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December 1972

Behavior Therapy Technique for Exhibitionism: A Preliminary Report

Author Affiliations

Victoria, Australia
From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Victoria, Australia.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1972;27(6):839-841. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1972.01750300101019

A preliminary report is made of a technique, based on behavior therapy principles, used in the treatment of exhibitionism. While undressed before a mixed sex psychiatric team, the subject's exhibiting behavior was discussed and related to his current feelings. The team was asked to show no apprehension. In contrast the subject's anxiety was maintained at a high level by the intimacy of the questioning and by the proximity of the audience.

Other procedures, including visualization in a full-length mirror and video tape recording and replay, were employed to familiarize the subject with his own body. Subsequently, repeated reinforcement was provided using video tape records of interviews. Despite an immediate pretreatment frequency of at least five exposures per month and a history of eight years duration no further episodes are known to have occurred for one year.

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