This perspective concentrates on the actions of learned behaviors and observable actions. This type of perspective can be helpful when it comes to psychological treatment interventions because therapists emphasize on changing behaviors with an end goal to alter cognitions. Explaining disorders and treating disorders can be described solely on the behaviors that an individual suffering from a particular order elicits.
As stated previously, etiology is the focus of the cause(s) of a particular condition. Regarding the behavioral psychological perspective, when it comes to behavioral causes of PTSD among combat veterans, studies have been conducted that express such findings. A research study that examined 43 Vietnam veterans who were located at a veteran affairs medical center, were assigned to positive and negative groups of PTSD questioning influences based upon, premilitary adjustment, military adjustment, and combat exposure, which was based upon the DSM-III. This study found that both combat exposure and military adjustment were significantly related to the development of PTSD among these veterans (Foy, Sipprelle, Rueger, & Carroll, 1984). Behaviors are deemed important for adjusting to certain environments and can be seen through research.
Another research study by Jakupcak (2007), expressed the idea that veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars that were placed into groups of being diagnosed with PTSD or not, had an end result showing that the ones who screened positive for PTSD reported greater actions of anger, hostility and aggression. Thus being said, behaviors are the actions that other people can see and hear. Behaviors produced are what can form opinions to emerge towards the person demonstrating certain actions. Behaviors can cause positive reactions and labels to accumulate, however can cause negative reactions and labels to be conducted. Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, When you put on a uniform, there are certain inhibitions that you accept, and this quote serves importance referring to the psychological perspectives regarding behavioral causes because it expresses the idea that there isn’t a way to act relaxed and being in a uniform evokes these certain types of behaviors, that may be labeled as negative.
Similarly, as stated previously, treatments can vary in terms of what can be done to help suppress or fix the undesired consequences when falling victim to a mental disorder. PTSD can be treated in a behavioral manner by virtual reality exposure therapy and exposure therapy. A research study designed to incorporate real-time computer graphics, sensory input devices, and visual displays placing Vietnam veterans suffering PTSD back in the environment that they most likely remember being within during combat, however in this case, it is computer generated. During this study, results indicated that the combat veteran who suffered from PTSD that was placed in two virtual environments, showed a 34% decrease and a 45% decrease pertaining to clinician-based PTSD and self-rated PTSD, respectively (Rothbaum, 1999). The other type of behavioral therapy that can be used as treatment for combat veterans with PTSD is labeled as prolonged exposure therapy. This therapy is portrayed as re-experiencing the event that was traumatic through remembering it and having reminders of it instead of avoiding it altogether.
A recent research study by Ready, Lamp, Rauch, Astin, & Norrholm (2018) examined that with at least four sessions of prolonged exposure therapy being completed, whether or not there was meaningful change after the eighth session occurred. The results of this study show that overall meaningful change regarding the symptoms of PTSD had a rate of 33.4% and the number of therapy sessions that are required to achieve this change is about nine.
This study also reported that with both the younger and most recent veteran populations, those were the groups that were most likely to achieve this change. Lastly, this study suggested that if at least a 10% change wasn’t achieved by the eighth session, then the individual would be unlikely to achieve the change with more therapy sessions (Ready, 2018). Treatment is essential when regarding mental disorders, and if it includes a behavior modification then there are multiple different pathways that can be taken to achieve a positive outcome.
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