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Treatment of female sexual dysfunction through the use of symbolic modeling with graduated behavioral tasks Nemetz, Georgia Helen

Abstract

Attitudinal and behavioral indices of sexual adjustment and sexual anxiety measures were obtained from twenty-two subjects in order to assess the effects of individual and group graduated symbolic modeling with concurrent behavioral tasks as a treatment, procedure for female sexual dysfunction. All of the women serving as clients had reported severe anxiety towards sexual behavior which precluded their enjoyment of and or engagement in this area. Sixteen of the clients were randomly divided into two groups; one receiving individual treatment and the other receiving group treatment. Treatment consisted of initial relaxation training followed by the viewing of 45 video-taped vignettes depicting various graduated sexual behaviors. Sessions were held twice weekly for approximately two and one-half weeks. The other six women served as a control group and were subjected to identical measurement without the benefit of treatment. Statistically significant decreases in anxiety and increases in behavioral and attitudinal measures were evidenced to the same extent in both treatment conditions; however, a trend towards greater improvement was observed for those' receiving group treatment. Significant improvements appeared simultaneously in all three areas around the third treatment session. These riesults remained stable through the three week follow-up period. The contro clients showed no improvement and trends toward deterioration were evidenced on all three measures. It would appear that graduated symbolic modeling with concurrent behavioral tasks effects positive changes in attitudinal, behavioral and anxiety indices simultaneously. The extent and relevant contribution of these changes during sexual dysfunction therapy requires further investigation including the refinement of behavioral measures and the examination of the effects of time on waiting list clients.

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