Dr. James Schaller, MD
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Title: Maternal Recycling Tapes and Pictures: Treatment in Bedtime Separation Anxiety.

One technique we are investigating for phobias and other fears is the recycling tape. The principle is that you will habituate to something you hear over and over again. These tapes do not have to be rewound, but play continuously whatever message will help you.

For some it may be slow exposure to a feared object, e.g. an elevator, the dark, or a new school. For some children, it might be used as a source of a mother's or father's presence at bedtime, if the child is afraid of being separated. The child hears the parent's soothing voice over and over and may internalize it. Such children may gain comfort not just merely from a favorite blanket or "teddy bear," but from the voice of a parent. One benefit is the child may feel less need to wake up exhausted parents for comfort. We are just beginning this research.

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