Covert Sensitization Post #2

After reading through the textbook and learning different ways of treatment, I found covert sensitization to be interesting. The book gives the example of someone that is trying to quit smoking. The person would visualize the cigarettes covered in feces or vomit. I think the treatment is extreme, but I think that if someone truly can stick with the notion that the cigarettes are covered in vomit, it could work for them. Personally, I don’t think I could train my mind to actually believe that. But over time, if you visualize that every time you went to smoke, you could actually start to believe it. I looked online to find more examples of when someone would use covert sensitization and found an interesting article about pedophiles who use this method to help them stop having inappropriate thoughts or actions. When the person starts to have these thoughts, they are told to imagine themselves being incarcerated or embarrassing and shamed in public. I think this is a good method for treatment because once someone has the negative thoughts that are linked to their problem, they are likely to never do it again.


  1. The article was very interesting. Pedophilia is never given much attention but it seems like a serious mental illness or at least a disturbed sexual orientation. According to Wikipedia, which I know is not the best source, somewhere between 3-9% of the population are pedophiles. I'm surprised pedophilia has never been mentioned in any of my psych classes considering other sexual disorders that are even more rare have been included.

  2. i feel like covert sensitization is definitely a beneficial form of treatment. i actually use this one myself to get myself to eat more healthy. i usually imagine myself gaining lots of weight from eating one french fry and convince myself not to do it


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