Systematic Desensitization Involves Flashcards, test questions and answers
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What is Systematic Desensitization Involves?
Systematic desensitization is a type of behavior therapy that was developed by behavioral psychologist Joseph Wolpe in the 1950s. It is based on the principles of classical conditioning, and involves exposing an individual to a series of increasingly intense stimuli while they remain relaxed. By doing this, the individual can eventually become desensitized to the fear-provoking stimulus. This therapy is commonly used to treat anxiety disorders such as phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).The process of systematic desensitization begins with relaxation training. This teaches individuals how to relax their body and mind when faced with stressful situations or stimuli. Once an individual has learned how to relax, the therapist will work with them to identify their feared stimulus or situation and create a list of activities ranked from least fearful (1) to most fearful (10). This list is called an exposure hierarchy because each activity on it increases in intensity until it reaches the ultimate feared object or situation at 10. The patient then begins with activities from 13 while remaining relaxed using their relaxation techniques they learned during training. As they progress through each activity, they are expected to remain relaxed until eventually reaching 10 without feeling overwhelmed by fear or anxiety. Once a patient has reached level 10 without any fear or anxiety reactions, they have successfully completed the process known as flooding which helps them become desensitized to their feared stimulus/situation and allows them to gain control over their emotions related to those anxieties. Although this process may seem daunting at first, research shows that it can be highly effective in reducing levels of anxiety associated with specific fears and phobias over time if done correctly under supervision of trained professionals such as psychologists or mental health professionals. In conclusion, systematic desensitization is a form of behavior therapy which helps individuals cope with anxieties related specifically to certain objects/situations by gradually exposing them until they no longer feel fear in response. Through this process, individuals can gain control over their emotions so that they no longer feel overwhelming dread when faced with situations which previously caused distress for them. Research suggests this method is effective in reducing levels of fear associated with phobias if done correctly under professional supervision , making it an important tool for people struggling with mental health issues related specifically these fears .