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Renata Stein 2019


The tears come fast, hope it won’t last,

My bruised up, shaken, broken heart

I should have known, my heart, resewn,

Forgets all of the past-tense pain, and seeks someone to be re-slain.

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Life is a business,

Its currency is secrets

But there’s no way to pay it twice,

The buyers get to keep it

Life is a business,

The people are in debt,

You shared too much, you wagered wrong,

The secret bearers bet.


No one’s funny anymore, where did the humour go?

Did we lose it amidst the piles of sexist quid pro quo?

Or was it maybe round the time that people lay there dying, while red sign wearing heretics ignored their desperate crying?

No that’s right it could have been when race always meant violence, and if your colours didn’t match the best you’d hope for was silence?

Well never mind I’m not so sure we lost it after all, yes that’s right it’s over here just by this lovely wall. Helping other people live is excessively overrated; you should sit behind and get society – sedated.

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Here’s a piece of helpful advice – you don’t have commitment issues; you’re a kid deciding what they like stop asking me for tissues.

Here’s a sort of helping hand – stop getting in the way – it’s really none of your business and we’re all a little gay.

What strategies can people use in treating Maladaptive behaviours?

A maladaptive behaviour is a behaviour that impedes a person from adjusting to particular day-to-day situations. The research question was ‘What strategies can people use to change maladaptive behaviours’, and this paper aims to investigate the effectiveness in using behavioural therapy to treat maladaptive behaviours. The research conducted by Fuchs C.Z, and Rehm L.P (1977), and Debra L. Safer, Christ F. Telch, and W Stewart Agras (2000), demonstrated the colossal success rate of behavioural therapy in treating maladaptive behaviours. This research was imperative, as it clearly demonstrated the change that an altered form of therapy could have on an individual. A vast majority of the population would be affected by this research, not just those who endured maladaptive behaviours, but psychologists and psychiatrists who treated or researched these behaviours, as well as students learning about the treatment of such behaviours. Behavioural therapy is a type of clinical psychotherapy that uses techniques derived from behaviourism. Well-known behavioural psychologists such as Ivan Pavlov, and B.F Skinner revolutionised the world of psychology with classical and operant conditioning. It was hypothesised that behavioural therapy is an effective way of treating maladaptive behaviours.


An experiment conducted by Fuchs and Rehm (1977) aimed to determine the effectiveness of behavioural therapy in treating depression. The Independent Variable was what kind of treatment the women were assigned to, and the dependant Variable was measured using their performance on two examinations, the Beck Test and the MMPI test.

First, the participants, all females diagnosed with depression, ranging from 18-48 years of age, were separated into one of three groups. The first group undertook a non-specific group therapy treatment, the second, a self-control method of behaviroal therapy program, and the last group were kept on a waiting list, as the control group. The results of the experiment were that the females who undertook the self-control therapy program, showed a significantly greater reduction in levels of depression, both on self – report and in behavioural measures, which included the Beck and MMPI test. This concludes that self-control behavioural therapy methods are effective in treating maladaptive behaviours, in this case, depression, in women 18 – 48 years of age.

A separate experiment conducted by Debra L. Safer, Christy F. Telch and W. Stewart Agras (2000), aimed to examine the effects of dialectical behaviour therapy, specifically adapted for the treatment of Bulimia Nervosa and binge/purge behaviours. The independent Variable was whether the women were assigned to a dialectical behavioural therapy program, whilst the Dependant Variable was measured using an intent-to-treat analysis test.

First, 31 women were selected, all of who averaged to at least 1 binge/purge episode per week, and randomly assigning them to 20 weeks of either dialectical behaviour therapy or wait-list comparison condition. The behavioural therapy focused on training in emotion regulation skills. The results of the experiment were that an intent-to-treat analysis showed highly significant decreases in binge purge behaviour in the women who partook in the dialectical behaviour therapy, compared to the wait-list group. This concludes that the use of dialectical behaviour therapy was associated with a promising decrease in binge-purge behaviours.


The evidence found supported the hypothesis, that behavioural therapy is an effective way of treating maladaptive behaviours. It showed a clear connection between behavioural therapy and the decrease in the amount and/or strength of a maladaptive behaviour.

Potential limitations in the experiments were scarce but present, the most obvious being the lack of diversification of sex. In both experiments, only women were assessed, yet the conclusions of the experiment were generalised to an entire population, showing a lack of thought process or possibly (dare I say it) laziness in getting the evidence needed to properly research the hypothesis. This limitation likely skewed the results for both experiments, therefore reducing the validity and credibility of the experiment. Another limitation involved the ‘code of ethics’, as in neither of the experiments were the participants debriefed on what had taken place.


Maladaptive behaviours are difficult, but not impossible to change. There are many strategies that can help in the treatment of maladaptive behaviours, and Behavioural therapy is a leading contender.

The evidence found clearly supported the hypothesis that behavioural therapy is an effective way of treating maladaptive behaviours, while also showing a glimpse of one of the many strategies that could be used in the treatment of these behaviours. In future, all research conducted that will be generalised to the public, should be more diverse, to reflect the audience upon which it is being generalised.

The current experiments can only be generalised to an extent, as there is not a proper sample of the population in either of the experiments. The findings of these experiments can be used for many varieties of maladaptive behaviours, and can be catered to each need. The evidence strongly supports the idea that behavioural therapy is effective, and has an excellent success rate in changing maladaptive behaviours.

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