How many times have you looked at your phone today? 10? 20? 30? 40? If you’re an average tween or teen you’ve looked at your phone 46 times. And, you’ve spent a third of your day using media—Instagram, Facebook, online videos, and music. Maybe you do it without thinking.
Although exposure-based treatments can be highly effective for helping clients overcome problems with anxiety, you can enhance treatment outcomes by paying attention to the way that you conduct exposure therapy. Successful exposure therapy follows these guidelines:
Avoidance of feared situations is a core feature of anxiety disorders. While avoidance is usually pretty easy to detect, some forms of avoidance are not so obvious. Indeed, some anxious kids may not overtly avoid a situation, but are sure to take specific actions to prevent a bad outcome. These actions are known as safety behaviors.
Because anxiety is a mind/body experience, the most effective treatment to address it is a mind/body solution. Therapists are most helpful when we begin to gently direct our clients away from the myriad details, and toward the nature and symptoms they are experiencing.