Flooding (implosion)

A behavior therapy procedure for phobias and other problems involving maladaptive anxiety, in which the causes of the anxiety are presented in intense forms, either in imagination or in real life. The presentations, which act as desensitizers, are continued until the stimuli no longer produce disabling anxiety.

A method of treating a phobia by systematically exposing the affected person to his greatest fear. The phobic situation is imagined first and, after the person becomes partly desensitized to it, experienced in reality. The fear is experienced at maximum intensity for up to an hour until the patient is no longer capable of experiencing further fear.