Fundamentals_of_Abnormal_Psychology_6e_Ch04

It works one review concludes with hindsight it is

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Unformatted text preview: orld of all germs are fighting a losing battle. While talking, the average person sprays 300 microscopic saliva droplets per minute, or 2.5 per word. << ComFun6e_Ch04_C!.indd 126 Do not mop the floor of your bathroom for a week. After this, clean it within three minutes, using an ordinary mop. Use this mop for other chores as well without cleaning it. Buy a fluffy mohair sweater and wear it for a week. When taking it off at night do not remove the bits of fluff. Do not clean your house for a week. You, your husband, and children all have to keep shoes on. Do not clean the house for a week. Drop a cookie on the contaminated floor, pick the cookie up and eat it. Leave the sheets and blankets on the floor and then put them on the beds. Do not change these for a week. (Emmelkamp, 1982, pp. 299–300) Eventually this woman was able to set up a reasonable routine for cleaning herself and her home. Between 55 and 85 percent of clients with obsessive-compulsive disorder have been found to improve considerably with exposure and response prevention, improvements that often continue indefinitely (McKay,Taylor, & Abramowitz, 2010; Abramowitz et al., 2008). The effectiveness of this approach suggests that people with this disorder are like the superstitious man in the old joke who keeps snapping his fingers to keep elephants away. When someone points out, “But there aren’t any elephants around here,” the man replies, “See? It works!” One review concludes, “With hindsight, it is possible to see that the [obsessive-compulsive] individual has been snapping his fingers, and unless he stops (response prevention) and takes a look around at the same time (exposure), he isn’t going to learn much of value about elephants” (Berk & Efran, 1983, p. 546). At the same time, research has revealed certain limitations in exposure and response prevention. Few clients who receive the treatment overcome all their symptoms, and as many as one-quarter fail to improve at all (Foa et al., 2005; Frost & Steketee, 2001). Also, the approach is of limited help to those who have obsessions but no compulsions (Hohagen et al., 1998). 12/10/09 11:16:34 AM Anxiety Disorders The Cognitive Perspective Cognitive theorists begin their explanation of obsessive-compulsive disorder by pointing out that everyone has repetitive, unwanted, and intrusive thoughts. Anyone might have thoughts of harming others or being contaminated by germs, for example, but most people dismiss or ignore them with ease (Baer, 2001). Those who develop this disorder, however, typically blame themselves for such thoughts and expect that somehow terrible things will happen (Shafran, 2005; Salkovskis, 1999, 1985). To avoid such negative outcomes, they try to neutralize the thoughts—thinking or behaving in ways meant to put matters right or to make amends (Salkovskis et al., 2003). Neutralizing acts might include requesting special reassurance from others, deliberately thinking “good” thoughts, washing one’s hands, or checking for possib...
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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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