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Systematic desensitisation is used to treat maladaptive or dysfunctional behaviours, most commonly
phobias, as the behaviourist approach claims that if these behaviours are learnt through operant and
classical conditioning then they can be cured using the same processes.

How it works...
There are 4 main steps to systematic desensitisation for…

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gradually moved closer. Eventually, the fear associated with the rabbit was replaced with the
positive feelings associated with eating, and the boy's fear was overcome.

Emmelkamp, 1994 ­ Evidence exists to show that the ability to tolerate imagined situations
is followed b a reduction in anxiety in real-life situations.



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