~ An alternative to gradual progression through a hierachy
~ One long session where the patient experiences their phobia at its worst while practising relaxation techniques at the same time.
~ Continues until patient is fully relaxed
~ Can be done in vivo (real life) or with virtual reality
~ First patient learns relaxation techniques, then these techniques are applied in one session with most feared situation present and usually lasts 2~3 hours.
~ The treatment is based off of the theory that physchologically high anxiety will last only about 1 hour max and that during this period emotional exhaustion and/or habituation (getting used to phobia) will occur and they will realise the consequences they feared do not happen and begin to feel safer. Anxiety will then begin to subside and evetually disappear.
~ Therefore you must not withdraw the client before this process has taken place otherwise the fear/phobia will be reinforced.