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Interoceptive Exposure to Panic and Suffocation Fears

In this 5-minute clip, Mary comes for a 2-session treatment for her claustrophobia and fear of flying. [See previous clip: “Strategic Practice of Homework”.] Those who experience claustrophobia focus on two issues: suffocation and restriction of movement. Here, about 30 minutes into the first session, Dr. Wilson uses interoceptive (inside the body) exposure (plus a little humor) to help Mary learn that the primary cause of her panic attacks during flights (as well as tunnels, parking garages, and elevators), is from her interpretation of her sensations, not her sensations themselves.

About the DVD. Decades of research have shown that exposure therapy is by far the most effective way to get long-lasting results in the treatment of specific phobias, but most therapists have never had a chance to see exposure therapy in action, let alone be trained in it. Here, prominent anxiety expert Reid Wilson shows you how it’s done, as he conducts two remarkable sessions with a woman suffering from claustrophobia.

Mary loves to travel, but dreads airplanes. In fact, any enclosed space where she feels trapped triggers her fear of suffocation, so she spends much of her time avoiding parking structures, elevators, and coping with panic attacks when avoidance is impossible. With conviction and humor, Wilson engages Mary in two transformational sessions, based on the paradoxical principle that moving towards that which she fears holds the key to her freedom.

Wilson leads Mary through several experiments which give her the opportunity to face her fears of both suffocation and restriction. From breathing with a nose plug on, to sliding a pillow case over her head and sealing it with packing tape, and finally to climbing into a large cardboard box, Mary courageously confronts layers of terror, gradually shifting her point of view from “I can’t handle this” to “I want this fear and I can handle it.” With Wilson’s constant support and encouragement, Mary makes an incredible amount of progress in only two sessions, demonstrating how powerful these tools really are.

Get full video of “Exposure Therapy for Phobias” at Psychotherapy.net
DVD: $59.00
Streaming: $49.95