Systematic desensitisation


Systematic desensitisation

Developed by Wolpe to challenge the maintenance of phobias (avoidance)​

Gradual exposure to the phobia in its worst form. ​

Anxiety hierarchy: Developed with the patient to establish the most feared situation. This allows the phobia to be treated in stages with relaxation being achieved at each stage before moving on the next stage. ​

Relaxation: Focus on breathing, slow and deep breaths. Anxiety leads to quick breathing. Progressive muscle relaxation can also be taught.​

Exposure: Once in a relaxed state, the client is then gradually exposed to the phobic stimuli. Start at the bottom of the hierarchy and only progress when relaxation is maintained.​

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