General Issues

  • Paul M. G. Emmelkamp
Part of the The Plenum Behavior Therapy Series book series (PBTS)


Phobic and obsessive-compulsive disorders should be distinguished from normal fears and preoccupations. Most people experience fears but these usually do not require treatment. When fears become so disabling that they seriously affect life (e.g., fear of heights for a window-cleaner), they can be regarded as disorders. Phobia is a special type of fear in which responses are excessive. Like fears, phobias can occur in almost any situation but the cases seen in clinical practice have phobias in a limited number of situations. Preoccupations have to be distinguished from clinical obsessions. Preoccupations are different in that the themes concern every day worries that provoke little resistance.


Social Anxiety Analog Study Target Behavior Fear Survey School Phobia 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul M. G. Emmelkamp

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