Despite its straightforward appearance, desensitization in war can be incredibly complex and multifaceted. Generically, as the name implies with its negatively connoted prefix, de-, it suggests a process of sensory loss.

In a positive sense, desensitization refers to a behavioral therapy used to overcome phobias. In psychology, it refers to a process in which a patient is guided to deep relaxation in a controlled setting before introducing small anxiety-inducing stimuli. When the patient displays symptoms of stress, he or she is guided back toward relaxation. This is repeated over time, with incrementally increasing frequency or severity of the anxiety-producing stimuli until full exposure can be tolerated without the need of relaxation measures. The frequency and duration of therapy needed varies widely for each case, but ongoing ...

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