Offering Your Anxious Clients the Standard of Care
Offering Your Anxious Clients the ‘Gold Standard’ of Care
Exposure therapy has long been supported as the ‘gold standard’ treatment for anxiety disorders. Despite strong empirical support for the effectiveness of exposure therapy, many therapists underutilize exposure therapy in the treatment of anxiety and related disorders.
Studies examining why clinicians tend to underutilize exposure therapy indicate several important factors.
These factors include:
- Lack of appropriate training or supervision to learn these methods.
- Holding negative or inaccurate perceptions about exposure therapy and when it is contraindicated.
- Clinician belief that clients will reject the treatment, drop out of treatment, or that exposure therapy may cause harm to clients by asking them to engage with aversive experiences.
In summary, clinicians tend to underutilize the ‘gold standard’ of treatments for anxiety and related disorders because they tend to have little training or experience with it. A key factor in alleviating these issues is offering more training and consultation on utilization of exposure-based treatments.
If you would like to learn more about using exposure therapy in your practice:
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by Perry Leynor, LPC Associate under the supervision of Paula Maloney, LPC-S.
Meyer, J. M., Farrell, N. R., Kemp, J. J., Blakey, S. M., & Deacon, B. J. (2014). Why do clinicians exclude anxious clients from exposure therapy? Behaviour Research and Therapy, 54, 49-53. https://doi:10.1016/j.brat.2014.01.004