Skip to Content
Home > Wellness Resources > Health Library > Exposure Therapy
Exposure therapy is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy. It reduces the physical or emotional distress you
feel when confronted with a particular object, situation, or distressing
thought or memory. During this type of counseling, you may relive a
traumatic experience, confront a feared object or situation, or deal with a
distressing thought. But you do it while in a controlled environment.
During this type of therapy, a counselor helps you while you remember
or use your mind to see the feared object or distressing thought. The counselor also helps
you work through the physical and emotional distress that you may feel during
this experience. You confront and learn to cope with the distressing feelings
gradually. And this reduces your symptoms.
Activities during exposure therapy vary, depending on the fear,
distressing thought, or traumatic experience.
virtual reality are sometimes used. Often during
this type of therapy, you are encouraged to:
You are also taught how to use various relaxation techniques, such as
breathing exercises. They help you deal with emotional and physical distress and fear.
Using these techniques helps you keep a sense of control when you
are confronted with the feared object, situation, or distressing thought or
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerLisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry
Current as ofNovember 14, 2014
Current as of:
November 14, 2014
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.