Fundamentals_of_Abnormal_Psychology_6e_Ch04

At the same time several types of psychotherapy have

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Unformatted text preview: who manifest ophidiophobia (fear of snakes) by first handling a snake himself, then encouraging the clients to handle it. HOW CAN SOCIAL FEARS BE REDUCED? Unlike specific phobias, which do not typically respond to psychotropic drugs, social fears are often reduced through medication ( Julien, 2008). Somewhat surprisingly, it is antidepressant medications that seem to be the drugs of most help for this disorder, often more helpful than benzodiazepines or other kinds of antianxiety medications (Burijon, 2007). ComFun6e_Ch04_C!.indd 113 12/10/09 11:16:19 AM ://CHAPTER 4 AP Photo/Jonas Ekstromer 114 Word limits In 2004, Austrian author Elfriede Jelinek, the Nobel Prize winner in literature, had to accept this prestigious honor and present her Nobel lecture by video transmission because she has a social phobia that prevented her from attending the festivities in Stockholm in person. At the same time, several types of psychotherapy have proved to be at least as effective as medication at reducing social fears, and people helped by such psychological treatments appear less likely to relapse than those treated with medications alone (Rodebaugh, Holaway, & Heimberg, 2004). This finding suggests to some clinicians that the psychological approaches should always be included in the treatment of social fears. One psychological approach is exposure therapy, the behavioral intervention so effective with specific phobias. Exposure therapists encourage clients with social fears to expose themselves to the dreaded social situations and to remain until their fears subside. Usually the exposure is gradual, and it often includes homework assignments that are carried out in the social situations. In addition, group therapy offers an ideal setting for exposure treatments by allowing people to face social situations in an atmosphere of support and caring (McEvoy, 2007). In one group, for example, a man who was afraid that his hands would tremble in the presence of other people had to write on a blackboard in front of the group and serve tea to the other members (Emmelkamp, 1982). Cognitive therapies have also been widely used to treat social fears, often in combination with behavioral techniques (Rosenberg et al., 2010; McEvoy, 2007). In the following discussion, Albert Ellis uses rational-emotive therapy to help a man who fears he will be rejected if he speaks up at gatherings. The discussion took place after the man had done a homework assignment in which he was to identify his negative social expectations and force himself to say anything he had on his mind in social situations, no matter how stupid it might seem to him: BETWEEN THE LINES Young Dr. Ellis Early in his career, in order to combat his own social anxiety (as well as test his theories), Albert Ellis sat on a park bench in Manhattan’s Central Park day after day for a year, asking out every woman who passed by. << ComFun6e_Ch04_C!.indd 114 After two weeks of this assignment, the patient came into his next session of therapy and reported: “I did what you told me to do...
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This note was uploaded on 01/07/2013 for the course PSY 270 taught by Professor Hall during the Spring '05 term at University of Phoenix.

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