Powerful behavioural treatments for many patients with anxiety disorders have been widely available since the 1970s. Despite this, the majority of such patients have continued to be treated with psychotrophic drugs. Recent litigation against the manufacturers of benzodiazepine drugs has made the public increasingly concerned about the prescription of anxiolytic agents. In parallel with the fall in popularity of drug treatment, advances have been made which increase the availability and applicability of behavioural treatments for these patients. This paper examines the impact of the development of self-exposure and cognitive methods on a number of common anxiety syndromes. Clinical examples of self-exposure are given to demonstrate the simplicity of the technique.
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