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Exposure

Exposure is a psychological intervention with its roots in behavior therapy (Marks, 1978). It is considered to be the most effective psychological technique for the treatment of fear and anxiety. Exposure therapy embodies the ‘face your fears’ maxim and involves encouraging clients to repeatedly face an object or situation which causes them anxiety. Exposure therapy is an essential component of evidence-based cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) treatments for phobia, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and social anxiety disorder.

The traditional way of understanding what was happening during exposure therapy was grounded in the idea of habituation. Habituation means that the “original reaction towards the stimulus diminishes in intensity or even disappears” (Eelen & Vervliet, 2006). Most people are familiar with everyday examples of habituation such as being aware of the sound of a fan when it is turned on and then automatically ‘tuning out’ the noise so that you are not aware of it a few minutes later. The traditional goal of exposure therapy was fear habituation – exposure trials were continued for as long as was necessary for a patient to report a significant reduction in fear. Therapists would typically aim to wait prolong exposure until a 50% reduction in subjectively reported fear (Kendall et al, 2005). Read more
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Language

Approach Instead Of Avoiding (Psychology Tools For Overcoming Panic)

Psychology Tools for Overcoming Panic takes a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) approach to this common anxiety problem. This chapter discusses avoi ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/approach-instead-of-avoiding-psychology-tools-for-overcoming-panic/

Chapter

Avoidance Hierarchy

Avoidance and safety-seeking behavior serves to maintain anxiety, and exposure to the fear stimuli/situation is an effective treatment for anxiety. Th ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/avoidance-hierarchy/

Exercise

Behavioral Experiment

Behavioral experiments allow individuals to test the validity of their beliefs and assumptions. They are a core experiential technique for therapeutic ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/behavioral-experiment/

Worksheet

Coping With Body Sensations (Psychology Tools For Overcoming Panic)

Psychology Tools for Overcoming Panic takes a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) approach to this common anxiety problem. This chapter discusses inte ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/coping-with-body-sensations-psychology-tools-for-overcoming-panic/

Chapter

Exposure And Response Prevention

Exposure And Response Prevention (ERP, EX/RP) is an effective treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). This CBT worksheet guides therapists ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/exposure-and-response-prevention/

Exercise

Exposure Practice Form

Exposure is an effective treatment for many forms of anxiety. The Exposure Practice Form is a CBT worksheet which guides therapists and clients throug ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/exposure-practice-form/

Exercise

Habituation

The Habituation information sheets are designed to help clinicians to explain the concept of habituation and its role in exposure therapy. The handout ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/habituation/

Information Handout

Interoceptive Exposure

Interoceptive exposure (exposure to bodily sensations) is a critical part of CBT treatment for panic disorder. This information sheet and worksheet de ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/interoceptive-exposure/

Exercise

Maximizing The Effectiveness Of Exposure Therapy

Despite its position as the leading treatment technique for anxiety disorders, not all clients respond to exposure therapy and some individuals relaps ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/maximizing-the-effectiveness-of-exposure-therapy/

Information Handout

Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET)

Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET) is an empirically validated treatment for survivors of multiple traumatic events who are suffering from post-traumati ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/narrative-exposure-therapy-net/

Information Handout

Nightmare Exposure And Rescripting

Imagery rescripting is an effective treatment for intrusive and unwanted memories. Nightmare Exposure And Rescripting employs similar techniques and c ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/nightmare-exposure-and-rescripting/

Exercise

Nightmare Rescripting (Audio)

Nightmare rescripting is an evidence based treatment for nightmares, with medium to large effect sizes on nightmare frequency, distress, intensity, an ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/nightmare-rescripting-audio/

Audio

Safety Behaviors

Safety behaviors are actions carried out with the intention of preventing a feared catastrophe. In the short-term they often give a sense of relief, b ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/safety-behaviors/

Information Handout

Safety Behaviors Example

Safety behaviors are actions carried out with the intention of preventing a feared catastrophe. In the short-term they often give a sense of relief, b ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/safety-behaviors-example/

Information Handout

Stimulus Discrimination

Stimulus discrimination is a component of cognitive behavioral treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Clients are guided to deliberately ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/stimulus-discrimination/

Exercise

Stimulus Discrimination (Audio)

Stimulus Discrimination is designed to help people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to ‘retrain their brain’ in order to attend automat ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/stimulus-discrimination-audio/

Audio

Testing Anxious And Panicky Predictions (Psychology Tools For Overcoming Panic)

Psychology Tools for Overcoming Panic takes a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) approach to this common anxiety problem. This chapter introduces beh ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/testing-anxious-and-panicky-predictions-psychology-tools-for-overcoming-panic/

Chapter

What Is EMDR? (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an evidence-based treatment for trauma. Its theoretical basis is described by the Adaptive Inf ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/what-is-emdr/

Information Handout

What Is Exposure Therapy?

Exposure is an effective evidence-based treatment for fear. This information handout describes the key principles of Exposure Therapy. Clients who are ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/what-is-exposure-therapy/

Information Handout

What Is Imagery Rescripting?

Unwanted images are a feature common to a variety of problems including PTSD and depression. Imagery rescripting is an evidence-based treatment techni ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/what-is-imagery-rescripting/

Information Handout

What Is TF-CBT?

Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) is an evidence-based treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This information handou ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/what-is-tf-cbt/

Information Handout