The progressive acquisition, saving and disorganizing objective with little or no value has led to many disasters to lives of people with hoarding behavior (Ayers & Steketee, 2015). The DMS-V criteria for diagnosing mental illnesses defines the condition as persistent difficulty felt by the victim’s inability to discard possession despite their relatively worthless status. Distress and brain injuries make the disease a mental health condition since some of its presentation are similar to those of obsessive-compulsive behavior. Like other mental disorders, I can modify the behavior through cognitive behavioral therapy. The first step in this treatment is preparation, where a person prepares for the desired changes (Ayers & Steketee, 2015). The second phase is contemplation, where the person envisions the whole idea and anticipates the outcome upon embracing the change. In contemplation, which is the third stage the idea is experimented and later in the fourth stage known as maintaining, the person persists in the new habit (Ayers & Steketee, 2015). The last phase is an action where the person has developed the capacity required to perform the behavior or the change. The process can be done over again in case there is a relapse during the performance of any phase in the cognitive behavioral therapy. My intention would be increasing the deficit of the hoarding behavior, and I intend to achieve it through cognitive behavioral therapy. I also plan to find other attachment that can lead to a reward similar to that felt when executing activities to meet the target behavior. Some of the ethical issues that may arise considering the target behavior are privacy and the right to ownership. The government may not tolerate my habit of acuminating clutter that increases the potential for harming others and myself. The government may be forced to confiscate my accumulated possessions and even sentence me criminal offenses. I also risk being considered a mental illness patient, and without my consent, I may be taken to mental health facilities to facilitate my treatment. In this context, the ethical principle of consent before receiving healthcare services will be violated. The violation is necessary especially if I cannot look after myself and have nobody caring for me.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a strategy for modifying the target behavior through guided steps. This process can be conducted and supervised by a psychiatrist; each step takes some time before moving to the next. The process will be extremely useful considering that it's a guided process. For instance, the first step involves identifying the trigger for acquiring items and the situations that increase the chance of obtaining the objects and making them into clutter. For instance, during shopping, I am tempted to shop for the relatively valueless objects. In such circumstance, I will focus on shopping in places without desired objects or working on a fixed budget. The whole process will continue systematically with each step being dedicated ample time for stabilization. In such a manner, the chances of a relapse will be minimal, and by the end of the therapeutic process, the hoarding behavior will no longer be a problem. The strategy will ultimately turn out productive, and in case it may be a challenge to move to the next level the therapist can provide guidance through a relapse. For all this to be successful as indicated on the BACB website, I need to see a behavioral therapist to guide me (BACB. (2014)). To identify a legitimate and competent provider, it’s my responsibility to seek credentials of the practitioner before we start the therapy.
BACB. (2014). Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts. Retrieved 2016, from http://bacb.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/160321-compliance-code- english.pdf
Sansone, R. A., & Sansone, L. A. (2010). Hoarding: Obsessive symptom or syndrome?. Psychiatry (Edgemont), 7(2), 24.
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MataixCols, D., Frost, R. O., Pertusa, A., Clark, L. A., Saxena, S., Leckman, J. F., ... & Wilhelm, S. (2010). Hoarding disorder: a new diagnosis for DSMV?. Depression and anxiety, 27(6), 556-572.
Church, E. S. U. M. (2013). Risk and Protective Factors Related to Hoarding.
Ayers, c., & Steketee, G. (2015). Older Adults Who Hoard. The Oxford Handbook of Social Work in Health and Aging, 407.
Staddon, J. E. R., & Cerutti, D. T. (2003). Operant conditioning. Annual review of psychology, 54, 115.
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