Systematic use of positive reinforcement (Behavior therapy)

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A systematic plan of what is to be done for the application of positive reinforcement is achieving remarkable success, particularly, in the institutional settings. Response shaping, token economies, and behavioral contracting are among the most popular techniques.                              1.Response shaping. Positive reinforcement is, often, given in response shaping, that means in setting up a response which is not already in an individual’s memory or knowledge. Response shaping is used extensively in dealing with the behavior problems of the younger individuals.                            2. Token economies. Among operant techniques derived from the experimental analysis of behavior by B.F.Skinner and associates, the most widely used is the token economy, which involves a program of contingency reinforcement for behavioral responses that the therapist considers desirable. Appropriate behaviors may be rewarded with tangible reinforcers in the form of tokens that can later be exchanged for desired objects or privileges.                                              3. Behavioral contracting. In psychotherapy and behavior therapy the individual is helped to identify and agree on the behaviors that are to be changed. The probability is maximized that such behaviors change and maintained. Behavioral contracting is a contract between two or more parties who governs the nature of the curative treatment that means a therapist and a client or an individual who is in state of being in custody or under the control of guardian. Contract in written specifies privileges, therapeutic interventions, obligations, and responsibilites, in terms of (a) treatment relationship is explicitly stated; (b) system of reward; (c) limitation and focus; (d) appropriate content; (e) goals; (f) criteria.                                                  II Assertiveness training. It is a method of desensitization and enables the individual develop more effective coping techniques. Difficulty in interpersonal interactions due to conditioned anxiety responses that may cause inhibitions in “speaking up” or showing “appropriate affection”. These may lead to continual inner turmoil, more specifically, if the individual is preoccupied very strongly about the situation. Assertiveness training is also used in cases where individuals incessantly allow others to take advantage of them or maneuver them into uncomfortable situations. Assertiveness is a mode of expression of thoughts and feelings with open mind but with due regard to the status quo. In therapy settings, the stages of desired assertive behaviors pave the way for practice new, more appropriately assertive behaviors in real-life situations. Focus of attention should be on developing more effective interpersonal skills. Intentional assertion tends to inhibit the anxiety, weaken the maladaptive anxiety response pattern and, therefore, foster more adaptive interpersonal behaviors. It has limitations in few situations.    III Biofeedback procedures. Previously, it was thought that voluntary control over physiological processes was not possible but the notion proved wrong. Electronic instruments that can measure physiological responses accurately demonstrated that involuntary processes, such as, heart rate, galvanic skin response, and blood pressure were modifiable by learning procedures. This approach is known as biofeedback procedures. Researchers have applied techniques developed in various treatment programs  and succeeded up to a certain extent. Biofeedback treatment is a popular treatment approach and requires large sums of money.

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