2014 issue 1

Back

Volume 23, issue 1

Review

Behavioral therapy for anxiety disorders

Anna M. Ziółkowska2, Przemysław Bąbel1
1. Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Instytut Psychologii, Kraków, Polska
2. Szkoła Wyższa Psychologii Społecznej, Wydział Zamiejscowy w Poznaniu, Instytut Psychologii, Poznań, Polska
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii 23 (2014) 3–9
Date of publication: 13-04-2014
DOI: 10.1016/j.pin.2014.04.001
Keywords: Anxiety disorders, Flooding, Implosive therapy, Implosive therapy Participant modeling, Participant modeling Systematic desensitization

Abstract

Objectives: The aim of this paper is to discuss empirically supported techniques of beha-
vioral therapy for anxiety disorders, to identify the mechanisms underlying the thera-
peutic effects of them, and to propose a classification of these techniques. Review: The
article presents the characteristics of the behavior therapy and behavioral perspective of
the causes of behavior that underlies the behavior therapy. It was shown that many
behaviors, including anxiety reactions, are the effects of one of the basic learning proces-
ses: operant conditioning, classical conditioning and observational learning. Presented
were the techniques of the behavioral therapy for anxiety disorders that are derived from
these learning processes: implosive therapy, flooding, systematic desensitization, partici-
pant modeling, reinforcement and extinction. The laws of learning that constitute the
mechanism of the effects of these techniques were pointed out. The classification of the
techniques of the behavioral therapy for anxiety disorders was proposed. It was based on
various kinds of learning from which they are derived and the laws of learning that
constitute the mechanism of their effects. Reviewed were the results of the experimental
studies comparing the effectiveness of the techniques of the behavioral therapy for
anxiety disorders. Conclusions: The techniques of the behavioral therapy are among the
most effective methods of treatment for anxiety disorders, and negative beliefs about
them among therapists pose a barrier to their use in clinical practice.

Address for correspondence:
Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Instytut Psychologii al. Mickiewicza 3,31-921 Kraków, Polska.
Adres email: przemyslaw.babel@uj.edu.pl (P.Bąbel).