Concerning Systematic Desensitization. An overcomed or renowned technique?

Laura Vallejo-Slocker, Miguel A. Vallejo


This paper constitutes a reflection about the pioneer Systematic Desensitization (SD), which bases seem to have been assumed by more popular procedures. Al­though SD fell into oblivion; its foundations remain as part of new approaches such as the Relational Frame Theory or mindfulness and targets a wide range of disor­ders besides specific phobias. Theoretically speaking and in comparison, with other exposition techniques, SD contributes in a better way to the reduction of anxiety by: relaxation, calibration of the exposures and a long-lasting learning of an alternative response within a varied sti­mulating context that favors generalization process. Mo­reover, SD is better accepted by patients and is a flexible procedure with consolidated bases. These serve as suffi­cient arguments to revalue this technique.


systematic desensitization; exposition; anxiety



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