In Rejection Therapy, the concept is simple: exposing yourself to daily doses of rejection might help immunize you from the fear of being rejected. A game that’s designed to ease away a chunk of most people’s worries? Might be worth trying.

It all started when, Jason Comely, the game’s developer, performed a one-man experiment in the 2009. I don’t have the specifics, but he probably was working out personal problems of his own with the fear of rejection being central to those worries. Borrowing a technique called flooding from behavioral therapy, which is simply the process of exposing a person to his particular fear head-on, he conceived of a way of applying the same principles to the fear of rejection. I surmise that for Comely, a fear is the same as any, and exposing a person to his fear of rejection might help erase that fear. Thus, Rejection Therapy was born.

I admit, I was a bit skeptical at first because of the psychobabble hodge-podge that he had on his site. But, if one would look further, there is actually a hint of potential to the idea. This is actually verifiable not through concepts related to behavioral therapy, but to it’s close sibling cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Shame-Attacking Exercises

The idea of exposing one’s self to terrifying social situations is not really a new idea. In fact, Albert Ellis, the creator of rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) performed a similar experiment of his own when he was still a young adult. Back then, Ellis was absolutely terrified of talking to women. A psychologist at heart,  the solution that he devised was quite a breakthrough: in order to work through his fear, he created a shame-attacking exercise where he committed to conversing to women near his home, never stopping until he had done it a 100 times. (He had actually talked to 130 women.) Of course, there were quite a few embarrassing moments but he finished the exercise unscathed with insights that became the seeds to the therapeutic method he had championed. And the shame-attacking exercise? It’s actually the basic framework for REBT homework given to clients.

In this case, I could see the potential of the game for personal use because it was devised in the same spirit as general CBT. For your information, CBT was designed to help clients to become their own therapists through a process called psychoeducation. A closed clinical study might be in order to support such a claim, but that’s something to ponder for the future. For now, maybe we could just have a go at it and see what happens.

More About Rejection Therapy…

You can read more about Rejection Therapy at it’s main site.

Interested with rational emotive behavior therapy and the works of Albert Ellis? Scoot on over to the REBT Network.

For bookworms, I suggest you read the Handbook of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies, Third Edition. It’s a good primer as any for those interested in the subject.

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