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What it’s like to Try Exposure Therapy for Health Anxiety

Once again the article being shared with you is being done to show the rapid changes that have occurred over the last few years when it comes to conditions such as anxiety, chronic stress, PTSD and so on.

depression treatment psychotherapy - What it’s like to Try Exposure Therapy for Health AnxietyHistorically Exposure Therapy was the preferred approach. Keep putting a person back in the situation that causes the stress or anxiety. Starting in a mild case and then building up. What happens is our brains learn to tolerate being in those conditions. However, there is still an underlying emotional memory that was stored in our brains when we experienced some extremely anxious, fearful or stressful event. With exposure therapy, the underlying emotional memory remains. This has been clearly demonstrated. The idea and exposure therapy is the new learning will be stronger in the emotional memory, however sometimes the underlying emotional memory will resurface and dominate the client.

However this century, just 15 years ago, finally it was proved that in us humans there is a mechanism in our brains to undo the damaging effect of these emotional memories. The approach is called Memory Reconsolidation. It’s not a therapy it’s a mechanism in our brains. Many therapies are building this technology into them.

brain signals - What it’s like to Try Exposure Therapy for Health AnxietyWe know exposure therapy will work however we also know that the dropout rate of people undergoing exposure therapy is very high especially for things like PTSD.

The Havening technique that I trained in a few years ago was the first therapy to be completely based around memory reconsolidation. The understanding that if we can take the emotional punch out of these emotional memories, then the problems the person’s experience because of them, can stop. A slight disclaimer here in that if such events were a long time ago then it’s likely an individual will also have developed some habits of thinking and behaving. These will still persist however there are numerous effective approaches to allow a person to change these.

If you have been affected by past stressful events that you feel are still pushing you around please feel free to contact me. I can work with people over Skype or phone.

The article below is written by Hattie Gladwell,  a lifestyle reporter at Metro.

What it’s like to try exposure therapy for health anxiety

My health anxiety was triggered by a traumatic event which took place back in 2015, when I underwent a major surgery to have my large bowel removed due to ulcerative colitis, following a year’s worth of misdiagnosis from medical professionals. Ever since, I have had an extreme phobia of falling critically ill again.

 

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