Every therapist says they treat OCD and anxiety. Every
therapist says they use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). In fact very few do.
There is only one therapy that eliminates anxiety disorders. It's called Exposure Therapy. The book, Confronting the Bully of OCD, authored by Dr. Brodsky's actual client, describes her own therapy in
detail, and tells you what you can expect to experience in Dr. Brodsky office.
What is exposure therapy? Exposure is the only therapy that
is endorsed by all national anxiety organizations, whether it is OCD, social anxiety, agoraphobia, panic disorder, PTSD, and
phobias. If a therapist does not use exposure as their main technique, they will not help you. It is not sufficient
if they say they use CBT. CBT is a very general term that includes dozens of techniques, including many that are not
helpful to anxiety and some which will make it worse. Exposure is a special CBT technique specifically for anxiety disorders. Feel
free to email a question to Dr. Brodsky for a free consultation within 24 hours. Or make an appointment online now or by calling 212-726-2390.
you've been doing exposure your whole life and successfully overcome hundreds of fears. It's normal to be nervous or
fearful in a new situation--the first day at a new school or job, the first time you met your significant other, the first
time you did a new activity. Yet you overcame your initial fears by continuing to do the uncomfortable activity; that's
exposure! Some have even become sources of great joy---a new sport or career, a happy marriage, etc.
Exposure is the natural way people overcome fear of
anything. Even the most primitive animal organisms eventually habituate to uncomfortable stimuli through exposure. We
all know people who have phobias--flying, dogs, darkness, tall buildings. (I have a phobia of mice!) We know that
people overcome these common fears just by gradually getting closer to and spending more time in those feared situations in
small baby steps. But those baby steps eventually add up to a dramatic difference. OCD, social anxiety, and panic are
no different from these phobias, except it's harder to avoid thoughts, people, and travel. But it's the same thing and
is equally treatable.
In fact, it is physiologically impossible to remain fearful of anything with
continued exposure to it. Think of firefighters, police, soldiers, doctors, and pilots. They weren't born fearless;
they slowly became that way by exposure to successive approximations of their occupations. Sadly, this is true even
of people in war torn countries. We are dumbfounded watching people go to work, school, hairdressers, and weddings while
bullets fly over their heads. They've been exposed enough times to become desensitized to it.
contrast, we know the more we avoid uncomfortable things, the more we become fearful of them. In fact, we could make
you afraid of something simply by telling you to avoid it, even if you never actually encountered it. Isn't it surprising
how fearful people can be of others who are different from ourselves or who live in other countries, despite never even meeting
them? That's because they grew up being told to avoid certain types of people. Yet when we are exposed to them
long enough, we become more comfortable around them. In fact people can be quite comfortable with even negative people
and negative situations, for better or worse, simply through exposure and familiarity. As long as they know what they
are getting themselves into, good or bad, they're comfortable.
We cross the street every
day without thinking we could be hit by a car. Does that guarantee we can't be a fatality? Of course not. Accidents
happen all the time. We've learned to live with these everyday risks not because we've been reassured, but because we
simply are habituated to it. The good news is that if you've overcome fears of these everyday situations--learning to
ride a bicycle, learning to swim, etc.--then you WILL also overcome the anxiety that has put your life on hold. You,
and millions of people going through the same thing, can be hopeful of overcoming this problem once and for all!