Values-Based Exposure Therapy
Many individuals who seek treatment at BCSC present with multiple comorbid anxiety disorders, depression, and other forms of emotional and behavioral dysregulation. These individuals have heightened emotional sensitivity and rigid core beliefs (or, “rules”), which cause them to experience intense, frequent symptoms.
Based on this presentation, these individuals are typically a good fit for Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), as DBT is extremely effective in reducing impulsive and treatment-interfering behavior. However, DBT alone may not be able to effectively treat the comorbid symptomatology. Advanced stages of DBT focus on reducing quality of life-interfering behaviors, thereby helping the individual “create a life worth living”. Values-Based Exposure Therapy aims meet this exactly need.
Values-Based Exposure is a transdiagnostic approach that draws upon principles of DBT, CBT, and ACT to address the unique needs of these individuals. While simultaneously introducing emotion-based psychoeducation, mindfulness, validation strategies, and distress tolerance to manage high anxiety, it uses an individual’s self-identified values to guide exposure and behavior activation tasks.
This approach incentivizes the individual to actually engage with the task despite their anxiety, as the identified activity will be naturally rewarding. Values-Based Exposure allows the individual to accept their experiences of distress while still approaching meaningful activities and relationships.