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(p. 57) Preparing for Exposure 

(p. 57) Preparing for Exposure
Chapter:
(p. 57) Preparing for Exposure
Author(s):

Stephen P. H. Whiteside

, Thomas H. Ollendick

, and Bridget K. Biggs

DOI:
10.1093/med-psych/9780190862992.003.0005
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date: 28 September 2020

This chapter, which focuses on implementing exposure therapy for childhood anxiety and obsessive–compulsive disorder, presents steps for preparing families to engage in exposure. Preparation for exposure typically requires completion of three fundamental tasks: (1) teaching the patient and family the cognitive–behavioral conceptualization of anxiety maintenance through avoidance and applying it to the child’s specific symptoms, (2) learning how to “do” exposures, and (3) building a fear ladder based on the child’s symptoms. The speed with which these three tasks can be accomplished varies, but they can frequently be completed in 1 or 2 hours with an experienced clinician. The chapter details how clinicians can meet these goals and prepare patients to successfully participate in exposure therapy.

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