Exploring Exposure Therapy: How Does It Work?

A phobia can cause you to irrationally fear something so much that you are unable to function normally. This means the anxiety you feel because of the phobia affects your life in negative ways, from your relationships to your performance at work.

A phobia can start in childhood or develop as you age. Sometimes a particular negative experience can lead you to develop a strong fear or phobia of something. For many people who have driving phobia, for example, the fear of driving began with a frightening incident on the road. Similarly, a fear of dogs might be caused by a childhood incident with a biting dog.

For many people who have a phobia, mental health workers recommend exposure therapy. Exposure therapy challenges the person being treated to learn how to feel calm when ‘exposed’ to the object of fear. A person who is afraid of flying in a plane, for instance, would eventually learn to do so without feeling fear.

While exposure therapy can greatly reduce the anxiety and fear caused by a phobia, it is not an easy treatment. Many people find exposure therapy to be too difficult, leading them to quit their treatment before it is over.

For those who are able to complete their exposure therapy treatment, the results can be rewarding. Exposure therapy actually affects your brain, changing the way you respond to your phobia. The fear you initially feel when confronted with your phobia eventually lessens with treatment.

To find out more about how exposure therapy works, visit the link here:


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