To top

Exposure therapy

Exposure therapy is a gradual way to help a child or young person overcome a fear or anxiety which is having an impact on their life. Exposure therapy is generally used to tackle phobias or anxiety. At HSR, we can provide exposure therapy to children and young people.

A variation of exposure therapy is exposure and response prevention (ERP), which is particularly useful for conditions like obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) .

Who is suitable for exposure therapy?

At HSR Psychology, children and young people from the age of 5 upto 25 may be suitable for exposure therapy. 

At HSR Psychology, exposure therapy may be a good option for children and young people that: 

To find out how exposure therapy could benefit you, please contact us.

What are the benefits of exposure therapy?

Exposure therapywith HSR Psychologybrings numerous benefits for the individual, including being able to:

Following exposure therapywe will be able to give you some recommendations for supporting the person, which will make them feel happy and ready about facing life’s challenges.

What happens prior to exposure therapy?

Exposure therapy can be carried out once we have had an initial discussion. You can find out more about our process below.

Our process

At HSR Psychology we ensure that we meet the needs of children and young people. To achieve this we ensure that any specific assessments, intervention, or direct work, is only carried out following an initial discussion.

An initial discussion allows us to understand the background and your expectations of our involvement. Having an initial discussion ensures any services we provide appropriately identify or address needs.

Our process for any specific assessments, intervention, or direct work is as follows:

Step 1: Contact us

We will usually be contacted by the child or young person, parent or carer, or another professional (eg education or health).

You can contact us or complete a referral

Step 2: Arrange an initial discussion

An initial discussion allows us to understand the background and your expectations of our involvement. Arrange an initial discussion

Step 3: Review our recommendations

Following an initial discussion we will send you an email that includes:

  • Next steps recommendations - to provide a bespoke package of support. For example:
    • Assessments
    • Reports
    • Information gathering
    • Meeting
    • Interventions
    • Consultancy
    • Reviews
  • Costing - we will provide costings for any services recommended.

Step 4: Let's get started

On receipt of the next steps recommendations and costing you can decide how to proceed. Once you have decided contact us to arrange the chosen services.

What happens during exposure therapy?

During exposure therapy, the young person will usually learn about fear and anxiety: what it is and why it occurs. They will often work with one of our specialists to identify what triggers their fear or anxiety. Then, the individual will be taught relaxation techniques for coping with anxiety. Following this, they might create a ‘hierarchy of fear’ which will outline small steps to overcoming their fear or anxiety. The individual work through the hierarchy or ladder with the psychologist at their own pace, whilst using their relaxation techniques to cope with increased levels of anxiety. Gradually, the individual will become accustomed to each step and will be able to move up their ladder until they have overcome their fear or anxiety.

What happens after exposure therapy?

Following exposure therapy we will often be able to identify the child or young person’s triggers and effective strategies to reduce fear or anxiety when confronted with their trigger. After exposure therapy we may recommend multiple follow up sessions if the child or young person’s fears begin to impact their life again. Feedback from exposure therapy can either be given face to face or in a written report if needed. You will be supported during the process of an intervention. 

Does exposure therapy come with a report?

Exposure therapy can be provided for various reasons, therefore we can provide a report following the intervention. We always recommend that you get a report following an intervention. The report will detail what took place during therapy, the impact of the therapy and recommendations for the individuals future. If a written report is not needed, then our specialist can provide verbal feedback. Otherwise, a report can be produced which can be used in many circumstances. Read more about the reports we provide.

HSR values: Child-centred

How exposure therapy helped Amy

We helped Amy, a teenager suffering from anxiety around her journey to school, by providing exposure therapy. Find out how we helped.

The parents of a 14 year old girl, Amy, came to HSR Psychology as their daughter was having difficulties due to anxiety around her journey to school. Amy’s difficulties included problems with eating and sleeping. These difficulties were having a negative impact on her attendance and therefore her learning and wellbeing. Amy’s parents wanted her to be able to continue in education and be happy at school.

We provided 10 sessions of exposure therapy to Amy and also worked with home and school. Together, the psychologist and Amy sat down and mapped out her level of anxiety during each step of her journey to school. The psychologist then slowly exposed Amy to each step of her journey, this was through talking about it, and eventually experiencing it in the real world. Whilst each step of exposure took place, Amy was encouraged to use her relaxation techniques to overcome her anxiety. Once anxiety had reduced significantly for the current step, they were able to move onto the next step until anxiety related to each step had been diminished. Training was also provided for school staff on anxiety and effective relaxation techniques for supporting students. 

Our involvement led to Amy being able to make her trip to school with minimal anxiety. Our intervention resulted in an improvement in Amy’s eating patterns, sleeping patterns and overall wellbeing. This led to Amy being able to attend school and continue her journey in education. Also, due to an increased awareness of anxiety among school staff, the staff were able to address other cases of anxiety effectively.

Arrange an initial discussion

Arrange an initial discussion to find out how we can benefit your education setting. The initial discussion lasts 2 hours and is a starting point to identify needs. The cost is £180.

  • No waiting lists
  • Experienced psychologists
  • Includes recommendation summary

Find out more



Next steps...

Ready to get started? The next step is to speak to our team to find out more about the services we provide and how we can help. Call us on 0161 820 9229 or email

Get in touch

We're registered...