Interoceptive exposure is a cognitive behavioral therapy technique used in the treatment of panic disorder. It refers to carrying out exercises that bring about the physical sensations of a panic attack, such as hyperventilation and high muscle tension, and in the process remove the patient's conditioned response that the physical sensations will cause an attack to happen. By removing the fear of a panic attack happening whenever the person is exposed to a stimulus that has become a precursor to the attack, interoceptive exposure lessens the occurrences of attacks in patients who have received treatment. In short, interoceptive exposure seeks to remove the "fear of fear", where the attacks happen because of the fear of actually having an attack. Interoceptive exposure can be contrasted with in vivo exposure, which exposes the person directly to a feared situation. Interoceptive exposure can be used as a means to induce depersonalization and derealization.
- Lee K, Noda Y, Nakano Y, et al. (2006). "Interoceptive hypersensitivity and interoceptive exposure in patients with panic disorder: specificity and effectiveness". BMC Psychiatry 6: 32. doi:10.1186/1471-244X-6-32. PMC 1559685. PMID 16911803.
- Lickel J, Nelson E, Lickel A H, Deacon Brett (2008). "Interoceptive Exposure Exercises for Evoking Depersonalization and Derealization: A Pilot Study". Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy: An International Quarterly 22: 4.
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