Exposure therapy dating
Today’s installment has these headings: Exposure therapy is based on the principle that we get used to things that are just annoying and not truly dangerous if the experience is not overwhelming.
This is called habituation, and it occurs naturally in over 95 percent of all people.
In the same way, Exposure Therapy gradually habituates the patient to the feared thing — be it a situation, an item, a memory, or a thought.
Through exposure, it gradually loses its power to produce fear and anxiety, with the goal being that it is no longer even noticed.
Avoidance does provide temporary relief from anxiety, but it never lasts.
There’s always a new situation that requires some sort of negotiation with your anxious fears, causing you to once again use avoidance as your first line of defense.
Such a negative experience would only strengthen the association between fear and the setting that provokes it.
Therefore, it is important to follow your plan exactly, without skipping steps.
“Dissonance” is a term borrowed from music, meaning the grating together of two conflicting, incompatible notes.
One of the key components of the Anxiety Disorders is the tendency to avoid the situations, thoughts, and objects that trigger anxiety.
This avoidance builds upon itself: real things that cause anxiety are avoided, then more related real things are avoided, then imaginary things related to the real things, then imaginary things related to the imaginary things — until your life is a minefield of things to be avoided.
Exposure therapy has been shown to be effective with many of the Anxiety Disorders, including Social Phobia (SAD), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), panic attacks and Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, Adult Separation Anxiety Disorder (ASAD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and specific phobias.
This two-part series of articles describes what Exposure Therapy is, and offers tips to make your Exposure Therapy successful.