Initial Sensitising Events can play a key role in the creation of the presenting problem. For example, in the video case of Lee (‘The San Diego Stutterer’), there was a strong secondary reinforcing event when he was fearful and couldn’t say the poem as well as his mother wanted him to, but he was already stuttering then. Suddenly, near the end of the therapy, a childish voice came from him, and he said, “I’m a bad boy”.
I immediately regressed him to a scene where he was on the doctor’s surgical table and the doctor had conspired with his mother to scare him by saying he was going to cut off his penis because he kept touching it.
That was truly the initial sensitising event, not the fear of standing on the stage and reciting the poem.