Natural Healing Processes of the Mind

Graded Stress Inoculation as an Inherent Coping Mechanism
  • Seymour Epstein


There are three broad systems with which humans adapt to the world about them. These are learning, regulation of arousal, and maintenance of an organized conceptual system. Associated with these three systems are three kinds of behavioral disorder: Disorders arising from faulty learning; disorders arising from excessive stimulation, as in the traumatic neurosis; and disorders arising from threats to the integrity of an individual’s conceptual system, as in acute schizophrenic reactions. A previous article (Epstein, 1979) examined acute schizophrenic disorganization as a natural healing process with the capacity to effect a constructive reorganization. The present article examines a natural process that I shall refer to as “graded stress inoculation,” which facilitates the retroactive and proactive mastery of excessive stimulation.


Avoidance Reaction Systematic Desensitization Stress Inoculation Irrational Fear Natural Healing Process 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seymour Epstein
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA

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