowing the client to
“observe” it and to try to reduce his
tension responses. SUMMING UP
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
People with generalized anxiety disorder experience excessive anxiety and worry
about a wide range of events and activities. Most explanations and treatments for
this disorder have received only limited research support, although recent cognitive
and biological approaches are promising.
According to the sociocultural view, societal dangers, economic stress, or related racial and cultural pressures create a threatening climate in which cases of
generalized anxiety disorder are more likely to develop.
In the original psychodynamic explanation, Freud said that this disorder may
develop when anxiety is excessive and defense mechanisms break down. Psychodynamic therapists use free association, interpretation, and related psychodynamic
techniques to help people overcome this problem.
Carl Rogers, the leading humanistic theorist, believed that people with generalized anxiety disorder fail to receive unconditional positive regard from significant
others during their childhood and so become overly critical of themselves. He
treated such individuals with client-centered therapy.
Cognitive theorists believe that generalized anxiety disorder is caused by maladaptive assumptions that lead people to view most life situations as dangerous.
Many cognitive theorists also propose that implicit beliefs about the power and value
of worrying further contribute to this disorder. Cognitive therapists help clients change
such thinking and find more effective ways of coping during stressful situations.
Biological theorists hold that generalized anxiety disorder results from low activity of the neurotransmitter GABA. Common biological treatments are antianxiety
drugs, particularly benzodiazepines, and certain antidepressant drugs. Relaxation
training and biofeedback are also applied in many cases. •phobia•A persistent and unreasonable
fear of a particular object, activity, or
situation. •specific phobia•A severe and persistent fear of a specific object or situation
(other than agoraphobia and social
phobia). ComFun6e_Ch04_C!.indd 106 jPhobias
A phobia (from the Greek word for “fear”) is a persistent and unreasonable fear of a
particular object, activity, or situation. People with a phobia become fearful if they even
think about the object or situation they...
View Full Document