Systematic Desensitisation (Tends to be acceptable to patients (Patients…
Tends to be acceptable to patients
Low attrition rates - patients dropping out of treatment
Low refusal rates - patients refusing to start treatment
Patients prefer it - those given choice will often choose SD
Includes some elements that are pleasant - e.g. time talking with therapist.
Doesn't cause same degree of trauma as flooding
Suitable for diverse range of patients
For patients with difficulties understanding, concentrating or relaxing, SD is probably most appropriate treatment.
Alternative methods such as flooding and cognitive therapies aren't well suited to some patients.
e.g. learning difficulties can make it hard to understand what's happening during flooding
3 and 33 months, SD group less fearful than control group (treated by relaxation without exposure)
Effects of treatment are long lasting.
Shows SD is helpful in reducing anxiety for arachnophobias
Gilroy et al. (2003) followed 42 patients who had SD for arachnophobia - 3, 45-minute sessions
Traumatic for patients
Often unwilling to see it through to the end
Time and money wasted on preparing patients for them refuse to start or not complete treatment.
Treatment not effective
Highly traumatic experience - most serious issue
Not unethical (patients give consent)
Less effective for some type of phobias
Phobias have cognitive aspects - thinks unpleasant thoughts about situation.
Benefit more from cognitive therapies - tackle irrational thinking.
Highly effective for treating simple phobias
Less effective for complex phobias - social phobias