Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Exposure Therapy
Exposure therapy is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy. Exposure therapy reduces the physical or emotional distress you
experience when confronted with a particular object, situation, or distressing
thought or memory. During exposure therapy counseling, you may relive a
traumatic experience, confront a feared object or situation, or deal with a
distressing thought while in a controlled environment.
During this type of therapy, a counselor helps you while you remember
or visualize the feared object or distressing thought. The counselor also helps
you work through the physical and emotional distress that may occur during
this experience. Confronting and learning to cope with the distressing feelings
gradually reduces your symptoms.
Activities during exposure therapy vary, depending on the fear,
distressing thought, or traumatic experience.
virtual reality are sometimes used. Typically during
this type of therapy, you are encouraged to:
You are also taught how to use various relaxation techniques, such as
breathing exercises, to deal with emotional and physical distress and fear.
Using relaxation techniques helps you keep a sense of control whenever you
are confronted with the feared object, situation, or distressing thought or
September 7, 2012
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
Genesis HealthCare System | 1-800-322-4762