Systematic desensitization

In this procedure, events which cause anxiety are recalled in imagination, and then a relaxation technique is used to dissipate the anxiety.

Systematic desensitization

Arman Zhenikeyev Definition Systematic desensitization is a technique used to treat phobias and other extreme or erroneous fears based on principles of behavior modification. Purpose Systematic desensitization is used to help the client cope with phobias and other fears, and to induce relaxation.

In progressive relaxation, one first tightens and then relaxes various muscle groups in the body. During the alternating clenching and relaxing, the client should be focusing on the contrast between the initial tension and the subsequent feelings of relaxation and softening that develop once the tightened muscles are released.

After discovering how muscles feel when they are deeply relaxed, repeated practice enables a person to recreate the relaxed sensation intentionally in a variety of situations.

After learning relaxation skills, the client and therapist create an "anxiety hierarchy. For a person who is frightened by snakes, the anxiety hierarchy might start with seeing a picture of a snake, eventually move to viewing a caged snake from a distance, and culminate in actually handling a snake.

Systematic desensitization - Wikipedia

With the therapist's support and assistance, the client proceeds through the anxiety hierarchy, responding to the presentation of each fearful image or act by producing the state of relaxation. The person undergoing treatment stays with each step until a relaxed state is reliably produced when faced with each item.

As tolerance develops for each identified item in the series, the client moves on to the next. In facing more menacing situations progressively, and developing a consistent pairing of relaxation with the feared object, relaxation rather than anxiety becomes associated with the source of their anxiety.

Thus, a gradual desensitization occurs, with relaxation replacing alarm. Several means of confronting the feared situations can be used. In the pre-computer era, the exposure occurred either through imagination and visualization imagining a plane flight or through actual real-life — or so-called in vivo — encounters with the feared situation going on an actual plane flight.

More recently, during the s, virtual reality or computer simulated exposure has come to be utilized in lieu of in vivo exposure. Research findings indicate that mental imagery is the least effective means of exposure; in vivo and virtual reality exposure appear to be indistinguishable in terms of effectiveness.

Description Systematic desensitization is a therapeutic intervention that reduces the learned link between anxiety and objects or situations that are typically fear-producing. The aim of systematic desensitization is to reduce or eliminate fears or phobias that sufferers find are distressing or that impair their ability to manage daily life.

By substituting a new response to a feared situation — a trained contradictory response of relaxation which is irreconcilable with an anxious response — phobic reactions are diminished or eradicated.

This behavior modification technique, which is founded on the principles of classical conditioning, was developed by Joseph Wolpe in the s. Some of the most common fears treated with desensitization include fear of public speaking, fear of flying, stage fright, elevator phobias, driving phobias and animal phobias.

Relaxation responses are trained to occur through progressive relaxation traininga technique initially perfected by Edmund Jacobson during the s. Precautions Because of the potential for extreme panic reactions to occur, which can increase the phobia, this technique should only be conducted by a well-qualified, trained professional.

Systematic desensitization

Also, the relaxation response should be thoroughly learned before confronting the anxiety-provoking hierarchy.

Normal results Desensitization is an effective form of therapy. Individuals who have a positive response are enabled to resume daily activities that were previously avoided. The majority of persons undergoing this treatment show symptom reduction.Some evidence suggests that systematic desensitization may not be as effective in treating anxieties that could have an underlying survival component—such as fear of the dark, fear of heights, or fear of dangerous animals—as in treating phobias that have been acquired from personal experience.

Systematic desensitization is more effective for Specific Phobias than for disorders involving “free-floating” anxiety, such as Social Phobia or Agoraphobia.

• Successful outcome of systematic desensitization is more likely when skill deficits are not causing the anxiety. Systematic desensitization, also known as graduated exposure therapy, is a type of cognitive behavior therapy developed by South African psychiatrist, Joseph is used in the field of clinical psychology to help many people effectively overcome phobias and other anxiety disorders that are based on classical conditioning, and shares the same elements of both cognitive psychology and.

Critical Evaluation

Systematic desensitization is a form of behaviour therapy. Based on the principles of classical conditioning, the systematic desensitization technique is proved to be excellent in dealing with different phobias and anxiety disorder such as panic disorder.

Systematic desensitization is a technique used to treat phobias and other extreme or erroneous fears based on principles of behavior modification.

Purpose Systematic desensitization is used to help the client cope with phobias and other fears, and to induce relaxation. 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 Saul Mcleod.

Systematic desensitization - Wikipedia