Monday, April 5, 2010


I've written about habituation before. It's the process by which the brain pays less attention to a stimulus the longer that stimulus is around. I've been aware of this concept for a really long time. But I've always thought of it in the context of a single exposure. Every time I've talked about ERP working, it's a habituation process, whereby the exposure is scary, and then less scary and less scary, until the fear is gone.

But I rarely if ever think of habituation in the larger sense, at least not by name. That the more times you successfully complete exposures, the less worked up your brain is going to bother to get at the next exposure. I know, duh, that's the whole point of doing this, but it still inspired me to contemplate that today.

It's motivational to remember that every time I can successfully sit through an exposure, I'm just a little closer to big H Habituation. It will come in handy this week, as every single day this week I'm scheduled to do something that scares me.

1 comment:

  1. This is something I need to remind myself about! Sometimes it seems I am moving so slowly with my exposures, but then I look back to a year ago, and I've really habituated to a lot of scary stuff.