Mariners eschew modern psychology, go all in on immersion therapy, win 7-6 – Lookout Landing

Immersion (or exposure) therapy is a term for a methodology within psychological and therapeutic treatment. Its professional application is typically measured and calculated, but often successful, utilizing a method called “graded exposure”. This means identifying a fear/phobia or stressor for an individual, then designing a tiered system of opportunities for limited exposures, starting with either brief or mild versions of the exposure, then slowly working up the scale to more significant versions as the individual demonstrates comfort and progression. By breaking down the issue into more manageable chunks, it can be overcome incrementally. This is not universally successful, but it is regarded as a safer method that risks less, inoculating the mind with a lesser version of the stressor as many vaccines bolster the body against illness by building off lesser versions of a virus.

Then there is the concept of “flooding”. The methodology of sink or swim, overwhelming the brain until it has no choice but to grapple with a situation and (hopefully) ultimately overcome it. This is the pathway of a parent chucking their child into a pool to impel them to doggy paddle vs. dipping their toes into the shallow end. It is not without merit – my own father is a child psychologist who has severe reservations against the technique but can acknowledge his lifelong fear of flying was cured after serving as the de facto co-pilot on repeated propeller plane trips to rural Alaska for his work, struggling to make out locations on a map for the pilot in next to zero visibility. But the risk is greater, and the stress can sometimes compound into more dramatic harm. Tonight the Seattle Mariners teetered on that edge, frantically paddling their arms to keep their heads above water as the Oakland Athletics churned the water beneath them. And yet, they survived.

They survived a mixed bag of a start from Marco Gonzales, whose peripherals screamed him up a bit at last from an ERA in the low 3.00s, with an inglorious assist from Penn Murfee that was the stopper equivalent of reinserting a wine cork and watching it disintegrate into 45 pieces. In 5.1 innings, Gonzales was credited with five of the six runs Seattle ultimately was tagged with, split between two ignominious innings in the third and the sixth, but riding on the cache …….


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