Flooding (psychology)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Flooding, sometimes referred to as in vivo exposure therapy, is a form of behavior therapy and desensitization—or exposure therapy—based on the principles of respondent conditioning. As a psychotherapeutic technique, it is used to treat phobia and anxiety disorders including post-traumatic stress disorder. It works by exposing the patient to their painful memories, with the goal of reintegrating their repressed emotions with their current awareness. Flooding was invented by psychologist Thomas Stampfl in 1967. It is still used in behavior therapy today.


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