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Exposure therapy -- how does it work?

Discussion in 'Therapy and Medication' started by bleach, Mar 30, 2008.

  1. bleach

    bleach Well-Known Member

    I am trying to use exposure therapy to overcome social anxiety/shyness. does anyone here have experience using this type of therapy at all? I am having trouble figuring out how it is supposed to be implemented.
  2. Hazel

    Hazel SF & Antiquitie's Friend Staff Alumni

    Hi Bleach, I have been having exposure therapy as part of my CBT sessions.

    I suggest you make out a hierarchy of fears list from the least daunting social anxiety/shyness task to the most fearful one.

    You start with the least daunting and stay with it until you are no longer fearful of it, then move on to the next on your list.

    The way I was taught is to use a scale of 0 - 8 with 0 being calm and 8 being the worst fear/anxiety/panic you have ever felt.

    Before you start record your fear/anxiety level

    Expose yourself to the situation, your level will rise considerably, stay in the situation until the level falls again.

    The level WILL fall even though you may think it won't!

    Record the level at it's peak and again afterwards.

    It's important while in the 'situation' not to do anything to try to ease the feelings as this will in fact just prolong the problem.

    You stay with no 1 on your list , repeating it as often as is necessary to bring your levels right down then move on to no 2.

    Hope this makes sense, if I can help in any way please pm me.
  3. bleach

    bleach Well-Known Member

    Thanks hazel-rah, that was helpful :)