Flooding

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  • A procedure for reducing anxiety that involves keeping a person in a feared, but harmless, situ ation. By preventing the person from using the usual rewarding pattern of escape, the person learns that the situation can be managed. Flooding is based on extinction, or the process of removing the reinforcers that typ ically follow a particular response. Flooding, which breaks up the association between a conditioned (anxiety provoking) stimulus and the fear, is an example of an exposure technique and is considered a part of behav ioral therapy. Although it is effective, flooding includes presenting the patient with distressing stimuli (e.g., a client with arachnophobia touches a spider) to desen sitize the individual to this fear. A gradual exposure technique is typically used, with ...

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