Evidence-Based Practice Project


Systematic Desensitization



Program Targets: (1) Anxious (2) Avoidant

Description: This intervention focuses on repeated exposure to the item or circumstance that causes fear for the purpose of reducing the client’s avoidance. In vivo exposure uses real-life situations for the exposure exercises. The intervention is generally provided on a weekly basis, in a clinic or school. Sessions can be individual or group and the treatment duration  ranges from one day to twelve weeks.

Population: Children and adolescents, ages 3-17 years old.

Materials & Training: Edna B. Foa, Ph.D., Director, Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania

Source: NRI Matrix of Children’s Evidence-Based Practices



Systematic Desensitization, Imaginal Desensitization, In Vivo Desensitization

Program Targets: (1) Anxiety

Description: The goal of systemic desensitizaon, imaginal desensitization and in vivo desensitization is to reduce the anxiety surrounding a particular stimuli. This intervention introduces the stimuli a little at a time and pares it with a relaxation technique. Imaginal is the standard, absent another component. In vivo exposes the child to gradual real-life fear producing stimuli and combines that with relaxation techniques.

Population: Early childhood and childhood, ages 3-10 years old.

Source: NRI Matrix of Children’s Evidence-Based Practices



 Page Updated on 8/16/07