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Covert Sensitization Conditioning

Description of the Strategy

Covert sensitization is a conditioning-based psychotherapeutic and behavioral technique designed to change sexual deviations. Behavioral techniques, such as covert sensitization, olfactory aversion, and faradic or electrical aversion therapy have as their common clinical goal reducing sexual arousal to deviant stimuli through the introduction of aversive events. Covert sensitization is a form of conditioning therapy in which a behavior and its antecedent events are paired with some aversive stimulus in order to promote avoidance of the antecedent events and thereby to decrease the undesirable behaviors. The originator of the procedure, Joseph Cautela, and a colleague defined the conditioning procedure as follows:

Covert conditioning refers to a family of behavioral therapy procedures that combine the use of imagery with the principles ...
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