Training mildly retarded individuals to control their anger through the use of cognitive-behavior therapy techniques
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Four mildly retarded adults with chronic anger problems were treated with a cognitive-behavioral approach similar to stress-inoculation training. The treatment techniques included a simplified version of rational-emotive therapy (RET), coping self-statements, relaxation training, biofeedback, coping imagery, behavioral rehearsal, and assertiveness training. The treatment techniques varied in each case so as to meet the needs of the individual clients. The emphasis was on the development of self-control as opposed to control through external contingencies, such as rewards and punishments. There were decreases in the frequency of anger outbursts in all four clients. Violent behavior, such as hitting and kicking others, and destruction of property, was totally eliminated. In addition, the clients reported decreases in anxiety and stress-related symptoms. Although experimental research is needed in this area, these preliminary findings suggest that at least some mildly retarded individuals can be taught self-control through a cognitive-behavioral approach.
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