Clinical Psychology - Type A Behaviour Case Study

Clinical Psychology – Type A Behaviour Case Study

In the article on Clinical Psychology – Case Studies, we mentioned how stress and heart attacks can be linked to Type A behaviour. So what is Type A Behaviour.

Bill is ain his late 50s. He has had a heart attack, but is now recovering. He is referred to a stress management group as heart attacks are linked to stress and how people cope with their stress. There is a type of behaviour, called Type A behaviour, where a person shows typical responses to stress.

Characteristics of Type A Behaviour –

*Hyper behaviour, such as talking fast, using lots of hand gestures when talking, eats fast, walks fast.

*Polyphasic – doing many things at once, thinking about many things at once, trying to make lots of decisions about same things at once.

*Dichotomous thinking – thinking about things as right or wrong, black or white




*Hard driving – trouble relaxing

*Time compulsive – tries to squeeze as much as possible into available time, hates being late.

So if there is Type A behaviour, there is also Type B. People with Type B behaviour may show different characteristics. For example –

*Not so concerned with time, but tend to be more punctual.

*Talk slower

*Take things more slowly, eg. Eat slower.

*Are more sequential in their decision making, thinking and behaviour.

*They will work on one thing to the end, before they move onto the next.

*Tend not to be perfectionists, but will still produce work of a high standard.

Clinical Psychologists may use stress management strategies to encourage them to change their hurry up behaviour. This behaviour can be accompanied by hyperarousal and replace chronic type A behaviours with type B behaviours.

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