Exposure Therapy

Exposure therapy is a therapeutic technique that was created to help people face their fears. When you are scared of something, you tend to avoid it. Although this avoidance might help reduce feelings of fear in the short-term, over time the fear can grow and worsen. Exposure therapy involves exposing the client to the source of the fear (or its context) in a safe environment without the intention to cause any danger. The exposure to the feared situation, object, or activity helps to reduce fear and decrease avoidance. Exposure therapy can be helpful in the treatment of a number of issues, including PTSD, anxiety, OCD, and panic attacks. Think this approach might be right for you? Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s exposure therapy experts today.

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I utilize exposure therapies when working with people who are diagnosed with OCD. I have trained with UPENN's Center For the Study and Treatment of Anxiety, who are the leading researchers and practitioners of exposure response prevention- an evidence based and extreme efficacious treatment modality.

— Morgan Flagg, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in South Burlington, VT

Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) used to treat Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). It involves gradually exposing the patient to the source of their anxiety while encouraging them to resist the urge to engage in compulsive behaviors. This helps the patient to learn to cope with the anxiety and eventually break the patterns of OCD. I usually do ERP in combination with other forms of CBT, such as cognitive restructuring and relaxation.

— Matt Kirby, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in Asheville, NC
 

Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy (ERP) ERP is the primary treatment technique used and is the gold standard for OCD treatment. In ERP, we will guide you in a step-by-step process of exposing yourself to the thoughts and situations that are triggering your distress- without allowing a compulsion to stop the distress. Without the compulsive behaviors you will habituate to the distress and/or train the brain that the distress can be tolerated.

— North Shore OCD Women's Treatment Center, Ltd. Kathi Fine Abitbol, PhD, Clinical Psychologist in Deerfield, IL

I use Exposure Therapy often in my work with clients that are anxious and have specific fears and phobias.

— Melissa Urbanek, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in , MN
 

I was lucky enough to be trained in Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) in my first year of practice. Whether you are experiencing a new anxiety or an old phobia, we will work together to slowly learn how you can experience freedom from the overwhelming fears that keep you from living the life you want to live.

— Audrey Alberthal, Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in West Lake Hills, TX

I am a behaviorist at heart so I use Prolonged Exposure Therapy and can pull from Exposure & Response Prevention.

— Kate Sayers, Licensed Professional Counselor in Milwaukee, WI
 

When we feel anxious, we often avoid the things that make us feel anxious. This seems so logical, but really, this doesn't help us. In the long run, when we avoid the things that make us feel anxious, we're actually teaching ourselves that we cannot handle these things. Depending on who I'm working with, I may use Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), which is considered the gold standard for OCD.

— Danielle Wayne, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Boise, ID

I utilize exposure-based methods to treat many anxiety and fear-based symptoms including Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, and phobias. I will teach you how to approach your fear in such a way that it subsides quickly and allows you to build mastery over it. These techniques are among the most reliable and effective we have. Most clients are amazed at how effectively and efficiently these methods work for them.

— Joe Groninga, Psychologist in St. Paul, MN
 

Exposure and response prevention (ERP) is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) that is often used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). ERP involves gradually exposing patients to situations or stimuli that trigger their obsessions, while helping them resist the urge to engage in compulsive behaviors. Over time, this process can help individuals develop greater control over their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

— Kristofer Joondeph-Breidbart, Psychiatrist in Somerville, MA

Exposure therapy is a type of psychological treatment that helps individuals confront and overcome their fears or anxieties. The basic idea behind exposure therapy is to gradually expose a person to the source of their fear in a safe and controlled environment. This process is designed to help them build confidence and reduce their emotional response to the feared object or situation. It is effective for treating various anxiety disorders, phobias, PTSD and OCD.

— Carole Goguen, Psy.D., Psychologist in Altadena, CA
 

Avoidance is the enemy for anxiety! I provide ERP or exposure response prevention to gradually help clients face their fears. This is done in a slow and systematic way knowing that avoiding what makes us anxious only works in the short term. ERP is good for clients with: Social Anxiety Disorder, Phobias (really of any kind), OCD, and even for people with perfectionistic tendencies/ personalities. It is some of my favorite work to do and I have seen amazing results!

— Brooke Zuzow, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in West Chester, OH

In facing our fears, we can learn to actually tolerate once frightening things that governed our lives. Exposure therapy can help you to systematically and hierarchically face what causes you worry, seeing through the process your distress will not only decrease in time without needing to escape or avoid the situation, yet the more you do it the less frightening your fears prove to be.

— Ethan Sapienza, Associate Clinical Social Worker in Beverly Hills, CA
 

Fear is a powerful emotion. Since 2019, a specialty of mine has been using Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) to help teens and adults who struggle with anxiety, panic disorder, social phobia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). When you are able to use exposure in a therapeutic way, it becomes a powerful tool to help you break free of fear, and live the life you desire.

— Michelle Henny, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Orlando, FL

Most of us have goals or values that take work. Sometimes the work feels frightening or painful, leading to avoidance. It's natural to wish to avoid pain, but that can create more problems for us long-term. In order to have a life worth living, we must confront our fears. In a safe environment and with incremental steps, exposure to our fears can reduce discomfort and avoidance over time.

— Inness Pryor, Counselor in Portland, OR
 

It's not like in the movies. Exposure therapy is done in very small steps, which are dictated by your comfort level, and designed to help you increase your tolerance of discomfort.

— Sonia Kersevich, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Greenbelt, MD

Rumination-focused Exposure and Response Prevention is a modification of traditional ERP developed by a psychologist who experiences OCD himself. I find it to be both more approachable and more nuanced, and is a great option for both newcomers and ERP veterans.

— Jonathan Benko, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Santa Cruz, CA
 

Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy (ERP) ERP is the primary treatment technique used and is the gold standard for OCD treatment. In ERP, we will guide you in a step-by-step process of exposing yourself to the thoughts and situations that are triggering your distress- without allowing a compulsion to stop the distress. Without the compulsive behaviors you will habituate to the distress and/or train the brain that the distress can be tolerated.

— North Shore OCD Women's Treatment Center, Ltd. Kathi Fine Abitbol, PhD, Clinical Psychologist in Deerfield, IL

Exposure therapy is not all about doing scary things all of the time. It is about the balance of challenging your beliefs and resisting going back to those patterns. We see it as a normal part of the brain to go to safety measures to experience less pain. Experiencing less emotional, physical, or mental anguish, we all want to get away from those. In fact, our brain says it is a true danger to experience these things. Lastly, exposure therapy is nothing without the response prevention.

— Lori Johnson, Licensed Professional Counselor in Lakewood, CO