Community Treatment Program

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Aversion Therapy
Christa Anderson
Psychology of Learning Instructor Corey Pruitt May 5, 2013

Aversion Therapy 2 Addictive behaviors create social, mental and physical disorders in people’s lives. These addictions can be broadly classified into two categories: substance addition and behavior additions. While drugs, alcohol, and nicotine come under substance addiction; shopping, gambling, over eating, workaholic patterns etc. are behavioral addictions. What is aversion therapy? The aversion therapy is based on the concept of classic conditioning, where an unwanted/aversive stimulus is paired with some sort of discomfort, which helps in eliminating various forms of addiction. Aversion therapy is a treatment grounded in learning theory—one of its basic principles being that all behavior is learned and that undesirable behaviors can be unlearned under the right circumstances. Aversion therapy is an application of the branch of learning theory called classical conditioning. Within this model of learning, an undesirable behavior, such as drinking or using drugs, is matched with an unpleasant (aversive) stimulus. The unpleasant feelings or sensations become associated with that behavior, and the behavior will decrease in frequency or stop altogether. Aversion therapy differs from those...
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