WHAT ARE EXTINCTION AND PUNISHMENT IN MENTAL HEALTH?

ACCREDITED SENIOR PSYCHOTHERAPIST,COUNSELLOR, CBT THERAPIST AND COMEDY WRITER -Dr.Fawzy Masaoud-LONDON, ENGLAND

Extinction is a process that stops a learned behaviour from occurring. When used in combination with reinforcement, it is much more effective than punishment at reducing or eliminating an undesirable behaviour. Extinction occurs when a behaviour is no longer reinforced, and eventually, loses its attraction. The key to successful extinction in many cases is to first identify exactly what is reinforcing the behaviour. If a child throws tantrum because she has learned that she can get her own way when throwing one (reinforcement), then giving into the child will only reinforce the behaviour further. Once you have identified the reinforcer (getting what she wants), you remove it. If your child throws tantrums, put them in their room and don’t give them what they want. If a child has learned that tantrums work, they might try harder, so don’t expect it to be easy. Just remember, if they get their way…

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