Exposure therapy is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy. Exposure therapy reduces the physical or emotional distress you
experience when confronted with a particular object, situation, or distressing
thought or memory. During exposure therapy counseling, you may relive a
traumatic experience, confront a feared object or situation, or deal with a
distressing thought while in a controlled environment.
During this type of therapy, a counselor helps you while you remember
or visualize the feared object or distressing thought. The counselor also helps
you work through the physical and emotional distress that may occur during
this experience. Confronting and learning to cope with the distressing feelings
gradually reduces your symptoms.
When Joe [Greco, the director] brought the script to me I had just come off
winning the Emmy award for The Sopranos. I was specifically looking for
a part that would be a 360 from the character I played in The Sopranos.
I chose to play this part for selfish reasons: to be a loving, caring husband
who's victimized by this illness.
Marcia Gay [Harden] is an old friend, and Joe wanted Marcia to play Mary, so
once I convinced Marcia to do it, in preparation we went to a place called
Activities during exposure therapy vary, depending on the fear,
distressing thought, or traumatic experience.
virtual reality are sometimes used. Typically during
this type of therapy, you are encouraged to:
Talk about your fears, thoughts, or feelings of
Learn ways to face the fear, handle the thoughts, or deal
with the physical and emotional distress.
View your fear,
distressing thought, or physical and emotional feelings of distress in a
You are also taught how to use various relaxation techniques, such as
breathing exercises, to deal with emotional and physical distress and fear.
Using relaxation techniques helps you keep a sense of control whenever you
are confronted with the feared object, situation, or distressing thought or