Show Summary Details
Page of

(p. 14) Theoretical Base and Mechanism of Action 

(p. 14) Theoretical Base and Mechanism of Action
(p. 14) Theoretical Base and Mechanism of Action

Stephen P. H. Whiteside

, Thomas H. Ollendick

, and Bridget K. Biggs

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Clinical Psychology Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 28 September 2020

Despite the strong empirical support for the efficacy of exposure therapy, disagreement remains regarding the theoretical underpinnings of how and why exposure works. This chapter introduces the primary mechanistic theories of how exposure leads to symptom change and then provides a working model synthesizing these theories. The specific steps for implementing exposure with youth presented in later chapters are grounded in the mechanistic theories reviewed in this chapter and integrated in the clinical model presented at the end of the chapter. The order of this presentation is based on the belief that understanding how exposure works allows therapists to apply this technique in situations that do not fit neatly within their previous experiences. Given the heterogeneity of anxiety problems, it is important to have a theoretical framework of the mechanisms of action to guide implementation and problem-solving.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Clinical Psychology requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.