Reinforced Practice

Reinforced practice is one of several different types of “exposure” procedures that are used in the treatment of fears and phobias. Exposure-based treatments for fears and phobias typically involve requiring the individual to confront, for prolonged periods, a real or imagined version of the feared object or situation. Reinforced practice, in particular, involves rewarding an individual for remaining in the presence of a feared stimulus for progressively longer periods of time. Initially, the individual remains in the presence of the feared object for short, “tolerable” periods. Gradually, the expectations are increased, and rewards are only delivered for increasingly longer periods of time in the presence of that object or situation. Important elements of reinforced practiced include (a) gradual and repeated practice in approaching ...

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