Extinction is a behavior modification technique used to decrease or eliminate behaviors. This procedure involves removing reinforcement for the target behavior and allowing it to extinguish on its own, meaning that the desired behavior will eventually stop. Despite being an effective way to reduce behaviors, extinction can have some side effects and ethical considerations must be taken into account when using this procedure.
One of the potential side effects of extinction is an increase in the intensity of the unwanted behavior before it ultimately decreases (Steiner & Remington, 2018). This phenomenon is known as escape-motivated aggression (EMA) and can occur when someone attempts to discontinue a previously reinforced behavior but do not experience any relief from that effort. In such cases, individuals may become frustrated and more likely to increase their use of aggression in order to achieve their goal or obtain some form of relief (Mace et al., 2017). Therefore, special attention must be paid by practitioners during an extinction process so that EMA does not occur.
Another possible side effect is what has been dubbed “extinction burst” where an individual increases their engaging in the undesired behaviour even further than usual prior to its eventual reduction (Zinser et al., 2018). While these bursts are usually short-lived and typically followed by a decrease in behaviour frequency, they can still create a challenging environment for both client and practitioner alike as they attempt to bring about change. As such, practitioners should be prepared for possible escalation if implementing this procedure with clients who display strong emotional reactions associated with certain behaviours.
Include possible side effects of using extinction procedure as well as ethical considerations that must be followed.
In addition to side effects related directly with extinction itself, there are also several ethical considerations which must be taken into account when employing this technique with clients. First and foremost among these is informed consent – all clients should receive information regarding what will happen during treatment so they can make an informed decision whether or not therapy is right for them (Strub & Blackman 1985). Additionally, regardless of whether informed consent has been obtained or not; practitioners should always act within professional boundaries when administering treatment procedures such as extinction while ensuring that all interventions are appropriate given client characteristics (Gutierrez-Mecinas et al., 2018). Finally; therapists need remain aware of cultural differences between themselves and their clients so that any given intervention does not result in unintended harm due those differences – particularly considering how power dynamics often play out between therapist and client relationships (Santos & Dias 2016).
In conclusion; extinction has been demonstrated as effective method for reducing undesirable behaviours but like many other therapeutic techniques there are potential risks involved which need addressed accordingly . These risks include issues related directly too EMA or burst responses as well theoretical possibilities concerning issues with informed consent , boundaries ,and culture -all necessary considerations before deciding whether this particular approach would best suit a particular client’s needs .