Stampfl's Therapist-Directed Implosive (Flooding) Therapy

Description of the Strategy

In the late 1950s, Thomas G. Stampfl developed a new, comprehensive behavioral-treatment approach designed to be used in the treatment of a wide variety of adult clinical psychological symptoms. He based his new approach on the use of established principles of learning developed from laboratory research. The technique he adopted was both unique and controversial. It was unique in that Stampfl was the first therapist to systematically recommend that symptom reduction could be achieved by exposing patients to those fear cues their symptoms were designed to avoid. The goal of his technique was to intentionally elicit within the patient a high level of emotional responding in order to establish the necessary conditions for the unlearning of emotions to these ...

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