Flooding and implosive therapy: Are they harmful?
A mail survey was conducted to investigate in a preliminary way the widespread belief that implosive therapy and flooding may have "serious negative side effects". The survey, returned by 83% of those polled, included 70 practitioners of these procedures representing 3,493 clients. Of the latter, two (.06%) clients with no known history of psychosis were reported to have experienced "acute psychotic reactions" during treatment. Two known psychotics were also reported to have had similar reactions. "Brief panic reactions" were reported to have occurred in another 0.14% of the sample. No other serious negative side effects were reported. Eighty-seven percent of the therapists judged implosive therapy and flooding to produce the same, or fewer, side effects as compared to other forms of therapy that they had used. It was concluded that implosive therapy and flooding are relatively "safe" procedures. © 1980 Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy.
Shipley, RH; Boudewyns, PA
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