Exposure therapy for children

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Exposure therapy for children

Exposure therapy is a strategy of introducing an anxiety-provoking stimulus to a person who's dealing with, say an obsessive-compulsive disorder. The idea is that you expose yourself to the anxiety-provoking stimuli but in smaller doses. So if you have a reoccurring obsessive anxiety about something the ideas is in an exposure response therapy you experience the anxiety and tolerate it, you don't simply do what sooths you, whether it's a compulsive behavior, for instance. In a case of a phobia, if you're really afraid of something, the exposure would be to expose you to the thing you're afraid of but in measured ways and doses. And you come to learn over time that you can tolerate the anxiety that comes with it, that you don't have to be phobic of something or doing compulsive behaviors to reassure yourself. And that's kind of the underlying theory of this piece of anxiety treatment.

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Kenneth Duckworth, MD

Psychiatrist, Harvard Professor & Medical Director for NAMI

Ken Duckworth, MD, serves as the medical director for NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. He is triple board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Adult, Child and Adolescent, and Forensic Psychiatry and has extensive experience in the public health arena.

Dr. Duckworth is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor at Harvard University Medical School, and has served as a board member of the American Association of Community Psychiatrists. Dr. Duckworth has held clinical and leadership positions in community mental health, school psychiatry and now also works as Associate Medical Director for Behavioral Health at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts.

Prior to joining NAMI in 2003, Dr. Duckworth served as Acting Commissioner of Mental Health and the Medical Director for Department of Mental Health of Massachusetts, as a psychiatrist on a Program of Assertive Community Treatment (PACT) team, and Medical Director of the Massachusetts Mental Health Center.

Dr. Duckworth attended the University of Michigan where he graduated with honors and Temple University School of Medicine where he was named to the medical honor society, AOA. While at Temple, he won awards for his work in psychiatry and neurology. He also has a family member living with mental illness.

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