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Exposure Therapy

Exposure Therapy in Greenwich, Darien, Westport, Westchester, and Surrounding Areas in Connecticut and New York.

Exposure therapy is a type of CBT that is the most effective for anxiety and obsessive-compulsive-related disorders. In fact, it is often referred to as the “gold standard” of psychological treatments for various anxiety disorders, as it is the most effective approach. The goal of exposure therapy is to reduce avoidance of feared situations, which ultimately leads to a reduction in anxiety about these situations. This treatment causes short-term anxiety but ultimately reduces anxiety in the long term.

We will work together to create a treatment tailored to you, and then engage in gradual and systematic exposure to situations which provoke anxiety for you. We will also work together to understand what may be maintaining your anxiety, understand how thoughts may be contributing to anxiety, and learn to respond to thoughts in a more adaptive manner.

What does exposure therapy look like? 

We will help you gradually and systematically confront your fears and face anxiety-provoking situations that you have been avoiding via exposures. Exposures can be conducted as imaginal (i.e., imagining a feared situation), in vivo (i.e., in real life) and interoceptive (i.e., confronting feared physical sensations). By doing exposures, you will learn that feared consequences are unlikely to come true and that your anxiety will eventually go down even after facing anxiety-provoking situation. We will also teach you what causes and maintains anxiety, and work with you to reframe unhelpful thoughts.

What do you use exposure therapy for? 

We mainly use exposure therapy for social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, health anxiety, and phobias. We at times incorporate it into eating disorder treatment. 

What about exposure and response prevention (ERP)? 

ERP is a treatment for OCD that we use. It involves exposure to anxiety-provoking obsessions in a gradual and systematic fashion, while reducing compulsive behaviors (e.g., checking, washing, ordering) that are typically used to reduce anxiety. ERP provides you the opportunity to learn that what you are afraid of occurring is unlikely to come true. It also helps to desensitize and build tolerance to obsessions.

What kind of training do you have in ERP? 

Dr. Sala has received training and supervision in ERP by some of the leading experts in anxiety disorders in the country. She has completed training in ERP at UCLA. 

Exposure Therapy in Greenwich, Darien, Westport, Westchester, and Surrounding Areas in Connecticut and New York

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