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Excerpt: "A behavioral approach used in elimination of unwanted fears or phobias. In flooding the client either is directly exposed to or imagines highly frightening events in a protected setting. Presumably the fear-inducing stimuli will lose their influence once the individual is fully exposed to them and discovers that no harm occurs. Following a discussion of the person's fears, the person is then asked to imagine the most feared situation. The therapist describes the salient fearful elements to enhance visualization. Thus an individual who is fearful of elevators is asked to imagine boarding a glass-enclosed high-speed elevator, then watching through the glass as the elevator rapidly rises from the ground level to the twentieth floor."


Originally published in D. G. Benner and P. C. Hill (Eds.), Baker encyclopedia of psychology and counseling (2nd ed.; pp. 462-463). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, 1999.

Used by permission.