Contact Us Step 1 of 7 14% How To Do Exposures: Overview Now that you have created your own personal Anxiety or OCD cycle, you understand how your symptoms fit into the pattern we use to work on Anxiety and OCD. Next, you are going to learn how to do exposures. How To Do Exposures: Setting-up The first step to doing exposures is setting them up as experiments. Watch the video and then answer a few short questions to practice what you learned. Help the boy who is afraid of dogs and his parent set-up an exposure.Pick the best exposure activity for the boy and his parent to do Go inside and take deep breaths when he sees a dog Ask the neighbor if he can pet her dog Put his hand through a fence to pet a barking dog the family doesn't know Try again: This is avoidance and not an exposure that will teach him he can handle dogs Correct: This is an activity that makes the boy feel scared, but that most people would feel comfortable doing Try again: Most people would probably be reasonably worried that this could be dangerous, so it is not an appropriate exposure Pick the thoughts to be tested that set the boy's exposure up as a good experimentMultiple Answers Required I will be okay if I stay with my parent The dog will bite me I will stay scared until I get away from the dog The dog will be mean Try again: This is reassuring and avoiding, rather than testing a fear That's right: Facing his fear will teach him that dogs are unlikely to bite him You got it: Facing his fear will teach him that his anxiety goes down, even if he stays with the dog Try again: This is not specific enough to know if it came true How nervous, from 0 (Relaxed, no anxiety) to 10 (Most anxiety ever), do you think the boy will be to do this exposure? 2 - A little anxiety 5 - Some anxiety 10 - Most anxiety ever Try again: Activities that cause only little anxiety are okay for just getting started or showing that the boy mastered an activity Right on: Exposure activities need to make the boy feel anxious for them to be helpful Try again: The scale only goes to 10, so the boy needs to leave room for other activities that make him feel even more anxiety, like walking a dog by himself Great job! You have helped the boy and his parent plan a good exposure. The activity makes him feel nervous, even though other kids can do it, and tests his fearful expectations. How To Do Exposures: Doing While you are doing an exposure, you need to stay positive and pay attention. Watch the video and then answer a few short questions to practice what you learned. Help the boy and his parent do an exposure to petting his neighbor's dog.Right after he starts petting the dog, his parent asks him to rate his anxiety and he says his anxiety has gone up. What should his parent do? Tell him he will be okay Make the exposure easier by holding the dog for him Tell him he is doing a great job handling his anxiety Try again: Providing reassurance stops the boy from learning he can handle his feelings on his own Try again: Helping the boy avoid what makes him nervous will stop the boy from learning dogs are unlikely to bite him Very good: Learning that he can handle feeling nervous is an important part of exposures In the middle of the exposure, the boy starts complaining and says he feels scared, what should his parent do? Make the exposure easier Tell him to take deep breaths Ignore the complaints and compliment him for continuing to pet the dog Try again: This would encourage him to handle anxiety by complaining and acting upset or send a message that he can’t handle feeling anxious Try again: This would teach him that anxiety is a bad feeling that needs to be avoided Way to go: By giving attention to his efforts to face his fears, his parent encourages him to be brave again the future During the exposure, the boy’s anxiety comes down, what should his parent do? Ask “That’s great, what is bringing it down?” Say “I told you nothing would happen” Immediately make the exposure harder Exactly: This helps the boy pay attention to what is happening Try again: This minimizes the boy’s hard work Try again: Adding on more to make the exposure harder than planned will make the boy feel frustrated Which of these answers to the parent's question above would suggest that the boy is learning something helpful from the exposure? "I am facing my fears and nothing bad is happening" "This is a small dog" "I am pretending it is a stuffed animal dog" Nice job: His anxiety is going down because he is learning that the dog is not as dangerous as he thought Try again: The dog did not get smaller during the exposure, so the size of the dog did not bring down his anxiety Try again: Distracting himself will stop him from learning dogs aren’t as dangerous as he thought. He needs to focus on the dog in front of him. Good work! You have helped the boy and his parent stay positive and pay attention to what is happening during his exposure. How To Do Exposures: Learning Don’t stop doing an exposure until you have learned that it is not so bad and you can do it again. Watch the video and then answer a few short questions to practice what you learned. Help the boy and his parent end the exposure and learn from it.The boy has been petting the dog for 20 minutes and his anxiety rating is a 2, what should his parent do? End because time is up Ask if he thinks he can do it again sometime Require him to continue until his anxiety is 0 Try again: Exposures don’t have a time limit, so the boy needs to continue until he learns anxiety is lying to him Very nice: The goal of an exposure is for the boy to learn that dogs aren’t so bad and that the boy can pet the dog again Try again: Anxiety coming down by half is a guide, the boy cannot control how he feels, so his parent should not require a rating of 0 To learn from the exposure, the boy’s parent asks him if his fear that the dog would bite him came true. Which of the following answers suggests the boy learned something helpful from the exposure? "No, because I pet him too lightly for him to feel it" "No, because I stopped before he had the chance" "No, but I don’t know if another dog will" Try again: Unless they planned for him to pet the dog lightly, the boy needs to pet the dog normally to learn that petting the dog was not dangerous Try again: The boy needs to keep petting the dog until he believes it is unlikely the dog will bite him Excellent: The boy is right. He will have to do more exposures to learn about dogs in general To end the exposure, the boy’s parent asks him what happened to his anxiety, what is the boy likely to say if he has done a helpful exposure? "It went down" "It went down, because I was taking deep, relaxing breaths" "I don’t know" Great job: One of the goals of exposure is to learn that anxiety is manageable until it goes down! Try again: The boy needs to learn that he can handle feeling nervous without trying to make those feelings go away Try again: To benefit from exposure, the boy needs to pay attention to what happens to his anxiety and how well he can handle those feelings Good work! You have helped the boy learn that petting the dog was not dangerous or too scary. How To Do Exposures: Motivation Doing exposures is hard work. Watch this video about how to stay motivated and then answer a few short questions to make your own personalized Motivation Plan. Make a plan for how you can use rewards and consequences to stay motivated and complete exposures regularly.Each week we plan to do ____ exposures.Please enter a number greater than or equal to 1.After we complete ____ exposures, we will celebrate.Please enter a number greater than or equal to 1.We will celebrate by Going out to dinner Getting a small prize Doing a fun activity Other Other Celebration These activities cannot be done until after the exposures for the day are done Phone Electronics Video Games Computer Tablet Screen Time Time with Friends Other Other Activity You can print our your motivation plan and steps for doing exposures on the next page. How To Do Exposures: Motivation Download your personalized Motivation Plan so you can it review later or share it with a therapist. Motivation Plan Following these four steps will help us stay motivated to do exposures regularly: Take Small Steps. We will use our fear ladder to break fears into small steps. Using the fear ladder will help us plan and agree what the next step should be. It will help us agree on expectations for what to do, so we don’t move too fast or too slowly. We will do Everyday Exposures to situations that are similar to what we have already practiced with Planned Exposures. Praise and Warm Support. We will be patient with each other. Parents should pay attention and praise when kids are cooperating with exposures and trying hard. When kids are letting anxiety win, acting angry, or refusing to cooperate, parents should walk away. Set Goals and Reward Progress. Each week we plan to do exposures. After we complete exposures we will celebrate by: . Remove Privileges for Lack of Cooperation. These activities cannot be done until after the exposures for the day are done: . HiddenScreenshot File NameEdit the "Default Value" field on the "Advanced" tab. Download Worksheet Download Worksheet How To Do Exposures: Everyday Exposures The goal of planned exposures is to be able to face your fears when they happen during everyday life. Watch the video about how to move from planned exposures to everyday exposures and then answer a few short questions to practice what you learned. Help the boy and his mother do an everyday exposure.The boy and his mother see a family with a dog at the park. What should they do? Stay away in case the dog is dangerous Ask them if he could pet their dog Ask his mother if he will be safe in the playground Try again: Asking to pet someone’s dog is something many kids could do Way to go: This is an excellent everyday exposure Try again: Asking for reassurance and avoiding will not help him learn that he can handle being around dogs What should the boy and his mother do after asking if he can pet the dog? Keep petting the dog until his anxiety comes down by half Fill out an exposure form with the family Pay attention to what happens Try again: That would be great, but might take longer than the family is willing to wait Try again: The boy and his mother probably don't have a form with them, so they can fill one out after they return home Nice job: Everyday exposures just have to be long enough for the boy to learn that he can handle dogs in real life Good work! You have helped the boy learn that his planned exposures are helping him be brave in daily life.