Cognitive behavioral therapy, or “CBT” is considered the “gold standard” of treatment for psychological disorders. It is especially effective with both depression and anxiety – as well as many other conditions and symptoms within the mental health field.
CBT is a successful treatment for many of those that are struggling and – although it is not for everyone – it should at least be considered before starting any type of treatment program. But while CBT is an outstanding treatment choice, it is not successful for everyone. That doesn’t mean that a person is not treatable. It simply means mental health is more complex than any one solution.
How Exposure Therapy Can Fail
Exposure therapy is when a person is exposed to the object of their fear and taught relaxation strategies to try to eliminate it. The mind and body are naturally capable of adapting to negative thoughts when they confront them and learn to cope with them.
But that doesn’t mean it will always work. There are times when exposure therapy may fail, such as:
- Exposure therapy may be treating the symptom, but not the underlying cause. For many people with anxiety, depression, and other life challenges, it is important to make sure that the original cause(s) are addressed to prevent the symptoms from coming back.
- Treatment success relies on the person being interested in pursuing it. For those that do not find themselves willing to engage in exposure therapy or unable to get interested in it, the treatment may not be as useful.
- Every person is different, and just as many mental health medications react differently with different people, so too does exposure therapy.
Exposure therapy is highly effective. But nothing in the mental health field is one-size-fits all. Often I find that when exposure therapy has failed, the primary reason is that there is simply more to explore and the therapy itself was too focused on the symptoms, not the causes.
If you have been struggling with anxiety, depression, or any other mental health challenges in the Long Island area, please consider giving me a call today. I’d love to chat with you and see what treatment will work best for helping you live a higher quality of life.