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With or without relaxation One of the earliest variations of exposure therapy was systematic desensitization, in which patients engage in imaginal exposure to feared stimuli while simultaneously undergoing progressive muscle relaxation.
Using exposure to internal cues, a patient with panic disorder can run in place to experience physiological sensations (eg, heart palpitations) that elicit anxious reactions, a patient with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) can purposefully induce worry thoughts, a patient with PTSD can revisit traumatic memories, and a patient with OCD can intention-ally evoke intrusive and aversive thoughts.Exposure therapy is defined as any treatment that encourages the systematic confrontation of feared stimuli, with the aim of reducing a fearful reaction.Over a quarter of the people in the US population will have an anxiety disorder sometime during their lifetime, and available research literature suggests that exposure-based therapies should be considered the first-line treatment for these disorders. Turndorf shows us the way to heal our hearts and find lasting love." "My husband and I have been "spiritual seekers" exploring our spiritual path for many years. You and your husband are the most evolved and state-of-the-art souls that will change human consciousness." "Wonderful book. When I started the course, I had no confidence that I could ever reconnect with him on my own. For a decade, I have been working tirelessly to change the way the world looks at death and dying. This book is a great resource for those of us who have suffered a loss and will help everyone to open up and be more aware of the signs that our loved ones are still with us." "Before taking the Love Never Dies Online course, I was drowning in grief and missing my husband every minute. Turndorf for offering this amazing course." Our Love Revolution is picking up speed!We hope the dissemination of the theoretical mechanisms, practical applications, and empirical support for exposure-based therapies in this article will encourage mental health practitioners to embrace this modality as a viable and easily accessible option in the treatment of anxiety disorders.
Internal vs external Exposures can target internal and/or external cues.
This approach involves constructing an exposure hierarchy in which feared stimuli are ranked according to their anticipated fear reaction (Table 1).
Traditionally, higher-level exposures are not attempted until the patient’s fear subsides for the lower-level exposure.
In addition, we provide practical guidelines for clinicians who wish to use exposure-based therapies and empirical evidence to guide their decision making.
In clinical practice, exposure-based therapies for anxiety disorders are underutilized, which highlights the need for additional dissemination and training.
In such cases, imaginal exposure can be a useful alternative.