Systematic De-Sensititsation Steps.

HideShow resource information

Step 1.

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

1 of 6

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.

2 of 6

Step 3.

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

3 of 6

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.

4 of 6

Step 5.

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

5 of 6


Problem - fear of spiders.

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

6 of 6


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »