Treating Phobias With Systematic Desensitization

    Many individuals can have many different phobias that are detrimental to their well-being. Overcoming phobias can be extremely hard and oftentimes, therapy is needed. The type of behavioral therapy used to treat phobias is called systematic desensitization. Systematic desensitization was developed in the 1950s with the intent of removing the fear factor of phobias. In replace of the fear response, the therapy aims to create a relaxation response to treat the phobia at hand. 
    The desensitization process can include the patient imagining the phobic stimulus or they can be directly exposed to it in the therapy session. The patient focuses on relaxation by taking part in activities such as breathing and meditation exercises. By focusing on their fears in a linear pattern from lowest to highest, they will use these exercises to coach themselves through the phobic responses one by one until they are able to work their way to the highest fear response with success.