You can create an anxiety hierarchy to gain insight into which situations you consider to be anxiety-inducing, and how anxious you get thanks to them. After establishing a hierarchy, you can perform exercises to learn how to manage the different situations. You can start with the least fearful situations, but you can also mix them up. Recent research has shown that performing them in a scrambled order delivers the best results.


Example of an anxiety hierarchy

Below, you can find an example of a completed anxiety hierarchy:

10 – Seeing a picture of a bus

20 – Seeing a video of a stationary bus

30 – Seeing a video of a moving bus

40 – Seeing a bus shelter on the street

50 – Seeing a stationary bus on the street

60 – Seeing a moving bus on the street

70 – Walking next to a bus

80 – A moving bus passing me

90 – Boarding a bus

100 – Sitting on a moving bus

Source: Keijsers, G. P. J., Van Minnen, A., Verbraak, M., Hoogduin, C. A. L. & Emmelkamp, P., (2011). Protocollaire behandelingen

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