Aversive Conditioning and Operant Conditioning Techniques to treat Compulsive Habit
Operant conditioning is the motivation of behavior wherein a certain person is motivated through the process of positive reinforcement. This conditioning could stop the compulsive smoking through its positive reinforcement technique wherein the patient’s behavior will be paired with a positive reinforcer in order for her or him to be motivated.
There can be two specific techniques in operant conditioning which can be used; first is the Stimulus-control technique which process’s involves the decreasing of any stimulus which leads to smoking and reducing the stimulus’ influence towards the patient from wanting to smoke. Another is the Contingency technique which process’s includes setting a reward in order for the patient not to smoke during a specific period agreement.
On the other hand, Aversion therapy towards smoking behavior involves a certain behavior being paired by a negative stimulus. The most common and often used strategy in aversive therapy is the ECT or electroconvulsive therapy technique wherein the electric shock is absorbed by the brain and causes it to be depressed.
As an explanation on how could ECT stops compulsive smoking behavior, the electric shock that it releases towards the patient is a mild kind of shock wherein its impact on the patient is strong. This technique could be used as a punishment to the patient whenever he tends to try to smoke cigarettes. During the session, the therapist would ask his or her patient to choose which level the patient wanted to get from the ECT and then the therapist will apply the ECT to the patient as the patient will be ask to associate smoking behavior with the uncomfortable electric shock that he or she is experiencing from the therapist. The period of time as well as the duration of the sessions must be planned by the therapist before starting the sessions in order to assure that the patient will associate the discomfort experience into the smoking behavior and thus the therapy will result into an aversive conditioning outcome.