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Unformatted text preview: AXATION TRAINING A nonchemical biological technique commonly used to treat generalized anxiety disorder is relaxation training. The notion behind this approach is
that physical relaxation will lead to a state of psychological relaxation. In one version,
therapists teach clients to identify individual muscle groups, tense them, release the tension, and ultimately relax the whole body. With continued practice, they can bring on
a state of deep muscle relaxation at will, reducing their state of anxiety.
Research indicates that relaxation training is more effective than no treatment or
placebo treatment in cases of generalized anxiety disorder. The
improvement it produces, however, tends to be modest (Leahy,
2004), and other techniques that are known to relax people, such as
meditation, often seem to be equally effective (Bourne et al., 2004).
Relaxation training is of greatest help to people with generalized
anxiety disorder when it is combined with cognitive therapy or
with biofeedback (Lang, 2004). 105 table: 4-4 Drugs That Reduce Anxiety
Generic Name Trade Name Benzodiazepines
Tenormin Modern relaxation
At the Brain Mind Gym, business
executives receive pulsations of light
and sound from goggles and headphones, which are meant to lull their
brains into deep relaxation.
Torin Boyd Photo, Tokyo, Japan Biological Treatments The leading biological treatment for generalized anxiety
disorder is drug therapy (see Table 4-4). Other biological interventions are relaxation training and biofeedback. :// BIOFEEDBACK In biofeedback, therapists use electrical signals from
the body to train people to control physiological processes such as
heart rate or muscle tension. Clients are connected to a monitor that
gives them continuous information about their bodily activities. By
attending to the signals from the monitor, they may gradually learn
to control even seemingly involuntary physiological processes.
The most widely applied method of biofeedback for the treatment of anxiety uses a device called an electromyograph (EMG),
which provides feedback about the level of muscular tension in the ComFun6e_Ch04_C!.indd 105 12/10/09 11:16:12 AM 106 ://CHAPTER 4
body. Electrodes are attached to the client’s muscles—usually
the forehead muscles—where they detect the minute electried
cal activity that accompanies muscle tension (see Figure 4-3).
The device then converts electric potentials coming from
the muscles into an image, such as lines on a screen, or into
a tone whose pitch changes along with changes in muscle
tension. Thus clients “see” or “hear” when their muscles are
becoming more or less tense. Through repeated trial and
error, the individuals become skilled at voluntarily reducing
muscle tension and, theoretically, at reducing...
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