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

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 therapy is a technique developed to help people confront fears in an incremental and systematic way. In the long term, avoiding a feared objects, activities, or situations the anxiety becomes worse because the person never learns how to cope with the distressing feelings associated with it. Through exposure we learn that their is no real danger and ultimately have the opportunity to live fuller lives.

— Sarah Glidden, Counselor in Portland, OR

I utilize Exposure and Response Prevention to treat child and adolescent anxiety and OCD.

— Tamara Dee, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Bellingham, WA

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

Exposure and response prevention is a hallmark of CBT treatment for OCD. I also use this technique with working with chronic procrastination. Types of exposure therapy are helpful when working with specific phobias and situational anxiety.

— Dr. Kaia Calbeck, Clinical Psychologist in Miami Beach, FL

I am BTTI trained by the International OCD Foundation in Exposure Response Prevention. This is considered the best way to treat OCD and anxiety disorders. Exposure therapy focuses on helping you learn to tolerate the uncomfortable feelings of anxiety in order to retrain your brain to stop sending the distress signal in the first place.

— Cory Anton, Licensed Professional Counselor in Vancouver, WA

I often use Gentle Reprocessing and Brainspotting with my clients to help disconnect their intense emotional feelings to the traumas which they have experienced.

— Karen Peabody, Clinical Social Worker in East Bridgewater, MA

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

I have used Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) with many clients suffering from eating disorders and anxiety. I have collaborated with dietitians when working with food exposures for clients who have eating disorders. This was one of the main approaches used at the treatment center I worked at for eight years.

— Cassandra Kotlarchik, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Bothell, WA

I have worked with severe anxiety (OCD, Social Anxiety Disorders, Phobias) and eating disorders and have utilized exposure therapy as part of the treatments. Exposures are shown to be effective with anxiety, and I will work with you so that we can plan for them to be achievable and facilitate growth. I will teach you how to effectively handle the anxiety that comes with exposures. Let us work together to face your fears and open up your world.

— Stephanie Wang, Licensed Professional Counselor

I have worked with severe anxiety (OCD, Social Anxiety Disorders, Phobias) and eating disorders and have utilized exposure therapy as part of the treatments. Exposures are shown to be effective with anxiety, and I will work with you so that we can plan for them to be achievable and facilitate growth. Let us work together to face your fears and open up your world.

— Stephanie Wang, Licensed Professional Counselor

I use exposure therapy to treat OCD and most anxiety disorders. I have also used it to treat some BFRBs.

— Laura Chackes, Clinical Psychologist in Creve Coeur, MO

We are a training site and focus highly on evidenced based practices. ERP is one of the primary ones we use to train our team and teach our guests. We have ERP facilitators on the staff and are highly staffed in this area. We have run bootcamps for ERP and our team weekly incorporate exposures into our consultations and into our sessions.

— Willis Counseling & Consulting Group Practice, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Chicago, IL

Exposure and Response therapy used with OCD symptoms and issues.

— Terri Parker, Clinical Social Worker in Denton, TX

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

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

Anxiety tells us to avoid situations but exposure to those things we fear helps us be brave and overcome those feelings. I help design a hierarchy or ladder of these fears so we ca start with the easiest ones to help feel empowered and successful as we then tackle the harder items on your list.

— Kristen Criado, Psychologist in San Antonio, TX

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 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

I offer exposure-based treatments for individuals of all ages with severe anxiety disorders, such as OCD, severe social anxiety, and panic attacks.

— Ziv Bell, Post-Doctoral Fellow in Mercer Island, WA

I have over 20 years' experience successfully working with clients using exposure. I have used this approach in treating a wide range of anxiety concerns (e.g., social phobia, panic, health anxiety, claustrophobia) as well as post-traumatic stress. I keep current on developments in exposure therapy through reading, professional conference attendance, and participation in continuing education seminars. I have also published research examining use of exposure in treating post-traumatic stress.

— Christine Scher, Psychologist in Pasadena, CA

Exposure and Reponse Prevention (ERP) therapy is the evidence-based practice that I use when treating OCD, hoarding disorder, and phobias. I also use this approach when needed for anxiety/depression and other concerns.

— Shaundra Olson, Therapist in Burnsville, MN

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

OCD requires a specialized form of treatment called Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). ERP is a specific form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy clinically researched and tested for treating OCD. There are decades of research documenting the effectiveness of ERP, and it is widely recognized as the gold standard in OCD treatment.

— Joshua Kaplan, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Denver, CO