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systematic desensitization

Joseph Wolpe developed this behavior therapy method of pairing of muscle relaxation with scenes depicting situations that have caused anxiety.
  • Imaginal: This most commonly used method involves imagining the fearful scene then relaxing to it.
  • In vivo: This method involves actually visiting the natural setting of each scene.
  • Automated: The use of equipment such as video tape players can generate a situation a close as possible to the real situation.

Definition adapted with permission from the work of psychologist Jeanette J Chen, PhD.



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12/7-10 AAAP