Verbal Exposure for Irrational Fears: New Directions in Rese | 46958

Clinical and Experimental Psychology


Verbal Exposure for Irrational Fears: New Directions in Research and Applications

Rakesh Kumar

Exposure therapies are proven to be effective in irrational fears such as seen in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and phobia [1-5]. Typically, an individual with irrational fears is exposed to the feared stimuli in imagination and/or in vivo along with prevention of avoidance response. The exposure in this manner initially leads to an increase in fear reaction which gradually begins to decline. The repeated exposure in this manner leads to habituation or elimination of fear reaction. For instance, in an individual with fear of lizards, imaginal exposure would involve repeated holding of imagery of lizard including feared consequences in the content of consciousness. For in vivo exposure, the patient would be encouraged being repeatedly in proximity of actual lizard and imagining feared consequences without avoidance response. Multiple theories have been put forth to explain the mechanisms of action involved in exposure therapies. Rachman [6] and Foa and McNally [7] proposed Emotional Processing Theory to explain the mechanisms of action in exposure therapy. Craske et al. [8] and Labordaan Miller [9] offered Inhibitory Learning Theory for the same