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What is Exposure Therapy? PTSD, Anxiety, OCD and more… Mental Health Help with Kati Morton


– Today we’re gonna talk
about exposure therapy. What is it? And why do we use it? (upbeat music) So exposure therapy is a CBT technique. CBT meaning cognitive behavioral therapy. But it’s a technique that’s used in CBT to treat PTSD and phobias. Before I even get into
what exposure therapy is, I want to let you know how important it is that you see someone who
specializes in exposure therapy. Someone who is trained in it, continues to learn about it, and practices it with clients regularly. And this is because it is so important that they know how to
properly do it with you, otherwise you can be retraumatized and actually leave therapy feeling worse. So go ahead, ask to see their resume, ask to see how they got trained, ask who trained them, ask when they last
practiced it on a client, ask when they last went to a convention or a talk about it. It’s okay to ask those things. I have clients ask all the time about my eating disorder training and DBT training, especially. It’s okay to ask those questions to make sure that you are in a safe place with this clinician and that
they are trained to help you. So exposure therapy works
in PTSD and phobias. Obviously, at a clinician’s discretion, it can be used to treat other things but those are the most common. Now, in PTSD, it works to help the patient gain control over the fear and pain that may be associated with their trauma. In some cases, flooding
is the best option. Flooding meaning putting you
right back into that scenario, all the fears and, you know, maybe the physical pain. You may have body memories about it. You may feel those. All those come flooding back and then they help you calm yourself down in the situation itself and help you process through the trauma and feel okay with it. For some people, that’s the best option. That’s the best way for
them to process through it. For other people, they need
gradual desensitization. They need to think about the trauma and calm themselves down. Need to imagine themselves going to see that person who traumatized them and calming themselves down. It may be a slower progression and that’s why it’s so important to have someone who specializes in it because they need to be able to tell which is best for you and what will be right in your process as you work through this PTSD. The second reason that they usually use exposure therapy is
with regard to phobias. And I’m reading my notes, it says that with regard to phobia, relaxation exercises,
imagery, and mindfulness are extremely important. It’s so that we can be slowly introduced, like I talked about in the PTSD, where we slowly desensitize
ourselves to it. That is the way that
this works in phobias. There’s no flooding
with regard to phobias. They stated that that’s
usually not the best way to treat that and help you overcome it. The best way is to gradually exposes you to the thing that you’re most fearful of and you slowly learn that
you have control over that. And they use relaxation techniques, breathing techniques, some do meditation, mindfulness. All of these tools can be helpful in this process and that’s why it’s really important for you to work with someone who specializes because one of the steps that they talked about
being really important before doing the phobia work is really installing all of those different options in yourself; being really comfortable with
your breathing techniques, being really good at being
mindful and meditating, so that you have a bunch of tools to use when you imagine yourself going back or even physically introducing
yourself to a phobia. All of those tools need
to be almost innate, so you can pull them out, you can use them, and you can calm yourself down. So that, in a nutshell, is
what exposure therapy is. And I hope it answers
some of those questions that you may have and
maybe why your therapist is requesting that you look into it. It can be so beneficial, so please if you found this helpful, share this video. You never know who it might help. Someone might be considering it. Maybe someone’s therapist brought it up and they’re like, oh, I
don’t know what that is. You never know who you’re gonna help. And if you’re new to my channel and you haven’t described,
click over here. And if you want more information
on other types of therapy, click over here and I
will see you next time.

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