Exposure Therapy for Phobias
by Reid Wilson, PhD
In these live sessions with a real patient, Reid Wilson demonstrates Exposure Therapy in action, offering a frame of reference that clinicians can begin to apply immediately.
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.
After watching these two remarkable sessions with a woman who is afraid of flying, you’ll surely be wondering, “Well, how did the flight go?” (She was leaving for a flight right after her second session with Wilson). Without giving too much away, we’re pleased to report that the work she did with Wilson in these two sessions made a huge difference, and she updated us that she managed without medication, didn’t feel nearly as much panic as she usually does, and she was able to talk herself down fairly quickly when anxiety arose. She also shared that she was amazed by her progress and all that she was able to do. Pretty impressive for just two sessions! Once you see Wilson in action, you’ll understand how to help your own clients make similar progress with their phobias.
By watching this video you will:
- Learn the core concepts of Wilson’s approach to treating phobias
- Understand how to conduct a highly focused assessment
- Identify tools for facilitating habituation through exposure therapy techniques.
Note: This DVD is licensed on for personal viewing. If you wish to use this video for teaching or training purposes, or you wish to view this video via Instant Streaming, you may order these formats at http://www.psychotherapy.net/learning-centers/expert/reid-wilson
“Reid Wilson provides an extraordinary insight into the process of exposure therapy for phobias. Observing him implement exposure therapy is beautifully complemented by his explanation of what he is aiming to achieve each step of the way. This video provides a rare look into the mechanisms of exposure as it is unfolding. It is an invaluable teaching tool. “
— Michelle G. Craske, PhD, Director, Anxiety Disorders Research Center, UCLA.
“This is a unique opportunity to look behind the scene at how one of the pioneers in the field of anxiety treatment actually goes about doing therapy. You will be able to understand the principles behind how he makes choices from moment to moment as he actively pushes his patients to relate to their inner experience with an entirely different attitude. Even if you learned CBT for anxiety disorders years ago and have been seeing obsessive patients all along, you will see why this particular innovation is a breakthrough.”
— Sally Winston, PsyD, Co-Director, Anxiety and Stress Disorders Clinic of Maryland
“This outstanding video demonstrates exposure-based treatment for an individual with claustrophobia. Dr. Wilson is an effective therapist who successfully encourages his client to face her fears, resulting in noticeable improvement in just two sessions. I strongly recommend this to anyone who treats individuals with phobic disorders, including both students and seasoned clinicians!”
— Martin M. Antony, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Ryerson University; Author, The Anti-Anxiety Workbook