McGrath - Treating a phobia - systematic desensiti
The aim of the study was to treat a 9 year old girl with a noise phobia using systematic desensitisation
The sole participant of this study was Lucy, a 9 year old of low average intelligence. She had a strong phobia of loud noises such as fireworks, balloons popping and doors banging.
The method was systematic desensitisation, used and written up as a case study.
The procedure involved teaching Lucy relaxation techniques such as imagining herself at home on her bed and deep breathing exercises. She used a fear thermometer, rating her fear from 1 to 10.
The results were as follows:
Balloon bursting was the first fear to be tackled, by the 4th session Lucy could bear it being popped 10 metres away quite calmly. In the 5th session she was able to pop the balloon herself. She went through 10 sessions, by the end of which her fear rating of balloons popping dropped from 7/10 to 3/10.