Therapy Group Types
Clinicians use exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy to treat anxiety disorders by exposing clients to the feared object or circumstance in the absence of danger to desensitize fear and distress while reinforcing safety. ERP helps the brain re-conceptualize the threat by gradually increasing the exposure to the fear at mild to moderate levels while reinforcing safety through affirmation and experience.
For individuals suffering from an eating disorder, particularly bulimia or anorexia, ERP can help them overcome fears of consuming certain foods and can also assist with anxiety-provoking experiences like being weighed, grocery shopping, or looking at oneself in the mirror.
These experiential outings are led by a dietitian and allow for clients to practice normalizing eating while socializing out in public and implementing newfound nutrition knowledge and portioning skills in the real world. The grocery outings allow for clients to practice purchasing groceries, while assessing and processing any anxiety that may exist due to the pressures of shopping and being in large crowds. This allows clients to get out of the treatment setting and to test out the real world setting as they near the end of their treatment.