graded self-exposure

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graded self-exposure (gray-did self-iks-poh-zher) n. a technique used in the behaviour therapy of phobias. A hierarchy of fears (increasingly fearful stimuli) is set up and the patients expose themselves to each level of the hierarchy in turn. Exposure continues until habituation occurs before proceeding to the next highest level of the hierarchy. The patient is then ultimately able to cope with the feared object or situation.