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In Vivo Exposure

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Updated June 09, 2014

Definition:

In vivo exposure is a technique that may be used during exposure therapy for PTSD or other anxiety disorders.

In vivo exposure refers to the direct confrontation of feared objects, activities, or situations by a patient. For example, a woman with PTSD who fears the location where she was assaulted may be assisted by her therapist in going to that location and directly confronting those fears (as long as it is safe to do so). Likewise, a person with social anxiety disorder who fears public speaking may be instructed to directly confront those fears by giving a speech.

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