Exposure therapy is one of our most powerful tools in the treatment of a variety of anxiety disorders and OCD. Exposure therapy is a type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Exposure therapy works by helping people to face their fears. By gradually confronting the things that make us anxious, we learn that we can tolerate the emotions and distress, and thus reduce anxiety over time.
There is strong evidence that exposure therapy is effective in treating:
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Social phobia
- Selective mutism
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Specific phobias
- Panic disorder
- Separation anxiety disorder
Parent-Child Interaction Therapy for Selective Mutism (PCIT-SM)
This research-based approach to treating selective mutism involves parents being coached by a therapist to use specific skills to help encourage their child to speak. Parents are an integral and essential part of treatment and helping their child use their “brave voice” with new people.
Habit Reversal Training (HRT) and the Comprehensive Model for Behavioral (ComB) Treatment of hair-pulling and skin-picking
Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors, such as hair-pulling (trichotillomania) and skin-picking (excoriation disorder) require specialized treatment. HRT and the ComB model have been shown to be effective in helping people to reduce their hair-pulling and skin-picking habits. Treatment begins with a careful assessment of the various emotional, cognitive, and environmental factors that may influence a person’s behavior. Treatment then involves developing a comprehensive list of strategies that a person can use when they have the urge to complete their habit.
Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT)
CBIT is a behavioral therapy specifically designed to help those with Tourette Syndrome and tic disorders reduce the frequency and severity of their tics.
CBIT consists of three main components:
- Working together to help you become more aware of your tics and the urge to perform a tic.
- Developing a “toolbox” of competing responses. A competing response (sometimes called an incompatible behavior) is a behavior that cannot be performed at the same time as the tic. For example, if a person’s tic involves a sniffing through their nose, a competing response may be learning to take slow deep breaths in response to the urge to tic. You can’t take deep breaths and do your tic at the same time!
- Making changes in your day-to-day life and activities to help reduce the likelihood of tics.