Dec 1, 1975

Systematic desensitization to reduce dream-induced anxiety

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease
N Cavior, A M Deutsch


A modified version of systematic desensitization was used to reduce the anxiety and negative interpersonal consequences produced by a recurrent aversive dream resulting from events in the real world. The subject, a 16-year-old incarcerated male, was first taught a standard relaxation technique. The subject's dream was divided into 12 hierarchical imaginal scenes. Following initial relaxation, each scene was sequentially introduced and followed by the therapist's suggestion that the subject was still very relaxed. After three sessions with the therapists and several practice sessions by himself, the subject reported no further anxiety to the dream (which continued to occur) and improved relations with the institutional staff. Six months of follow-up showed no recurrence of the anxiety or the subsequent irritability which the subject had initially reported as leading to negative interpersonal relations with the staff.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Recurrent Malignant Neoplasm
Psychological Desensitization Therapy
Recurrence (Disease Attribute)
Anxiety Disorders
Imaginal Disc-derived Wing Hair

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