Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 3
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Carey, Timothy A. 2011. Exposure and reorganization: The what and how of effective psychotherapy. Clinical Psychology Review, Vol. 31, Issue. 2, p. 236.

    Alsawy, Sarah Mansell, Warren Carey, Timothy A. McEvoy, Phil and Tai, Sara J. 2014. Science and Practice of Transdiagnostic CBT: A Perceptual Control Theory (PCT) Approach. International Journal of Cognitive Therapy, Vol. 7, Issue. 4, p. 334.

    Morris, Lydia Mansell, Warren and McEvoy, Phil 2016. The Take Control Course: Conceptual Rationale for the Development of a Transdiagnostic Group for Common Mental Health Problems. Frontiers in Psychology, Vol. 7,


Dynamic hierarchies: a control system paradigm for exposure therapy

  • Alec Brady (a1) and David Raines (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 March 2009

Exposure therapy is a widely used and well-evidenced treatment for a variety of avoidance behaviours. This paper offers a modest proposal for an improvement in how it is carried out (‘dynamic hierarchies’). The theoretical and practical context is set out, including some thoughts on the role of appraisals and cognitive dissonance, and some advantages of the method are suggested.

Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence: Mr A. Brady, Whittington CBT, 25 Hunshelf Park, Stocksbridge, Sheffield S36 2BT, S. Yorkshire, UK. (email:
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

CB Becker , C Zayfert , E Anderson (2004). A survey of psychologists' attitudes towards and utilization of exposure therapy for PTSD Behaviour Research and Therapy 42, 277292.

SE Coldwell , T Getz , P Milgrom , CW Prall , A Spadafora , DS Ramsay (1998). CARL: a LabVIEW 3 computer program for conducting exposure therapy for the treatment of dental injection fear. Behaviour Research and Therapy 36, 429441.

TM Eberle , LP Rehm , DH McBurney (1975). Fear decrement to anxiety hierarchy items – effects of stimulus intensity. Behaviour Research and Therapy 13, 255261.

NC Feeny , EA Hembree , LA Zoellner (2003). Myths regarding exposure therapy for PTSD. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice 10, 8590.

L Festinger , JM Carlsmith (1959). Cognitive consequences of forced compliance. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 58, 203210.

SC Hayes , KG Wilson , EV Gifford , VM Follette , K Strosahl (1996). Experiential avoidance and behavioral disorders: a functional dimensional approach to diagnosis and treatment. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 64, 11521168.

RM Hare (1969). Descriptivism. In: The Is-Ought Question: A Collection of Papers on the Central Problem in Moral Philosophy (ed. W. D. Hudson ), pp. 240259. London: Macmillan.

K Hawton , PM Salkovskis , J Kirk , DM Clark (1989). Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Psychiatric Problems. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

PC Kendall , JA Robin , KA Hedtke , C Suveg , E Flannery-Schroeder , E Gosch (2005). Considering CBT with anxious youth? Think exposures. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice 12, 136148.

P Lang (1968). Fear reduction and fear behavior: problems in treating a construct. In: Research in Psychotherapy, vol. 3 (ed.J. Shlien ), pp. 90103. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

RS Lazarus , CA Smith (1988). Knowledge and appraisal in the cognition–emotion relationship. Cognition & Emotion 2, 281300.

RS Marken (1997). The dancer and the dance: methods in the study of living control systems. Psychological Methods 2, 436446.

RS Marken (1999). PERCOLATe: perceptual control analysis of tasks International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 50, 481487.

FD McGlynn (1971). Individual versus standardized hierarchies in the systematic desensitization of snake-avoidance, Behaviour Research and Therapy 9, 15.

B Parkinson (1997). Untangling the appraisal-emotion connection. Personality and Social Psychology Review 1, 62.

S Rachman , C Lopatka (1988). Return of fear: underlearning and overlearning. Behaviour Research and Therapy 26, 99104.

S Rachman , S Robinson , C Lopatka (1987). Is incomplete fear-reduction followed by a return of fear? Behaviour Research and Therapy 25, 6769.

F Rosenblatt (1958). The Perceptron: a probabilistic model for information storage and organization in the brain, Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory. Psychological Review 65, 386408.

PJ Saxby (1973). Phobic responses and cognitive dissonance arousal. Behavior Therapy 4, 230234.

WW Tryon , JR Misurell (2008). Dissonance induction and reduction: a possible principle and connectionist mechanism for why therapies are effective. Clinical Psychology Review 28, 12971309.

TW Vodde , FH Gilner (1971). The effects of exposure to fear stimuli on fear reduction. Behaviour Research and Therapy 9, 169175.

JP Watson , R Gaind , IM Marks (1972). Physiological Habituation To Continuous Phobic Stimulation Behaviour Research and Therapy 10, 269278.

J Wolpe , S Rachman (1960). Psychoanalytic ‘evidence’: a critique based on Freud's case of Little Hans. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 131, 135148.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

the Cognitive Behaviour Therapist
  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 1754-470X
  • URL: /core/journals/the-cognitive-behaviour-therapist
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *