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Unformatted text preview: rapist had her imagine the
following scene, among others: :// 113 •exposure treatments•Behavioral
treatments in which persons are exposed
to the objects or situations they dread.
behavioral treatment that uses relaxation
training and a fear hierarchy to help
clients with phobias react calmly to the
objects or situations they dread.
•flooding•A treatment for phobias in
which clients are exposed repeatedly
and intensively to a feared object and
made to see that it is actually harmless. In modeling it is the therapist who confronts the feared object or
situation while the fearful person observes (Bandura, 2004, 1977, 1971;
Bandura et al., 1977). The behavioral therapist acts as a model to demonstrate that the person’s fear is groundless. After several sessions many
clients are able to approach the objects or situations calmly. In one version of modeling, participant modeling, the client is actively encouraged
to join in with the therapist.
Clinical researchers have repeatedly found that each of the exposure
treatments helps people with specific phobias (Farmer & Chapman,
2008; Pull, 2005). The key to success in all of these therapies appears to
be actual contact with the feared object or situation. In vivo desensitization is more effective than covert desensitization, in vivo flooding more
effective than covert flooding, and participant modeling more helpful
than strictly observational modeling. In addition, a growing number
of therapists are using virtual reality—3D computer graphics that simulate real-world
objects and situations—as a useful exposure tool (Winerman, 2005). Treatments for Social Phobias Only in recent years have clinicians been able
to treat social phobias successfully (Rosenberg, Ledley, & Heimberg, 2010; Ruscio
et al., 2008). Their newfound success is due in part to the growing recognition that social phobias have two distinct features that may feed upon each other: (1) People with
such phobias may have overwhelming social fears, and (2) they may lack skill at starting
conversations, communicating their needs, or meeting the needs of others. Armed with
this insight, clinicians now treat social phobias by trying to reduce social fears, by providing training in social skills, or both. Kent News & Picture/Corbis Sygma Close your eyes again. Picture the snake out in front of you, now make yourself pick it
up. Reach down, pick it up, put it in your lap, feel it wiggling around in your lap, leave
your hand on it, put your hand out and feel it wiggling around. Kind of explore its body
with your fingers and hand. You don’t like to do it, make yourself do it. Make yourself do
it. Really grab onto the snake. Squeeze it a little bit, feel it. Feel it kind of start to wind
around your hand. Let it. Leave your hand there, feel it touching your hand and winding
around it, curling around your wrist.
(Hogan, 1968, p. 423) Participant modeling
Employing the exposure technique of participant modeling, therapist Pete Cohen
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