Blank slate or Tabula Rasa in treatment

In psychology, the term “blank slate” or tabula rasa actually has two meanings. The first refers to the belief that all people have the ability to be anything or anyone at birth. This belief plays down the influence of genetics and biology on the development of human personality.

The second definition of “whiteboard” refers to a technique that was used extensively in psychoanalysis and is still used by some therapists today. When using this technique, the therapists are careful not to disclose any personal information about themselves.

What is Tabula Rasa?

Tabula rasa translates to “blank slate”. In therapy, it either means that we are completely the product of our growth and experience, or it refers to the techniques used by therapists when they themselves become “blank” and allow the recipient to project their own needs, desires, and The faith is in them.

Blank slate

Behaviorists believe that your mind is born like a whiteboard, and you can learn all your behaviors from the environment in which you live.Therefore, treatment focuses on eliminating non-productive behaviors. Behaviorists assume that any symptoms of mental disorders are the result of classical and operational conditioning.

Classical conditioning, also called associative learning, causes most phobias. At the same time, operant conditioning refers to learning through positive or negative reinforcement, for example, leading to eating disorders. Behavioral therapy models commonly used to treat phobias include:

  • System desensitization
  • Aversion therapy
  • flood
  • Exposure therapy and virtual reality exposure therapy
  • Behavior rehearsal
  • Skills Training

System desensitization

System desensitization is an effective way to treat specific phobias (fear of specific objects or situations) and social phobias (social anxiety disorder). The theory is that phobia is a learned behavior that you impose on the whiteboard.Therefore, you can forget about feelings of anxiety.

The therapist will help you learn to relax in the so-called “target situation”. After reaching a state of deep relaxation, you will repeatedly and vividly imagine your goal situation.

Eventually, you will learn not to react, which makes you feel more comfortable and confident the next time you face your fear.

Aversion therapy

If you are interested in your own bad behavior and although you are happy, both you and your therapist admit that it is an unwelcome feature, aversion therapy is useful. You were born with a blank sheet of paper, but you have learned a destructive behavior. A good example is the alcoholic who started the recovery process.

The therapist will help you associate bad behavior with extremely unpleasant stimuli. For example, she might give you an alcoholic drink after you take a nausea-causing drug. After vomiting, hope that the smell of alcohol will trigger your new unpleasant memories and make you stop drinking next time.

Flood therapy

Proponents of the flood believe in facing your fear head-on, and the goal is to improve your phobia by allowing the situation or object of your fear to overwhelm your environment. It’s kind of like teaching them how to swim by throwing them into the depths of a swimming pool.

The idea behind this treatment is that fear is a time-limited response, and the body will experience periods of extreme anxiety and exhaustion.

For example, if you are claustrophobic, treatment may involve locking you in a closet for several hours. Once you calm down, you will turn your negative connection with fear into a positive connection. Behaviorists also believe that flooding can prevent avoidance behaviors, which can exacerbate your maladjustment.

Exposure therapy

Over time, the role of exposure therapy is to expose yourself to the root cause of the phobia. So, for example, if you are afraid of spiders, your therapist may show you pictures of spiders first.

Later in the process, you may see a live spider, or even hug one. With each step, the spider’s “power” to scare you diminishes until the phobia disappears. A newer form is virtual reality exposure, which allows you to achieve the same goal through virtual reality technology, thereby avoiding the need, for example, to find a real spider.

2019 in review Frontiers of Psychology It is found that the effect of virtual reality exposure therapy is not worse than that of non-virtual therapy, and it is expected that with the further advancement of technology, it may one day be considered more effective.

Behavior rehearsal

For patients who are afraid of situations rather than things, the therapist may help you imagine difficult situations. For example, if you are afraid of a large gathering, the therapist may guide you step by step through the process of facing and successfully handling it.

Skills Training

For some people, the development of phobia is due to not having the proper skills to deal with certain situations. Cognitive behavioral therapy skills training can take the form of direct instruction or role-playing.

For example, the therapist may pretend to be an interviewer for a job, and you will pretend to be an interviewer for a job. The idea is that you have learned some skills that can be implemented in a real job interview.