Challenges in improving "traditional" exposure paradigms for social anxiety: Empirical findings and future prospects

[Speaker] Masuda, Yuto:1
[Co-author] Shimada, Hironori:2
1:Graduate School of Human Sciences, Waseda University (Japan), 2:Faculty of Human Sciences, Waseda University (Japan)

Exposure techniques have been proven to be effective for treating social anxiety. In recent years, in the field of exposure therapy for anxiety disorders, approaches that varied the degree of threat in the exposure stimulus (random and variable exposure, hereinafter "RV exposure") have been studied (Kircanski et al., 2012). RV exposure, as compared to gradual exposure, is characterized by unpredictability in the level of threat to which individuals are exposed. This unpredictability may enhance the therapeutic effect. However, previous studies have not compared therapeutic effect between these two techniques. Further, the actual mechanism underlying the effect of RV exposure is still unclear. In this session, we introduce our recent study investigating that mechanism. We will also discuss future prospects in this field.
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