Capafons et al. Exposure therapy has ethical problems but flooding is an in vitro technique that causes less intense distress. Relaxation Techniques Before beginning systematic desensitization, one need to have mastered relaxation training after developed a hierarchy from least feared to most feared list of your feared situations.
Therefore, a person is unable to be anxious and relaxed at the same time and the relaxation should overtake the fear. You're now subscribed to receive email updates! Exposure therapy can have immediate results: the alarm stage only lasts about minutes and the fear response can be extinguished within an hour.
According to systematic desensitisation, two emotional states cannot exist at the same time, a theory known as reciprocal inhibition. Afterwards, they lost their fear of those situations. This is particularly true of exposure therapy, which can backfire badly, but even the tape recordings or constant flow of images involved in flooding can be too much for some patients.
This is called "extinction" or "Pavlovian extinction".