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Implosive therapy

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Implosive therapy (or implosion therapy) is a form of exposure therapy similar to the imaginal form of flooding, with which it can be confused.

Although there are similarities, the terms implosive therapy and flooding cannot be used interchangeably. Both implosive therapy and flooding expose the client to anxiety arousing stimuli for prolonged durations. Flooding deals with the actual stimulus or its image, while in implosion therapy anxiety is aroused by only imagining the simuli (without direct contact). Further, implosive therapy involves imagined scenes that are often exaggerated by a therapist and often relate to the client's most feared fantasy. Finally, the anxiety that is provoked during implosive therapy is often addressed using psyhodynamic approaches (e.g., addressing an oral fixation). Research on implosive therapy is mixed and the therapy may only temporarily reduce fears and anxiety. 

In flooding you might be asked to picture spider, perhaps at various distances so the you become desensitized to the image. On the other hand, in implosive therapy, you might be asked to imagine the spider entering your mouth as you sleep if that was an anticipated fantasy aspect of your fear.

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