Exposure therapy is an evidenced-based, and highly effective, treatment for anxiety. Often, when people experience anxiety, they engage in avoidance of the object/activity/situation or engage in rituals or safety behaviors to make them feel less anxious. Although avoidance and these strategies help people avoid discomfort in the short term, in the long term they tend to increase anxiety and create a pattern of avoidance. Exposure therapy is used to slowly shift the patterned avoidance, assisting people in confronting that which makes them anxious, with the support of an empathic, experienced therapist. Exposure therapy has been proven through research to be an effective treatment in addressing phobias, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress (PTSD), and generalized anxiety.