AACBT Vic Pub Discussion: Deacon – Exposaphobia

19 Jun 2024
06:30 pm
- 07:30 pm
Tickets via Eventbrite - scroll down for the link
Terminus Hotel Fitzroy North, Queens Parade, Fitzroy North VIC, Australia
  • Brett Deacon
View Larger Mapmagnifier
  • $20
  • $50
  • $0
Registrations Closed
All prices are shown in AU$. Discounts apply for group bookings, contact info@aacbt.org.au for further information. All orders will receive an e-mail confirmation - please be sure to check your SPAM folder (noreply@aacbt.org.au) if you do not receive a message. Please note that photographing or filming is likely to take place at all AACBT events. If you do not consent to having your image taken, please contact your local event organiser during the event. Cancellations attract a 25% processing fee. Cancellations within one week of the event attract a 50% processing fee. Cancellations within 24 hours of the event will not be refunded under any circumstances. If you wish to transfer the name of your registration to someone else there is no charge, providing that they are the same ticket type as yourself. EG if you purchased a ticket for a member, and the new guest is also a member etc. If there is a difference in ticket type you will need to pay the additional charge at the time of name transfer. Ticket cancellation – COVID-19 The health and safety of event attendees is our highest priority. AACBT is mindful of the health risks posed by COVID-19, and the importance of following official medical advice with respect to social distancing, practicing good hygiene and staying at home when unwell. AACBT requests that any delegate who is feeling unwell or has cold or flu like symptoms, or who may have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, not attend our events. If, on medical grounds, you are unable to attend an event owing to COVID-19, you must cancel your attendance in writing by email to info@aacbt.org.au. A full refund will be provided however you may be asked to provide additional details.

This page is for information only – please click through to our Eventbrite listing to purchase your tickets.

The diagnosis and treatment of exposaphobia, or why clinicians dislike exposure therapy and what to do about it

Presenter: Brett Deacon

University of Melbourne

This page is for information only – please click through to our Eventbrite listing to purchase your tickets.

Exposure therapy for anxiety is as effective as it is challenging.

Concerns about safety, tolerability, and ethicality are common and may cause therapists to deliver exposure suboptimally or not at all. In this presentation, negative beliefs about exposure are normalised and discussed in light of relevant scientific evidence. Strategies for overcoming them in routine clinical practice are reviewed and practiced.

Exposure-based CBT (exposure therapy) is the most effective treatment for anxiety-related disorders. However, clinicians often forego the use of exposure in favour of more “feel good” but less effective techniques such as cognitive restructuring, relaxation, controlled breathing, and mindfulness. Even when therapists use exposure, it is often delivered in an unnecessarily cautious manner that compromises its benefits. Our profession’s failure to disseminate exposure therapy to anxious clients is recognised worldwide as a significant public health problem. A concerted international effort is underway to improve this situation.

At the heart of this effort is an understanding of the reasons why clinicians often do not use exposure therapy and do so suboptimally. In addition to issues like lack of training and organisational support, concerns that exposure is unsafe, intolerable, and unethical have emerged as a critical barrier to the effective use of exposure. These concerns directly translate into the way clinicians deliver exposure. For example, research shows therapists concerned about exposure select easier exposure hierarchies and exposure tasks, engage in more anxiety-reducing as opposed to anxiety-increasing behaviours during exposures, and use a host of safety behaviours due to concerns that they are necessary to protect the client, reduce risk, and manage their own anxiety. These concerns about harm and associated safety behaviours may be formulated much the same way we understand maladaptive threat beliefs and avoidance behaviours in anxious clients. And the solution is the same: exposure, or more accurately, “exposure to exposure”.

In this presentation, I discuss research on therapist reservations about exposure, the various ways these can impair the effective delivery of exposure, and specific strategies for acquiring more confidence in the safety, tolerability, and ethicality of exposure therapy in one’s own clinical practice using the “exposure to exposure” principle as a guide.


About this event:

This event will feature a presentation in an informal setting with audience discussion.

Please note that this event is hosted on level 1 of the venue and the only access is via the stairs.


Key Learning Objectives

  1. Understand common negative beliefs about exposure therapy for anxiety, including one’s own.
  2. Understand how these beliefs affect the delivery of therapy in ways that may compromise client care.
  3. Learn strategies for challenging concerns about exposure therapy while delivering exposure in a more confident, intensive, and effective manner.

This session is designed for all practitioners – attendees will be assumed to have an interest in ADHD.


Duration & Format / Training Modalities

This session has approx. 60 minutes CPD, and does not include any catering in the ticket price.

Door opens at 6pm for a 6:30pm start.


References – readings

  1. Deacon, B. J., Farrell, N., Kemp, J., Dixon, L., Sy, J., Zhang, A., & McGrath, P. (2013). Assessing therapist reservations about exposure therapy for anxiety: The Therapist Beliefs about Exposure Scale. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 27, 772-780.
  2. Farrell, N. R., Kemp, J. J., Blakey, S. M., Meyer, J. M., & Deacon, B. J. (2016). Targeting clinician concerns about exposure therapy: A pilot study comparing standard vs. enhanced trainingBehaviour Research and Therapy, 85, 53-59.
  3. Meyer, J. M., Kelly, Peter J., & Deacon, B. J. (2020). Therapist beliefs about exposure therapy implementation. The Cognitive Behaviour Therapist, 13, 1-14.


AACBT student members have free tickets, but MUST book to reserve their place.

Non-members can join now and gain all of the other advantages of AACBT Membership!

There are no early bird rates for this event and please note that there are no door sales possible.

Please contact info@aacbt.org.au for more information.


COVID Safety:

Please note, the venue will be following all relevant Public Health Orders and checking delegates as per their obligations. Density, and mask requirements will be in line with relevant government guidelines. As per all events, please do not attend if you are unwell.

If you are required to cancel your attendance owing to a COVID isolation, please contact us for a full refund or ticket transfer.


Venue notes:

This venue is a less than 10-minute walk from Clifton Hill and Rushall train stations, or the Number 86 tram (from Bourke Street) stops right outside the hotel.


Images: supplied