Journal of Neurology and Neuroscience

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The historical roots of exposure therapy

Joint Event on 14th International Conference on Neurology, Neuroscience and Neuromuscular Disorders & 31st Edition on World Psychiatrists and Psychologists Conference & 15th International Conference on Gastro Educa
June 17-18, 2019 Tokyo, Japan

Habibollah Ghassemzadeh

Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Iran

Posters & Accepted Abstracts: J Neurol Neurosci


Exposure has been indicated as a common principle of most behavioral approaches to the treatment of anxiety and anxiety related disorders. In the main technique of exposure therapy, the patient is asked to expose himself/herself to a situation which evokes anxiety and he/she is encouraged to tolerate that situation without showing any avoidant behavior or response activation. Part of the efficacy of exposure therapy has been related to the effects of habit and habituation. In this regard Plato’s ideas about habituation and Hamlet’s words in Shakespeare’s play are thoughtful and interesting. But the history of exposure therapy as an intervention and clinical or practical use goes back to the ideas of philosophers such as John Locke, and psychiatrist such as Freud and Pierre Janet and the modern concept of exposure therapy began from Meyer’s innovative work on the treatment of two patients: one with compulsive washing and another with blasphemous sexual obsessions. Today, there are many interesting and innovative explanations of this approach and technique in the framework of cognitive neuroscience.

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