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Initial Post:After reading this chapter, which behavioral techniques tend to capture your interest and why?Further, how comfortable would you be in using behavioral techniques in your counseling practice? Be sure to connect your response to something you learned in Chapter 9.To clearly illustrate that connection, your response must contain the page number from the textbook in order to earn full credit.
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plus respond to classmate
One behavioral technique which captures my interest is progressive muscle relaxation.A benefit of this technique is that it can be learned easily and can be practiced each day outside of the therapy session.Given that this procedure is “aimed at achieving muscle and mental relaxation” (9-4b), I think progressive muscle relaxation can be of benefit to a wide variety of clinical concerns, both somatic and psychological.The alternation between tensing and relaxing the muscles can encourage a sense of awareness in the client of when they are doing one or the other outside of practicing the technique.I think this has the additional benefit of providing insight regarding the client’s locus of control.By having control over their breathing and their body, they can understand what is within their power to change and what lies outside of their control.Additionally, I can see this being a useful procedure to incorporate with clients who are very spiritually-or religiously-inclined, connecting it with their faith or practices which provide them with a sense of purpose or meaning.
Another behavioral technique which I find useful is the empirically-supported procedure of systematic desensitization. Like progressive muscle relaxation, I think that this procedure can be of use to a wide range of clients. While it can be especially helpful for clients with specific phobias, I think it can also be useful in situations which typically induce anxiety, whether this is a specific environment where past trauma has been experienced or a social scenario which creates a build-up of anxiety. I believe it is important to stick to the methods which are empirically-based, including the interview to gather the essential information from the client first (9-4c). This will ensure that the procedure is as effective as possible and in keeping with the scientific research behind its utility.
I think the degree of comfort which I would have in using behavioral techniques in therapy would differ depending on the technique. For example, using the two examples illustrated above, I would feel much more comfortable implementing progressive muscle relaxation with clients, because I think that it is easier to implement and requires less intervention on the part of the therapist. For systematic desensitization, on the other hand, I would want to make sure that I thoroughly understood the proper methodology before introducing it with a client. This would not only include looking at research showing when and where it is most effective, but also consulting sources which are applied to specific concerns my client might have (e.g., fear of driving). I think I would be more comfortable with introducing the technique the more it is tailored toward the individual client’s presenting concern while also sticking to the methods which are empirically-supported.