Nothing to fear but anxiety therapy itself

Brisbane Times:

Putting on a brave face could actually make your fear worse, a study shows.

An international expert on fear and phobias says her research has found it helps people to talk about their fears while they are experiencing them – and in some cases the best treatments involve scaring them more.

Michelle Craske, a professor of psychology and director of the Anxiety Disorders Research Centre at the University of California, Los Angeles, said keeping people in a heightened fear state seems to help them learn to deal with their fearful emotions.

Professor Craske delivered the keynote speech yesterday at the Australian Psychological Society Annual Conference in Perth, arguing that traditional approaches to dealing with fear often don’t work in highly fearful or anxious people.

“Most of the traditional approaches to exposure therapy are about trying to get rid of the fear in the moment,” she said. “But that fear in the moment might be the most critical thing in the long term.”

Read the whole story: Brisbane Times

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