Getting ‘creative’ with Exposure
The more you work with Exposure Practice the more you may want to ‘EXPERIMENT’ with specific aspects of your thoughts or behaviour so that you can investigate your negative predictions and test your new skills.
- What happens if you exaggerate a feared physical symptom instead of trying to control it? Does this make you feel worse or perhaps better?
- What other way could you investigate Safety behaviours – other than dropping them. What would happen if you exaggerate a safety behaviour? For instance, tensing our legs so that we don’t collapse may actually cause us more tension. What happens when you test that?
- What if you replicate feared scenarios so that you can observe what ACTUALLY happens. ie. Ask a friend (or your therapist) to re-enact one of your fears (for instance, your hand shaking when paying for something)
Observe peoples reactions. Is it as bad as you imagined?
- You could conduct SURVEYS about your fears – for instance, ask your family or friends what they would think if they saw someone acting in the way you fear.
Following are a few more examples – what else can YOU come up with?