An aversion-desensitization treatment for alcoholism

Richard I. Lanyon, Richard V. Primo, Francis Terrell, Albert Wener

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Gave to 21 30-58 yr. old male alcoholic patient volunteers in a state hospital a mean of 11 hr. in 1 of 3 treatments: (a) interpersonal aversion (in which S watched his own audiovideo-recorded drinking "confessions" while being systematically derogated by 2 therapists), followed immediately by systematic desensitization to drinking-related anxieties; (b) interpersonal aversion, followed by a control procedure consisting of friendly interaction; or (c) group discussion. Ss were given the Alcadd Test and MacAndrews' Alcoholism scale (derived from the MMPI) before, after, and 6-9 mo. following treatment. Follow-up interview data show that 5 of the 7 traceable Ss given the interpersonal aversion-systematic desensitization treatment reported abstinence, compared with only 1 of 7 treated by the interpersonal aversion-control procedure. This significant difference was supported by changes on the Alcadd Test but not on the Alcoholism scale. Difficulties in contacting Ss for follow-up precluded complete comparisons with the group-discussion Ss. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)394-398
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of consulting and clinical psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 1972


  • aversion-desensitization treatment, alcoholics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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