Aversion therapy is used to help individuals give up a particular habit by having them associate it with something unpleasant. Usually, it’s used to treat people with addictive behaviors. Most studies have been focusing on the procedure’s benefits relating to substance abuse.
How Does Aversive Therapy Work?
The treatment is based on the theory of classical conditioning, which occurs when you automatically learn a behavior due to particular stimuli. Individuals learn to respond to a situation based on repeated interactions with it.
It uses conditioning, but medical experts focus on creating a negative response to undesirable stimuli like alcoholism and drug abuse. The exact way the procedure is performed mainly depends on the habit of being treated. For example, a doctor may use chemical aversion to causing vomiting and nausea if a patient takes some drugs or alcohol.
Who Should Go for Aversion Therapy?
Through the procedure, experts at Talkspace can help you quit a specific behavior that negatively affects your life. Although many studies have been carried out on the process, it is commonly applied when dealing with smoking, alcoholism, weight management, and gambling addiction.
People employ a lot of techniques while trying to stop addiction to nicotine and tobacco products. However, they may not work, and they may opt for aversion therapy by Talkspace. Shock therapy is one of the common aversion techniques used in smoking cessation.
During this type of treatment, the patient meets a doctor to undergo an unpleasant routine. If someone gets the urge to smoke, medical experts administer a shock. With time, the brain becomes more convinced that smoking results in too much discomfort.
Alcohol is known to be a major cause of addiction and other health complications after heavy use. Aversion techniques have become common in treating alcoholism. When dealing with the problem, medical experts administer compounds that prevent the processing of alcohol within the body.
Aversive therapy is also used when trying to resolve weight issues. When you get the urge to take the wrong diet, the body and your health suffer. Food aversion techniques can help to deal with the issue and hence better weight management. Gambling addiction is also a common problem and occurs when one is addicted to any form of gambling.
How Effective Is Aversion Therapy?
The therapeutic procedure can be effective. However, this depends on several factors, especially joining a follow-up program from a reputable organization such as Talkspace. By doing so, you reduce the chances of relapsing and increase the longevity of the recovery.
Additionally, the type of habit you are dealing with also affects the effectiveness of the procedures. This is because aversion techniques tend to be more effective for some issues than others.
Criticisms and Controversies About Aversion Therapy
Like many medical procedures, there are controversies and criticism about aversion therapies. For example, some critics argue that it only focuses on behaviors and ignores the psychological aspects. Additionally, there is limited evidence about its effectiveness.
What You Should Know Before Undergoing Aversion Therapy
First, talk to a medical professional to ensure you are comfortable about the entire procedure. Note that you may experience some side effects after treatment. A therapist will undertake a medical exam to ensure the safety of the stimuli that they intend to use. Only work with a licensed mental health expert.