When it comes to dealing with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), there are a lot of different therapy options that have proven to be successful. One option that can be very helpful is exposure therapy. This form of therapy actual exposes the person to the stressor and can have a lot of positive benefits. Here’s what you need to know about exposure therapy.
What Is It?
Exposure therapy works by exposing the person to their fear via different methods. These methods include in vivo, or in-person, imagined, interoceptive, or prolonged. In vivo is when the person is exposed to their particular fear with the therapist there to guide them and talk them through it, such as giving a speech if you are afraid of public speaking. Imagined exposure involves imagining the situation in detail and is a good alternative if the actual fear is not safe to visit in-person. Interoceptive is used to help people who fear certain bodily symptoms by having them experience these symptoms, such as hyperventilating. Lastly, prolonged exposure is a combination of the previous three.
How Does It Work?
As the person suffering from PTSD goes to more and more sessions of exposure therapy, they will find that they are better able to manage their fears. Different methods will also be tested and tried during the therapy sessions to see which ones work best for the individual. This creates a successful therapy method that is well-suited to the individual.
How Do I Find A Therapist?
It is very important that you find a therapist that specializes in exposure therapy, and not just a regular therapist. This makes it possible for you to have a good experience and increases your chances for success. This can be done by looking at the Anxiety Disorder Association of America and finding which therapists are listed who offer exposure therapy.