Exposure therapy is a type of behavioural therapy that is often used to treat various phobias and anxiety disorders. The goal of therapy is to work alongside the therapist to face fears and anxiety in a safe setting, that is either in a real-life situation or in-vivo.
- How does it work?
- It can help the client to reduce feelings of anxiety, distress, or fear that they may have due to trauma or diagnosis
- The client will be exposed to these fears in a safe space and hope to reach the goal of reducing their feelings of anxiety and distress.
- The clinical therapist will use different types of exposure depending on the fear or disorder including but not limited to:
- Creating a real-life situation for the person to go through, using talking therapy to encourage the person, to imagine situations to recall traumatic events
- Avoidance hierarchy
- Behavioural experiment
- Learn to cope with body sensations
- Testing predictions looking at the intolerance of uncertainty.
What can it treat?
Social anxiety disorder
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Adverse Childhood experiences
Types of Exposure used in session:
- Imaginal Exposure: patient in therapy is asked to mentally confront the fear or situation by picturing it in their mind.
- In-Vivo Exposure: patient is exposed to real-life objects and scenarios.