Exposure Therapy

Exposure therapy is a type of behavioral therapy that is used to help treat anxiety disorders, such as phobias, panic disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Guided by a therapist, a person is gradually exposed to a situation, event, or phobia that causes them extreme distress and anxiety. The goal of exposure therapy is for clients to confront their fears in a safe, therapeutic environment in order to reduce their anxiety and increase their quality of life.

What to expect.

There are several different approaches to exposure therapy that therapists will use depending on the client’s needs. The two most common are exposure during the session, and imagining being exposed to the distressing idea or event in session. In the first scenario, a person will confront, or be exposed to a phobia or situation that causes intense anxiety in real life. The therapist will work with the client to relax their body and lower their anxiety while they face their fears.

When the situation or phobia cannot be realistically recreated during a session, a therapist will instruct a person to imagine the trigger or situation in a safe setting, which can help lower feelings of distress or anxiety associated with it.

What are the benefits of Exposure Therapy? 

Exposure therapy has many benefits. Studies have shown that people who receive exposure therapy are less sensitive to previously distressing situations, and can better tolerate that fear or anxiety when confronted. Other benefits include increased self-esteem, functioning, healing from the traumatic situation, and better quality of life.

This service is available in the following locations:


  • Augusta
  • via telehealth statewide

For more information or to enroll in services our Open Access team at (207) 626-3414.

We are required to bill for our services. MaineCare and private insurance will pay for many of our services. Low or no-cost treatment may be available to qualified individuals.

Not sure which treatment is right for you?
Call our Open Access team at (207) 626-3414.

They will answer your questions, provide information, and help you make an appointment for an initial assessment, where we can learn more about you and your specific needs.