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Psych 324

1. Brain development in adolescence is characterized by construction

of two neurological components in unsynchronized sequence and

sensation features that both makes extreme emotional excitement

more attractive and prevalence and logical reasoning and

consequence thinking more theoretical and elusive.

The Sequence aspect:

The limbic system (hippocampus and amygdale) which predominate in

quick emotional reactions, sudden anger, joy, fear, and despair,

reaches final maturation before the frontal cortex. Maturation of the

frontal cortex take place only when dendrites, myelination and

enlarged corpus callosum are better integrated and interconnected in

the brain. At that point it becomes an executive function that

coordinates inhibits and regulates impulsiveness behavior of the limbic

system. The Sensation


The limbic system is particularly attuned to strong immediate

sensation which leads to behavior aimed at engaging in high

stimulation activities.

These intense experiences are executed because they bypass the

emotional regulation that the prefrontal cortex fosters. Both aspects

manifests in adolescent risk taking behavior. The combination of

strong drive for immediate intense emotional sensations and limited

prefrontal capacity to process in vivo associations between cause and

causality, planning ,anticipation of outcomes , and reflect and

analyzed puts adolescents in risk behaviors such as careless driving,

intoxication, extreme sports, unprotected sex and more.

2. Systematic desensitization is a technique developed by the

psychiatrist Joseph Wolf who synthesized between Pavlovian classical

conditioning and Skinnerian operant conditioning behavioral learning

approaches. The technique is aimed at helping clients suffering from

specific phobias or other anxiety disorders to gradually desensitize

their fear response to a threatening object / clue. The phobic object is

viewed as acquired thorough natural stimulant that has been paired

with frightening stimulant and activates anxiety any time the patient’s

is in touch with the natural stimuli. The client, whom fear response is

so great to deal with, avoids the object and by that reduces his/her

anxiety level. After several trails, the behavior of avoiding the object as

anxiety reducer is reinforced through negative reinforcement, but the

client’s avoidance is highly affecting his/her life. To begin with, the

client needs to master several relaxation skills. This will allow him/her

to use them to be able contain fears through exceeding levels of

exposure (can gradually varied from Imagineering the object to been

present with the real object without escaping). After several trails the

paired stimulants will extinguish and so fear and anxiety responses to

the phobic object.

Helping children dealing with fear of dogs, I will: 1. Help the child with

mastering relaxation methods such as deep breathing, muscle

relaxation and calming visual imaginary. 2. Build with the child a visual

fear scale from zero to ten (depending on the child’s age). 3. Build

hierarchy success levels: A. imaginary of dog. B. Imaginary of

interaction with a dog C. The child will listen to a dog barking audio

tape. D. Watching video tape of dogs. E. Holding a stuffed dog. F.

Being with a puppy in the same room. G. Touch a puppy held by

someone else. H. Have the child holds a puppy I. Have the child holds

a larger puppy. J. have the child snuggles with a dog .4. On each stage

the child will comment on his fear level which should not exceed level

three. 5. moving to higher level depend on extinguishing fears at the

current level.

3A. Natural & Logical consequences is a school of thoughts developed by Rudolf

Dreikurs based on Adlerian individual psychology principals that viewed children as

inherently striving for higher goal/ advanced levels of functioning that will allow them to

fulfill their fundamental human need for belonging. Rudolf Dreikurs viewed parents’ goal

as educating and helping their child reenter healthier socially oriented development.

Natural consequences are natural cause and effect negative outcomes that happen as a

direct result of a child’s choice/ behavior and occur without any interference on the part

of the parent. By Allowing children to be exposed to natural negative consequences of

their misbehaviors (rather than being protected from them parents help them learn how
to think independently about what the consequences of their actions / choices are likely

to result in (should not be used when a consequence is dangerous ).

Logical consequences are consequences that parents create and enforce in order to teach

children how they expect them to make their choices and behaviors. They are logically

related to the behavior the parent is trying to change and are most effective when

announced in advance and enforced as a direct outcome of the misbehavior.

In both consequences, in order to retain learning, parents should explain the consequence

to their kids and must follow through and deliver the consequences at all times.

B. Parent effectiveness training is a parent education program developed by Thomas

Gordon based on Rogerian humanistic approach that viewed humans as having a

tendency to develop in a positive/constrictive manner if they are given respect, trust and

are being supported through developing their self - actualization .Creating such an

environment is fundamental to success. To begin with, parents should identify who own

the problem: parent, child, or neither of them. Parent intervention is depending on who

owes the problem: 1. when the problem is owed by the child, the parent advised to use

“reflective listening”. 2. When the parent holds the problem then he/she advised to use “I

messages”.3. When the problem is owed by neither of them, it may be inherent in the

environmental condition. The parent then is advised to change a variable in the

environment, take care of, or remove the problem.

C. Behavior modification is a parental training originally based on Skinnerian operant

conditioning. It is a behaviorist approach that views behavior as a responed to conditions

in the environment and therefore can be modified easily from dysfunctional to functional

behavior by re-modifying the environment. Parents are viewed as authorities who are
ultimately responsible for the child’s actions. In order to apply the approach, parents

should master and use four behavior modifiers: Positive reinforcement - causes a

behavior to occur with greater frequency. Negative reinforcement is the removal of an

aversive stimulus, to increase a behavior frequency. Punishment - causes a behavior to

occur with less frequency, and extinction- is a lack of any consequence following a

behavior: the extinction of a previously-reinforced behavior.

4. Childhood is a unique and progressive period of physical, behavioral, cognitive and

emotional development. The brain and its biological stress systems are genetically

programmed to be influenced by early experiences. Trauma involves physiological

/structural and psychological developmental changes. From a physiological aspect,

traumatic stress activates the amygdale which activates the Sympathetic Nervous System

that flooded the brain with stress-related hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline to

support fight /flight response at dangerous . The Parasympathetic Nervous System is

responsible for regulating the system to its normal levels. At the presents of chronic

stress, both SNS and PNS are active; the SNS generates hyper arousal, irritability,

anxiety, lowered threshold to stress and contributes to PTSD / dissociative disorder.

The CNS generates reduced immune system activity, increased blood pressure, and

reduced brain plasticity, damage in the left hippocampus that impacts verbal memory and

increase hyper vigilance to hostile cues while inhibiting attention to other important

information. Other brain functional and structural changes are; significant hemispheric

lateralization with decreased integration, abnormally right hemisphere that shows greater

activity comply with increased perception and emotion expressions mostly negative and

lower activity of left hemisphere comply with decreased perception and expression of
language logic and analytic processing . Speech production language understanding and

working memory capabilities are reduced as well as positive emotions and rational

cognition. Paracingiulate system size is reduced which effects the ability to engaged in

long term social interactions. From the psychological adaptation aspect, traumatic stress

may cause delays or deficits in a child's ability to achieve age-appropriate behavior.

5. Children usually begin to objects in their drawing at the age of 3-4. At ages 4-6 they

will start to represent recognizable figures with out body images .The next stage is

consolidating at ages (6-9) when figures become more obvious and more detailed and

may have fingers ears and so on. At that age children are becoming to be more expressive

about their drawings at naturalizing stage between 9-12 the y will make efforts to put

figures in proportion.

2.the child first most likely will draw a figure of his own sex first. Then

he might draw the opposite-sexed

6 .High conflict divorces can be the result of ongoing, unremitting hostility between

the parents, drawn-out or frequent court actions, custody battles, allegations of

domestic violence, physical abuse, and/or sexual abuse, restraining orders or no-
contact orders, and lack of ability to communicate about children and their care.

Parents’ tendency in those cases is to align with their child and in some cases with the

child’s therapist in order to win the fight against the other parents.

It is a good practice to hold boundaries and informed the parent about the child

confidentiality procedures ethics. In many cases, parents don’t recognize that their

children pay’s a huge price for their ongoing conflict and part of the therapist

treatment is to guide and educate parents about the consequences of their conflict. On

the initial meeting (without the child) I will try to understand what the conflicts are

about. I will present them with the list of do’s and don’ts explaining the consequences

their child might deal with if any of them is “using the child “against the other. I will

aim at supporting the parent with constructing positive environment to the child on

any of the houses and will try to support each parent with his relationship with the