Psychotherapy by Reciprocal Inhibition
Stanford University Press, 1958 - 239 páginas
In 1958, Wolpe published his Psychotherapy by Reciprocal Inhibition, in which he revealed his ideas. He claimed that it was possible to treat the symptoms of anxiety or phobias by teaching patients to relax and confront their fears. The book was met with skepticism and disdain by the psychiatric community. Being trained in the psychoanalytical tradition, they believed that Wolpe's method did not tackle the "cause" of neuroses, but only the surface of it. They believed the therapy would inevitably lead to "symptom substitution" and not a cure. Wolpe's therapy, however, proved successful and has continued to be used in modern psychotherapeutic treatment. Wolpe developed a theory of learning called reciprocal inhibition. Reciprocal behaviors are behaviors that compete with each other. If one situation elicited a certain response, the new stimulus introduced could elicit a different response, and the old reaction could be weakened. As the subject increasingly reacts in an alternative way, new learning occurs and the old behavior gradually disappears completely. Wolpe also worked on assertiveness training. The idea behind this is similar to systematic desensitization. People who are unassertive are similar to people with phobias, only the fear is of confrontation or rejection. These people unlearn their fears and gradually learn new behaviors. Wolpe taught them how to relax in a stressful situation and how to conquer their fears."--Www.newworldencyclopedia.org June 2011.
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