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Exposure therapy is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy. It reduces the physical or emotional distress you
feel when confronted with a particular object, situation, or distressing
thought or memory. During this type of counseling, you may relive a
traumatic experience, confront a feared object or situation, or deal with a
distressing thought. But you do it while in a controlled environment.
During this type of therapy, a counselor helps you while you remember
or use your mind to see the feared object or distressing thought. The counselor also helps
you work through the physical and emotional distress that you may feel during
this experience. You confront and learn to cope with the distressing feelings
gradually. And this reduces your symptoms.
Activities during exposure therapy vary, depending on the fear,
distressing thought, or traumatic experience.
virtual reality are sometimes used. Often during
this type of therapy, you are encouraged to:
You are also taught how to use various relaxation techniques, such as
breathing exercises. They help you deal with emotional and physical distress and fear.
Using these techniques helps you keep a sense of control when you
are confronted with the feared object, situation, or distressing thought or
Current as of:
September 7, 2012
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry
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