Description of the Strategy

Since the 1960s and 1970s, it increasingly has been recognized and accepted that the common ingredient of many, if not most, behavioral treatments that affect anxiety is exposure to anxiety-provoking stimuli. Through repeated prolonged exposure to the offending agent, whether situation, event, person, sensation, or place, anxiety, fear, and other intense, associated negative emotions are reduced. In layman terms, exposure is essentially similar to “Facing one's fear” or “Getting back on the horse.” No matter what idiom is used, the implication remains the same: Persons are exposed to that which makes them feel afraid, and through facing such fears repeatedly, the reaction of anxiety is reduced.

Although anxiety is a naturally occurring phenomenon and is a normal and adaptive ...

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