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(p. 35) The Fear and Avoidance Hierarchy 

(p. 35) The Fear and Avoidance Hierarchy
(p. 35) The Fear and Avoidance Hierarchy

Debra A. Hope

, Richard G. Heimberg

, and Cynthia L. Turk

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date: 12 July 2020

In this chapter, the therapist and client continue to refine their understanding of the client’s three components of anxiety and develop a Fear and Avoidance Hierarchy. A Fear and Avoidance Hierarchy is a “top 10” list of situations in which the client experiences social anxiety. The greatest fear is in the number 1 position. Once the items are generated, each is rated for the level of anxiety it evokes and the likelihood that the person would avoid the situation if it were to occur in his or her life. There are four steps in constructing a Fear and Avoidance Hierarchy: (a) brainstorming, (b) discovering what makes a situation easier or harder and refining the client’s list of situations, (c) making ratings of fear and avoidance for each situation, and (d) rank ordering the situations. A hierarchy is meant to provide a good representation of situations that cause the client anxiety.

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