Systematic Desensitization

Fear is a result of not knowing what will happen next.  Fear comes when we do not either understand or know what is about to happen to us.  It comes up as anxiety and phobia’s.  This kind of fear is different then fear that manifests itself as prejudice.  This fear is only about things we become anxious about, not angry at because they’re different then us.  There is a wide range of phobia’s.  Then way to become accustomed to whatever it is that you fear is to desensitize yourself to it.  I worked with a child who feared birds.  She did not understand what about the bird that bothered her and made her afraid but she was terrorized by them and would refuse to leave her home it the birds were in the trees outside her home.  We used systematic desensitization and she was then able to be outside when the birds were in the trees, she was even able to walk into at pet store and be by the birds and watch them.

The way it works is that you slowly get used to being around whatever the thing is your afraid.   With this child we started out by watching the bird out of her living room window, she did not want to do it, but she did.  When that became comfortable for her, we opened the window and she watched and heard them.  when that became comfortable we sat on the porch and watched them.  Eventually we were taking walks, sitting in the park and going to pet stores.  This is a very gradual process, it takes determination, courage and a need to change this behavior.  It also takes time, and again, no instant cure.  You cannot move on to the next step until you feel comfortable with the one you’re on at the time.  There is no magic bullet, no pill to take, just hard work and the time to do it.  This will help you relax and get rid of all of those fears  while you are desensitizing.    Click here for the relaxation and guided imagery video’s  Enjoy!


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I became a therapist in an attempt to understand my own childhood and what happened there and how it made me who I am, exhibiting the behaviors that were not always positive, very often self-destructive. I used Art Therapy to help me understand things in my past that were stopping me from making better decisions in my present day. I used Behavioral Science to help me understand underlying causal factors, roots to the present day behaviors that I was seeing in myself. Both help me to change those behaviors/thoughts that were causing me to make self-destructive decisions that were causing pain in life. I have been a therapist since 1985 and have an undergraduate degree Art and behavioral science (double major) from the University of Maine. My graduate work was done at Marywood university and I have a degree in Art Therapy. I have certificates in Forensic Interviewing and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior therapy. I have 22 out of 30 credits toward a degree in Trauma Therapy from Drexel University. I started out as a Community Support Worker, Program Manager/Clinical Supervisor, Family therapist and Outpatient therapist.

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