Dog phobia in people with mental handicaps: anxiety management training and exposure treatments

William Lindsay, Amanda Michie, Frances Baty, Karen McKenzie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The present paper describes the development of anxiety management training and exposure treatments for dog phobia with people with mental handicaps. The treatment procedures have several components including: increased contact with dogs; changing dogs as treatment progresses; graded exposure to dogs; eliciting anxiety from an early stage in the programme; modelling reasonable reactions to dogs; encouraging individuals to have control over dogs; and promoting generalisation of coping behaviours. The procedures are illustrated by the cases of two women who were assessed on overall ratings of fear, number of positive approaches to a dog, number of negative reactions to a dog, number of requests to remove a dog, and self-assessments of anxiety. Both women responded to treatment. The results are discussed in terms of the patterning of the women's responses as treatment progressed. Finally, the study suggests that exposure treatments may be a successful way of helping people with mental handicaps overcome their phobic anxiety.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-48
JournalMental Handicap Research
Volume1
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1988

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