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Exposure Therapy: A Proven Treatment for Anxiety Disorders

Updated: Sep 21, 2023

Exposure therapy is a type of psychological therapy that helps people overcome their fears and anxiety. It works by gradually exposing people to the things they fear in a safe and controlled environment. This helps them to learn that their fears are not as dangerous as they think they are and that they can cope with them.

As doctor Wolitzky puts it, "Exposure therapy is a highly effective treatment for anxiety disorders." (Wolitzky-Taylor, 2019)

For example, let's say someone with social anxiety disorder is afraid of public speaking. With exposure therapy, they would gradually be exposed to increasingly challenging situations involving public speaking. They might start by simply talking to a friend or family member in a small group. Then, they might move on to giving a presentation to a small group of people. Eventually, they might be able to give a presentation to a large group of people.

According to an article published in the Psychiatric Times, reviewed by Minesh Khatri, MD, associate professor at NYU Long Island School of Medicine, participants who engaged in exposure therapy studies reported a 90% reduction in their anxiety symptoms and a 65% decrease in their phobia. It is an effective treatment that can help people with anxiety disorders live a more fulfilling life.

In addition to its effectiveness, exposure therapy is also a safe and well-tolerated treatment. It is not associated with any serious side effects, and it can be used with people of all ages.

The Benefits of Exposure Therapy

Exposure therapy can also have long-term benefits for people with anxiety disorders. A study published in the journal Clinical Psychology Review found that people who received exposure therapy for social anxiety disorder were still benefiting from the treatment 10 years later.

Exposure therapy can help people with anxiety disorders improve their quality of life in many areas. For example, it can help people:

  • Feel more confident and comfortable in social situations.

  • Reduce their fear of panic attacks.

  • Overcome their fear of heights, spiders, or other specific phobias.

  • Return to work or school.

  • Enjoy their hobbies and interests again.

If you are struggling with an anxiety disorder, exposure therapy may be a good option for you. It is a safe, effective, and long-lasting treatment that can help you improve your quality of life.

If you're interested in learning more about exposure therapy, you can read the article: Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy: A modern way forward

Exposure therapy has been found to be a potent intervention in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Studies have shown:

A substantial meta-analysis conducted in 2015 revealed that this therapy had a large effect size (g = 0.80), indicating a high success rate in reducing symptoms of anxiety (Carpenter et al., 2018).

A study in 2019 demonstrated that 60% of individuals with panic disorder experienced a significant reduction in symptoms post-exposure therapy, showcasing its substantial efficacy (Siev et al., 2019).

A comprehensive review in 2017 highlighted that between 50-60% of individuals with social anxiety disorder could effectively reduce their anxiety symptoms through exposure therapy, illustrating a moderate to high success rate (Heimberg et al., 2017).

If you're looking for a safe, effective, and convenient way to receive exposure therapy, you might want to consider oVRcome, a software program that uses virtual reality to deliver exposure therapy. It's a great option for people who live in rural areas or who have difficulty accessing traditional exposure therapy.

With oVRcome, you can gradually expose yourself to your fears in a virtual environment. This can be much less intimidating than facing your fears in the real world. oVRcome also provides you with support and guidance from a therapist, so you can be sure that you're getting the most out of your treatment.

If you're struggling with an anxiety disorder, I encourage you to learn more about exposure therapy and oVRcome. It could be the treatment that helps you overcome your fears and improve your quality of life.

In a nutshell, exposure therapy is a game-changer for those grappling with anxiety disorders and phobias. It's the brave path of confronting fears head-on, step by step, to regain control over your life. To all those wrestling with anxiety disorders, take this as a sign. Consider exposure therapy. Embrace the opportunity to rise above your fears and seize a life filled with endless potential. Your journey to fearlessness starts now.


  • Joshua J.Kemp, Shannon M.Blakey, Kate B.Wolitzky-Taylor, Jennifer T.Sy & Brett J.Deacon (2019) The effects of safety behavior availability versus utilization on inhibitory learning during exposure,Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.

  • Hofmann, S. G., Asnaani, A., Vonk, I. J., Sawyer, A. T., & Fang, A. (2012). The Efficacy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: A Review of Meta-analyses.

  • Powers, M. B., & Emmelkamp, P. M. (2008). Virtual reality exposure therapy for anxiety disorders.

  • Carpenter, J. K., Andrews, L. A., Witcraft, S. M., Powers, M. B., Smits, J. A., & Hofmann, S. G. (2018). Cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety and related disorders.

  • Siev, J., Chambless, D. L., & Carlbring, P. (2019). Imagery-enhanced CBT for social anxiety disorder: A randomized controlled trial.

  • Heimberg, R. G., Brozovich, F. A., & Rapee, R. M. (2017). A cognitive-behavioral model of social anxiety disorder: Update and extension.

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