Category Archives: OCD

Clenched Jaw and Forehead Wrinkles – 4 Key Concepts of Imagined Exposure

4 Concepts Regarding Behavioral Strategy

#1 Sensory Experiences
The first concept is sensory experiences.

Stacy, age 32, suffered from a fear of toilets and doorknobs.  To begin her imagined exposure therapy, I asked Stacy, “How would the external setting of this scene affect you if this were a real situation?  Think about all your senses.  For example, what are you seeing?  What can you smell?  What do you hear?  What do you feel or touch?  What do you taste?”

I asked Stacy to record her senses in her journal.  She stated, “I can see the toilet.  It’s white porcelain, stained slightly off white over the years.  The bathroom smells like my flowery soap, jasmine, which my grandmother gave me a long time ago.  The toilet is running.  I’ve just used the toilet and it needs to be flushed.  The handle is slightly cold to the touch.”

Think of your Stacy.
Can you think of any other sense that he or she should be mindful of during his or her exposure?  How would you frame these questions differently?

For 2, 3 and 4  Concepts Regarding Behavioral Strategy go to OCD Course.

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