Aversion Therapy

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Sigfried McGee PSY331: Psychology of Learning
Nina Dulabaum Community Treatment Programs
May, 2013

“The aversion therapy is considered a type of psychological treatment, where patients will be exposed to different types of stimulus and at the same time it will experience some type of discomfort (Lieberman, 2012).”This treatment is based on the principles of classical conditioning; using classical conditioning to get rid of addictions or unwanted behaviours. Patient’s unwanted addiction is paired with a drug that makes them sick.
“Aversion therapy can be used with alcoholics. Alcohol is paired with an emetic drug (a drug which causes nausea and vomiting). Over time the alcoholic associate’s alcohol with being sick and does not want to drink alcohol anymore (Dufresne, 2010).” The Little Albert study showed that classical conditioning principles can be used to give a fear response. The aversion therapy tries to use conditioning to make the patient associate that type of stimulus with a sensation which is unpleasant, with the purpose of stopping that type of behavior in the future. The alcohol aversion therapy is considered to be biologically based and it tries to make the patient associate this form of addiction with an outcome which is negative.
“Aversion therapy is a type of therapy that teaches an alcoholic to associate some type of negative outcome with getting drunk. Aversion therapy is a way of conditioning the recovering alcoholic to not like alcohol because of the negative effects that alcohol has on them thus breaking the cycle of addiction (admin, 2011).” Aversion therapy can be an excellent form of treatment for individuals who are addicted to alcohol, this form of treatment that utilizes behavioral principles to eliminate unwanted behavior. In this therapeutic method, the unwanted stimulus is repeatedly paired with discomfort. The goal of the conditioning process is to make the individual associate the stimulus with unpleasant or

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