The need for the development of shorter and more effective techniques of psychotherapy justifies a careful investigation of any methods which offer this possibility. A number of therapeutic techniques (7, 15, 18, 20) now often subsumed under the heading of Behaviour Therapy (4) and based on various principles of learning theory call for examination, since their exponents claim that these methods can make therapy both shorter and more effective than can other methods, e.g., those based on psychoanalytic theory. Published reports of results with behaviour therapy to date consist largely of the assessment of results made by a therapist on his own patients, e.g., Wolpe (20, 21), Lazarus (9), Rachman (12). Cooper (2) studied results achieved by other therapists on thirty patients treated with various techniques of behaviour therapy. His survey included a comparison, using “blind” independent assessors, of a group of patients treated with behaviour therapy and a matched group of patients treated by other techniques. Cooper concluded that this comparison showed a definite advantage for behaviour therapy in the symptomatic treatment of phobias, but he could find no evidence supporting the claim of a superiority of the methods of behaviour therapy over conventional techniques in producing general changes. Unfortunately Cooper does not report the experience level of the therapists in his study except to say that they were a “variety of student and staff psychologists”. Evidence for a superiority of behaviour therapy must derive from a controlled comparison of matched groups of patients treated with techniques of behaviour therapy and with other techniques by therapists of comparable competence. But, pending judgment from such a controlled study, we believe ample evidence exists that techniques of behaviour therapy do bring comparable improvements more rapidly than do other treatments in some patients. The greater precision and shortening of therapy for these patients would alone constitute a very notable advance in psychotherapy, apart from claims of a wider or general applicability of these techniques. For this reason we believe it important to investigate these various techniques in as much detail as possible. Wolpe describes the most important of them as systematic desensitization (20, 21).