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(p. 65) Explaining Exposure Therapy to Your Patients 

(p. 65) Explaining Exposure Therapy to Your Patients
(p. 65) Explaining Exposure Therapy to Your Patients

Carolyn Black Becker

, Nicholas R. Farrell

, and Glenn Waller

Page of

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date: 25 February 2020

Providing a rationale for exposure therapy to patients is a key element to successful exposure, especially when it has not been used previously or has been used inadequately. Patients who do not understand what is involved with exposure therapy are less likely to commit to what can seem like a scary departure from their normal patterns of avoidance and safety behaviors. Unless there is a clear reason not to do so, clinicians need to explain exposure to eating and food at the beginning of therapy and be prepared to come back to it later in treatment when using exposure for other targets (e.g., emotions, body image). The explanation itself can include direct education, analogies, historical review, and comparison with other disorders. Even psychoeducation itself can have an exposure element.

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