systematic desensitization(redirected from Graduated exposure therapy)
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Related to Graduated exposure therapy: systemic desensitization
a type of behavior therapy for eliminating phobias or anxieties: the patient and therapist construct a list of imagined scenes eliciting the phobia, ranked from least to most anxiety producing; the patient is then trained in deep muscle relaxation and repeatedly asked to imagine himself or herself in the presence of the least anxiety-producing scene on the list until the patient feels fully relaxed while doing so; the procedure is repeated for each scene on the list until the patient develops the capacity to feel relaxed with any of the anxiety-producing scenes; real life scenes are then substituted for the imagined scenes.
Synonym(s): reciprocal inhibition (2)
systematic desensitizationDesensitization, exposure therapy Psychology A type of behavioral intervention for managing anxiety, phobic disorders and anticipatory side effects–eg, nausea associated with chemotherapy. See Anticipatory side effects, Aversion therapy, Behavioral therapy, Encounter group therapy, Flooding, Imaging aversion therapy, Relaxing imagery. Cf Attentional distraction, Reciprocal inhibition, Relaxation training.
sys·te·mat·ic de·sen·si·ti·za·tion(sistĕ-matik dē-sensi-tī-zāshŭn)
Behavior therapy for eliminating phobias or anxieties.