Systematic De-Sensititsation Steps.

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Step 1.

The patient is taught how to relax their muscles completely. This is because a relaxed state is uncompatitable with anxiety.

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Step 2.

The therapist and patient together construct a de-sensitisation hierarchy - a series of imagined scenes, each one causing a little more anxiety than the previous one.

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Step 3.

The patient gradually works their way through de-sensitisation hierarchy, visualising each anxiety-evoking event while engaging in the competing relaxing response.

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Step 4.

Once the patient has mastered one step in the hierarchy, i.e. they can remain relaxed whilst imagining it, they are ready to move onto the next.

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Step 5.

The patient eventually masters the feared situation that cause them to seek help in the first place.

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Problem - fear of spiders.

Result - overcome the fear and feels relaxed in spiders presence.

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