1. Week 3 Journal
Questionable Treatment Practices in Psychology
When considering current treatment methods in Psychology I can see how in the future
they may be done away with because of ineffectiveness or potential harm done to the patient.
One such therapy is Exposure Therapy. Exposure therapy is a “psychological treatment that was
developed to help people confront their fears. When people are fearful of something, they tend to
avoid the feared objects, activities, or situations. Although this avoidance might help reduce
feelings of fear in the short term, over the long term it can make the fear become even worse”
(div 12.org). Exposure therapy is commonly used for treating veterans with PTSD and
oftentimes makes veterans violent, depressed, and suicidal, enhances substance abuse, and
results in panic attacks when used over a prolonged period of time. In light of these side effects
using less confrontational therapies such as supportive counseling and interpersonal therapy may
be the best course of action (slate.com).
Another type of therapy currently being used is Exposure Response Therapy (ERP)
which is a cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) that involves the person with a disorder such as
(OCD) Obsessive Compulsive Disorder facing their fears and then learning to refrain from
ritualizing behaviors such as repetitive actions. This therapy is used alongside stress management
techniques and the use of medications to help the sufferer to relearn behaviors that do not include
the ritualistic actions when confronting stressful situations (Psychcentral.com).
The final current treatment I will consider is Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) which
involves sending electrical impulses through the brain with the goal of inducing a seizure in
order to treat unipolar depression that is resistant to drug therapy (Getzfeld, & Schwartz, 2013).
Side effects of ECT can range from slight to potentially life-threatening. Some of these effects
include confusion from a few minutes up to several days or longer, memory loss (retrograde
amnesia) that can include from a few minutes before treatment up to weeks or months and in rare
cases years, physical side effects such as nausea, headache, jaw pain or muscle aches, or medical
complications including complications of anesthesia use, heart rate and blood pressure increases,
and in rare instances serious heart problems (mayoclinic.org). I feel that future researchers may
consider ECT barbaric and crude because of the methods used. It is true that anesthesia is
currently being used to lessen the pain and complications opposed to the past but the treatment is
I chose to comment on this treatment because I had a close family member who had this
treatment for depression many years ago. After undergoing 57 (yes, I said 57) treatments for
severe depression, she did not even know her family members once they were allowed to visit
her in the hospital, let alone her children. I feel that great strides have been made in the treatment
of depression over the years and medications are more effectively used than ever before,
however in rare cases the depression remains resistant to treatment with drugs. We are at the
crest of being able to do away with ECT altogether now that drugs are being combined to treat
these rare cases effectively. Study will need to continue to find emerging information to forever
remove this mental plague from society.
2. When using potentially harmful procedures in any medical profession the good must
outweigh the potential side effects that could be suffered. Therefore, the medical professional
must be convinced that the procedure will improve the quality of life of the patient, thus helping
them to regain a state of mental health that will help them function at a better capacity in order to
lead a happier more fulfilling life.
Getzfeld, A., & Schwartz, S. (2013). Abnormal psychology: DSM-5 update . San Diego, CA: