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OCD and Anxiety Critical Thinking Questions


Answer critical thinking question and make a response to the video.

Critical thinking question:
1. Let’s consider the scenario below and discuss whether the slower, more comfortable (but often less effective) process of systematic desensitization is preferable to the distressing (but effective) method of flooding.

The textbook does not give a clear indication of the scenes that are used in flooding therapy. A good discussion topic is the need for truly graphic imagery and the ethical considerations for both client and therapist. For a person with a spider phobia, the following script might be used.

Close your eyes and see a hairy spider at your feet. See it crawl around your feet and ankles. Make yourself pick it up and put it in your lap. You don’t want to do it, but you make yourself pick it up. Look at the spider in your lap. Feel it moving around. Keep your hand on the spider and prevent it from walking away. Feel the texture of its hairy surface as it moves around in your hand. Bring the spider up closer to your face. Force yourself to look at it.

The intense anxiety that the client with spider phobia will feel is exactly what must occur, but this therapy is done only after the client is informed of what will happen and the reasons for it. Also note that the therapist, who probably does not enjoy the thought of creating terror in a client, must believe in the therapy and “stick it out” despite the client’s anxiety. If the therapist starts to use flooding, there is no turning back. Stopping the presentation of fear‑inducing scenes before there has been an extinction of anxious responses will reinforce avoidance.

Marshall, W. (1985). The effects of variable exposure in flooding therapy. Behavior Therapy, 16(2), 117–135. doi:10.1016/S0005-7894(85)80040-X


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