Case Study Assigmnent

Anxiety is define as a “vague uneasy feeling of discomfort or dread accompanied by an automatic response; the source is often nonspecific or unknown to the individual; a feeling of apprehension caused by anticipation of danger, it is a potential signal that warning of impending danger and enables the individual to take measures to deal with treat” (Taber’s, 1997). Anxiety disorders are classified as disorders such as panic disorders, agoraphobias, phobias, extreme avoidance of feared objects associated to distress or impairments.

B. F. Skinner (1974) talking about this conditions state “It is often said that there is an intrapsychic life of the mind, totally independent of the physical world, in which memories evoke memories, ideas suggest ideas, and so on. Here are few examples of the intrapsychic life of motivation and emotion: Feelings of frustration produce a sense of powerlessness, or impotence, which in turn leads to apathy or to feelings of aggression. ” In another words phobias are a product of anxiety in which are also a product of traumatic experiences that happen in many cases when where children.

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In the past twenty years Applied Behavioral Analysis is the science of human behavior and is best definition was given in 1968 by Baer, Wolf, & Risley: “Applied Behavior Analysis is the process of systematically applying interventions based upon the principles of learning theory to improve socially significant behaviors to a meaningful degree, and to demonstrate that the interventions employed are responsible for the improvement in behavior. Using this process I would identify and answer question related to the case study assign for this week.

In case number one we have Marla 24-year-old woman who recently graduated from college and began a new job at an advertising firm. She suffers from extreme fear of social situations. In college, she avoided parties and large gatherings and tended to keep to herself. Now that she is working, it is becoming increasingly difficult for her to avoid social situations. Her boss and co-workers expect her to attend office functions and client parties as networking is a large part of the job. Marla is very artistic and creative and has already designed several successful ads for clients, but she is afraid that she will lose her job because of the difficulties she is experiencing socially.

Define the target behavior in this case study. Targeted behavior is avoidance to large gathering, parties. Avoidance suggests that the behavior may be influenced by an event which does not occur but that is reflected by an action that still in her memory.

Describe how respondent behavior is involved in the development of an anxiety problem. Identify the CS and CR in this example. The condition stimuli her boss and co-workers stimulating office functions and gathering, her condition response is to keep to herself and avoid the gathering or parties. Respondent conditioning is the corresponding effect upon the behavior which is controlled by antecedent stimuli and response conditioning, and the manipulation of antecedent stimuli (Miltenberger, 2007).

Respondent behavior happened when an unconditional stimuli is presented, a very good example is when an object get stuck in the throat the unconditioned response will be a gag reflex. We do not know what could cause Marla to fear or feel anxious when she is around a large group of people, however, by applying a contingency of positive reinforcement and a systematic desensitization process.

Discuss the difference between systematic and in-vivo desensitization. What are the advantages/disadvantages of each procedure? Systematic desensitization is the type of behavioral therapy aims to remove the fear response of phobias or fears and substitute with a relaxation response to the conditional stimuli.

This is done by forming a hierarchy of fear which involved the conditioning stimulus ranked from a least number to highest number possible 1 to 10. The difference between the systematic and the in-vivo is that in the systematic the client will imagine while in a stay of relaxation going from the least to the highest number. For example, a person that has phobias of dogs, during the relaxation we would start the client by starting in the number 10, the dog is at 25 feet. We will continue keeping the relaxation process and lowering the count until the dog is as near the client.

If the client in any number start getting anxious we will reminded to keep relax and try to finish the test. Once the relaxation process is completed them we can perform an in-vivo procedure which is exposing the client to the phobic stimuli (McLeod, 2008). The advantage and disadvantages of both procedures are: Systematic Desensitization is highly effective where the problem is a learned anxiety to specific objects or situations. But systematic desensitization is a slow process and is not effective in treating serious mental disorders and only treats the symptoms of the disorder, not the underline cause (McLeod, 2008).

Design a behavior modification procedure for Marla and explain the rationale for your selection. Be sure to include a discussion of the behavior hierarchy, relaxation procedures and desensitization procedures. In designing a plan for Marla, I would both the systematic desensitization and the in-vivo method as a behavior modification technique. First, by her working in an office where other people are constantly coming for services it will difficult for her to avoid group of people. My first intention would be to show her some relaxation techniques like meditation, breathing exercise, focusing, muscle relaxation and self-massage.

The second step is by practicing small group therapy right in the work area pretty much like Miltenberger show in the book. Incrementing very slowly the amount of people in the group, starting from one person then two, three, four, etc, etc; all of this while practicing breathing techniques and relaxation.

Compare specific ABA-based treatment that can be applied to assist clients with fear and anxiety. In this specific case the shaping method come to mind, in behavior modification we can apply these techniques in order to effectively change the way the client behave or respond under environmental stimuli.

Shaping refers to the reinforcement of behaviors that are close to the desire behavior. In shaping there is also a creation of a hierarchy which range from the least feared to the most feared situation like in the case of Marla where increasing the amount of people in the group so she can get used to and her anxiety become extinct (Cooper, Heron, Heward, 2007).

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Case Study Assigmnent. (2016, Sep 03). Retrieved from