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.
Often thought of as a hippy-dippy practice aimed at transcendence,
meditation is coming into its own as a stress-reduction technique for even the
most type-A kind of people.
In 2005, for instance, severe chest pains sent Michael Mitchell to the
emergency room in fear of a heart attack. It turned out to be gastroesophageal
reflux disease, or GERD. Nevertheless, after checking his heart, the doctor
admitted him and chastised him for not coming in sooner. “That really shook me
up. It was a wake-up...
Activities during exposure therapy vary, depending on the fear,
distressing thought, or traumatic experience.
virtual reality are sometimes used. Generally 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 maintain a sense of control whenever you
are confronted with the feared object, situation, or distressing thought or