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(p. 161) Facing Agoraphobia Situations 

(p. 161) Facing Agoraphobia Situations
Chapter:
(p. 161) Facing Agoraphobia Situations
Author(s):

David H. Barlow

, and Michelle G. Craske

DOI:
10.1093/med-psych/9780197584095.003.0009
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date: 21 May 2022

This chapter explores the value of facing agoraphobia situations. In many ways, direct experience is the most powerful way of learning. It is essential that one eventually repeatedly face and deal with all the situations on one’s agoraphobia hierarchy. Sometimes people believe that they have already tried to face agoraphobia situations, without any success. As a result, they mistakenly judge that this treatment approach does not work. However, it is likely that previous unsuccessful attempts at facing the fear were not structured in exactly the right way. The chapter then presents the most effective method of exposure exercises. The practices with agoraphobia situations are intended to do three things: gather new information to help one fully realize that what one is worried about happening is very unlikely to happen or never happens; let one learn that one can handle and survive the feelings of anxiety and fear; and show that one can accomplish the things that one has been avoiding.

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