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

I have advanced training in Exposure and Response Prevention (E/RP) therapy. I utilized this form of therapy to help people with anxiety, panic and OCD.

— Jody Dearborn, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Seattle, WA

I have advanced training in Exposure and Response Prevention (E/RP) therapy. I utilize exposure therapy to help people with anxiety, panic and OCD.

— Jody Dearborn, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Seattle, WA

Exposures are a form of experiential (interactive) treatment which works to lower the somatic (physical) response to trauma. During treatment a client is slowly exposed to situations, places, or fears that cause distress, of course with safety as a priority, with desired outcome being a diminished response. One form of exposure is ERP which specifically works on reduction of response and ritual in OCD. Studies show ERP to be one of the most effective forms of treatment for OCD.

— Dorothy Smith, Counselor in Centreville, VA

I have had years of training and this is the primary modality I use with clients struggling with Anxiety disorders. I also supervise clinicians who are learning to use this treatment approach with their clients.

— Abigail Lynch, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in Chicago, IL

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 was trained internally by well-known psychologists at Rogers Behavioral Health, as I developed my early clinical career within that organization before moving on to graduate level education. It became my favorite therapy modality, and I continue to practice and specialize in exposure work daily.

— Hilary Stein, Associate Clinical Social Worker in Los Angeles, CA

Exposure is a technique we use when working with anxiety and with OCD. It means pushing yourself to do things that feel a little bit difficult. Like talking to people. Or not double checking things. Don't worry! We'll make a list of things starting with the very easiest, and we'll make it fun. Sometimes I'll do the exposures with you so you feel supported. The technical term for this which you may have seen on the internet is Exposure Response Prevention or ERP.

— Stephen Grimes, Psychotherapist in New York, NY

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 use exposure and response prevention therapy to treat OCD, anxiety and related disorders.

— Michelle Massi, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

Exposure and response prevention is the gold standard treatment for OCD and phobias, and helps individuals challenge their intrusive, oftentimes frightening thoughts and learn to tolerate and manage them in a way to live a happier, more fulfilling life.

— Emily Vinych, Counselor in Lakewood, CO

I will help you feel better using exposure therapy to reduce your anxiety, decrease your avoidance of dreaded situations, and improve your quality of life.

— Dr Crecenra Boyd, Licensed Professional Counselor

Exposure Therapy 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 allow anxiety to gradually decrease.

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

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

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

Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is a specialized type of exposure therapy for individuals struggling with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). This is formulaic approach, backed by research, to help reduce symptoms of OCD. I have found this to be a very rewarding, yet challenging, therapy for those ready to take more control over their lives and experience freedom from OCD. I have received specialized training and consultations with experts in the field.

— Victoria Snow, Associate Clinical Social Worker in Raleigh, NC