Mom gets really anxious when Grandma gets upset and starts nitpicking about tiny issues. She does not have the ability to control her anxiety. How can you help Mom to unlearn her anxious response to Grandma’s snappy attitude?
You never listen to me.
Petting Nova, her dog, makes mom feel relaxed.(unconditioned stimulus and unconditioned response)
Someday you will realize that I am right and you will start listening to me!
When Grandma comes over and starts nitpicking, mom got anxious.
Mom now holds Nova while grandma is cranky so she feels more relaxed. (Pairing NS with UCS)
After a while, mom started to notice that she no longer needed to hold Nova while grandma was cranky because it no longer made her anxious, but it made her feel relaxed. (Conditioned response)