Exposure therapy practices and mechanism endorsement: A survey of specialty clinicians

Elyse Stewart, Hannah Frank, Kristen Benito, Brianna Wellen, Jenny Herren, Laura C. Skriner, Stephen P.H. Whiteside

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Studies have suggested that exposure is a key ingredient in the treatment of youth with anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), yet there are several barriers to the implementation of exposures. This may reflect the lack of detail in treatment protocols specifically outlining the delivery of exposure and the lack of consensus on treatment mechanism. The aim of this study was to learn how experts treating this population practice exposure treatment and conceptualize treatment mechanism on the basis of their responses on an Internet-based survey. Participants (N = 65) were licensed mental health clinicians who treated youth for primary OCD or for a primary anxiety disorder (generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia, social anxiety disorder) within the last year. Results indicated that exposure was widely practiced among our sample. Results on specific endorsements of exposure techniques and mechanism are reported, and clinical and research implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-311
Number of pages9
JournalProfessional Psychology: Research and Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2016


  • Anxiety
  • Clinician beliefs and practices
  • Exposure therapy
  • OCD
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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