Aversion therapy, psychotherapy designed to cause a patient to reduce or avoid an undesirable behaviour pattern by conditioning the person to associate the behaviour with an undesirable stimulus. The chief stimuli used in the therapy are electrical, chemical, or imagined aversive situations.
Aversion therapies can take many forms, for example: placing unpleasant-tasting substances on the fingernails to discourage nail-chewing; pairing the use of an emetic with the experience of alcohol; or pairing behavior with electric shocks of mild to higher intensities.
Aversion therapy is a type of behavioral therapy that involves repeat pairing an unwanted behavior with discomfort. 1 For example, a person undergoing aversion therapy to stop smoking might receive an electrical shock every time they view an image of a cigarette.
Some original studies by Voegtlin and Lemere (1942) and Lemere and Voegtlin (1950) serve as examples of this method with alcoholics . In their procedure alcoholic patients were given injections of emetine or apomorphine, which quickly elicit both nausea and vomiting (UCS).
1. Aversion , antipathy, loathing connote strong dislike or detestation. Aversion is an unreasoning desire to avoid that which displeases, annoys, or offends: an aversion to (or toward ) cats. Antipathy is a distaste, dislike, or disgust toward something: an antipathy toward (or for ) braggarts.
Controversies and criticisms Some experts believe that using negative stimulus in aversion therapy is equal to using punishment as a form of therapy , which is unethical. Before the American Psychiatric Association (APA) deemed it an ethical violation, some researchers used aversion therapy to “treat” homosexuality.
Aversive techniques are those that may be “unpleasant, noxious or otherwise cause discomfort” to the child when used to “alter the occurrence of a specific behavior.” These might include the planned use of physical isolation (e.g. time out), holding a child’s hands or arms down or mechanical restraint such as lap belts
In covert conditioning , developed by American psychologist Joseph Cautela, images of undesirable behaviour (e.g., smoking) are paired with images of aversive stimuli (e.g., nausea and vomiting) in a systematic sequence designed to reduce the positive cues that had been associated with the behaviour.
Control – averse behavior describes the negative response to exogenous control of one’s decisions and can impede important social interactions, for example between therapists and patients, or employers and employees.
Transference occurs when a person redirects some of their feelings or desires for another person to an entirely different person. For example, transference in therapy happens when a patient attaches anger, hostility, love, adoration, or a host of other possible feelings onto their therapist or doctor.
In classical conditioning , an initially neutral stimulus ( conditioned stimulus, CS) becomes associated with a biologically salient event (unconditioned stimulus, US), which might be pain ( aversive conditioning ) or food (appetitive conditioning ).
Flooding . Flooding (also known as implosion therapy ) works by exposing the patient directly to their worst fears. (S)he is thrown in at the deep end. For example a claustrophobic will be locked in a closet for 4 hours or an individual with a fear of flying will be sent up in a light aircraft.
Appetitive conditioning is the process through which new rewards are learned and acquire their motivational salience. Although it has the same evolutionary survival significance as aversive conditioning , appetitive conditioning has rarely been studied in humans.
Loss aversion is the tendency to prefer avoiding losses to acquiring equivalent gains. The principle is prominent in the domain of economics. Loss aversion implies that one who loses $100 will lose more satisfaction than another person will gain satisfaction from a $100 windfall.
A food aversion is when a toddler or child refuses foods that are presented to him despite being developmentally appropriate. There are various factors that may play a role in the feeding experience, including sensory issues.