The use of classical conditioning to help with anxiety and panic disorders is an interesting approach that has been around for decades. The background stressors for many who suffer from these conditions are very real and you can be sure that there is nothing inherently wrong with the person except for their reaction to that stressor. Therefore, if you know what things cause the person to worry and be anxious you can change those circumstances. Therefore, the classical conditioning of the mind means confronting the source of the problem in order to be free of the condition and able to conquer it. This sounds rather simplistic but it is surprisingly effective in helping people to overcome their condition.
To understand this type of classical conditioning you need to know that the brain uses some form of memory to store information
You also need to know that classical conditioning starts with a stimulus and then the unconditioned reinforcers are used to reinforce the stimulus. There is a lot going on under the hood and you need to understand what happens at each step. Of course there will be some trial and error involved, but that is natural for any new approach.
The classical conditioning of the mind can be thought of as a series of steps. You start by making the person aware of the stressor that is causing them the anxiety. Next they should be made aware of the stressor again and the third step involves making the person aware of what they were doing or saying just prior to the onset of the anxiety. This gives them an opportunity to come up with the appropriate response.
The next step in this classic operant conditioning process is to distract the subject from the source of the anxiety through a strong non-aversive distraction
For this we use the classic example of distracting them with a sound. Once they have become distracted, we move to classical conditioning the next phase. This is to condition them to ignore the sound and once they are trained to ignore it, we move to a location where they will enter a state of relaxation while the classical conditioning takes place.
In order for the classical conditioning to take place you have to be very precise about your directions. For instance if you want to teach someone to clap, you should make sure that they are clapping at the right time. The clapping needs to happen consistently and you have to make sure that they are not doing it on their own. That is one of the things that makes this type of training so desirable, because the person will be able to learn their own clapping techniques.
Another type of classical conditioning is called background stressors
These are the things that we do when we first sit down to the piano or when we are in class. These should be changed to make the following sentence true. For example, if I am reading to you, I should read my hands aloud. I should also read my hands at some point during the reading. As long as I change these things during the learning period, I can have this positive classical conditioning effect.
A third example involves the use of positive reinforcement
Positive reinforcement consists of giving something to someone in the hope that they will perform a desirable behavior. In the example above, if I were to teach you how to clap, I would give you a small toy or book. If you did as I asked, I would reward you by giving you the toy. You would then work on the next step to teach him to clap.
Effective classical conditioning requires that you change the environment into one that promotes learning. This can be done with the use of music, movement, and food. You can also find other ways to condition your dog through the internet. There is a lot of information about effective classical conditioning on the internet.