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Saul McLeodupdated Systematic desensitization is a type of behavioral therapy based on the principle of classical conditioning. It was developed by Wolpe during the s. This therapy aims to remove the fear response of a phobia, and substitute a relaxation response to the conditional stimulus gradually using counter conditioning.
There are three phases to the treatment: First, the patient is taught a deep muscle relaxation technique and breathing exercises.
This step is very important because of reciprocal inhibition, where once response is inhibited because it is incompatible with another. In the case of phobias, fears involves tension and tension is incompatible with relaxation. Second, the patient creates a fear hierarchy starting at stimuli that create the least anxiety fear and building up in stages to the most fear provoking images.
The list is crucial as it provides a structure for the therapy. Third, the patient works their way up the fear hierarchy, starting at the least unpleasant stimuli and practising their relaxation technique as they go.
When they feel comfortable with this they are no longer afraid they move on to the next stage in the hierarchy.
If the client becomes upset they can return to an earlier stage and regain their relaxed state. The client repeatedly imagines or is confronted by this situation until it fails to evoke any anxiety at all, indicating that the therapy has been successful. This process is repeated while working through all of the situations in the anxiety hierarchy until the most anxiety-provoking.
Thus, for example, a spider phobic might regard one small, stationary spider 5 meters away as only modestly threatening, but a large, rapidly moving spider 1 meter away as highly threatening.
The client reaches a state of deep relaxation, and is then asked to imagine or is confronted by the least threatening situation in the anxiety hierarchy. The number of sessions required depends on the severity of the phobia.
Usually sessions, up to 12 for a severe phobia. Exposure can be done in two ways: However, there may be practical reasons why in vitro may be used. Application Wolpe successfully used the method to treat an 18 year old male with a severe handwashing compulsion.
The disorder involved a fear of contaminating others with urine. After urinating, the patient felt compelled to spend 45 minutes cleaning his genitalia, two hours washing his hands, and four hours showering.
Treatment involved placing the young man in a state of relaxation and then asking him to imagine low anxiety scenes such as an unknown man touching a trough of water containing one drop of urine. In addition, a real bottle of urine was presented at a distance and moved closer to the patient in gradual steps.
A follow-up 4 years later revealed complete remission of the compulsive behaviors.This fear of new technology happened with televisions, video games and most recently, smartphones, he said.
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nail biting or alcohol abuse) by pairing the behavior with an. The new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) has a number of changes to anxiety and anxiety disorders, including phobias.
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Phobias and Addictions PSY Phobias and Addictions Phobias and. Essay on Phobias and Addictions. Phobias and Addictions Valerie Brown PSY/ December 10, Pamela Parks Phobias and Addictions Phobias and addictions are two behaviors which can be understood and explained by applying the principles of conditioning.