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(p. 77) Planning Exposure Therapy With Your Patients 

(p. 77) Planning Exposure Therapy With Your Patients
Chapter:
(p. 77) Planning Exposure Therapy With Your Patients
Author(s):

Carolyn Black Becker

, Nicholas R. Farrell

, and Glenn Waller

DOI:
10.1093/med-psych/9780190069742.003.0008
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date: 25 February 2020

Clinicians should strive to change their patients’ responses to anxiety via exposure therapy so that key symptoms are reduced. When planning exposure therapy, clinicians should (a) consider their patients’ everyday lives and how anxiety is generating problems in eating, body image, etc.; (b) aim to teach patients, via exposure activities, that their fears are likely unfounded and that they have the ability to endure distress, even at higher levels; (c) help patients discover that if fears do come true (e.g., progressive weight gain in malnourished patients), such outcomes are more tolerable and controllable than expected; (d) ensure that the treatment setting is diverse and that neither the environment nor the clinician’s own concerns limit the diversity of change needed to maximize learning; (e) make the mixture of settings, tasks, and intensity relatively unpredictable; and (f) use homework as a very active part of therapy, stressing the patient’s need to undertake exposure in different ways.

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