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Rachman, S. (1977) The conditioning theory of fear-acquisition a critical examination. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 15, 375-87.
a. many patients cannot recall crucial traumatic experiences;
b. others have lots of traumas but can deal with them —
cognitive interpretations and attributions certainly come in.
1. Individual differences and Eysenck’s personality theory — high conditionability and sensitivity to aversive outcomes may predispose individuals to neurosis.
2. Prepared stimuli spiders, snakes and frogs, the dark – social disapproval, fear of failure, all these things appear to be innately associated with neurosis. This is no longer a problem for learning theory explanations.
3. Unimportance of actual experience — versus unconscious fears based on insecurities of arising from complex inter-personal dynamics
NB Rachman stresses lack of self-referrals for counselling about neurosis during the blitz in London and Liverpool: physical traumas did not cause neurosis.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Gersons, B.P.R and Carlier, I.V.E (1992) “Post-traumatic stress disorder: the history of a recent concept.” British Journal of Psychiatry 161, 742-8
Characteristic symptoms include:
i. Re-living aspects of the trauma
ii. Avoidance of anything likely to remind the individual of the trauma
iii Heightened irritability including hyper-arousal, sleep disturbance and quick temper.
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