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.

Meet the specialists

Exposure therapy is considered the most evidence based treatment for anxiety and OCD. I utilize this approach with those experiencing a phobia, generalized anxiety, PTSD, or obsessive thought patterns.

— Sprout Therapy PDX, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR

Exposure Therapy is based on the premise that anxiety disorders are maintained by avoidance of things and situations that scare us, and that this avoidance limits our freedom and prevents us from having new learning experiences that would challenge the beliefs that lead us to avoid.

— Michael Greenberg, Clinical Psychologist in Beverly Hills, CA

At the heart of exposure therapy is the ability to break-down challenges, approaching the challenge in one bite-size chunk at a time. It has reliably been shown to be a central element of many forms of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). I have received extensive training in the implementation of exposure therapies across multiple conditions, including anxiety disorders and PTSD.

— Brian Buzzella, Clinical Psychologist in San Diego, CA

I have completed specialized training in exposure and response prevention therapy through the BTTI program through the International OCD Foundation.

— Natalie Henry, Clinical Social Worker in Boulder, CO

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. So when we are in a situation where we're facing the things that make us feel anxious, we have a harder time handling them. Exposure therapy helps teach you that you can handle these things, in a managable way.

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

Exposure Therapy (ET) is at its core an opportunity to discover new things about oneself and the world around you. ET has been demonstrated effective for many conditions, including phobias, social phobia, panic, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I have over 15 years of experience practicing, researching, and training other professionals in exposure therapies, especially Prolonged Exposure therapy for PTSD. I believe in it. And I believe in you.

— Kevin M. Holloway, Psychologist in Frederick, MD

ERP is an evidence-based treatment that targets OCD. Clients are exposed to situations and places that trigger his/her OCD symptoms. The goal is that over time the client is able to become desensitized to their fears. Repeatedly facing one’s fears and uncomfortable thoughts allows anxiety to gradually decrease.

— Sarah Soboleski, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Glastonbury, CT

I have 50 hours of training in Exposure and Response Therapy which is effective for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and other anxiety issues.

— Lynne Coon, Counselor in Portland, OR

Exposure and Response Prevention therapy (ERP) is the gold standard for OCD, due to the large body of data and research behind it's effectiveness. It can also potentially feel impersonal or dismissive if not done well. My goal is to provide people the knowledge to change their lives, tools and exercises to practice application, and maybe push them a little along the way. All of this only comes after you feel heard and understood.

— Timothy Lo, Counselor in Chicago, IL

Exposure Therapy is a highly effective type of therapy for anxiety disorders including OCD, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and phobias. Exposure therapy is usually used in combination with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Anxiety leads people to avoid, but unfortunately avoidance only fuels anxiety. I help people face and overcome their fears so they can spend their energy on living life to its fullest.

— Kathryn Tipton, Counselor in Houston, TX

Our approach to treatment utilizes CBT with graded exposure therapy techniques to help individuals cope with triggering situations and thoughts. For individuals with OCD, we will help navigate you through exposure and response prevention therapy so you can face your worries and resist performing compulsions. We will always work with you at your own pace, and you will never be forced to participate in an exposure.

— Shannon Renzulli, Psychotherapist in Stamford, CT