Assessing therapist reservations about exposure therapy for anxiety disorders: The Therapist Beliefs about Exposure Scale
Exposure therapy is underutilized in the treatment of pathological anxiety and is often delivered in a suboptimal manner. Negative beliefs about exposure appear common among therapists and may pose a barrier to its dissemination. To permit reliable and valid assessment of such beliefs, we constructed the 21-item Therapist Beliefs about Exposure Scale (TBES) and examined its reliability and validity in three samples of practicing clinicians. The TBES demonstrated a clear single-factor structure, excellent internal consistency (αs. = .90-.96), and exceptionally high six-month test-retest reliability (r= .89). Negative beliefs about exposure therapy were associated with therapist demographic characteristics, negative reactions to a series of exposure therapy case vignettes, and the cautious delivery of exposure therapy in the treatment of a hypothetical client with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Lastly, TBES scores decreased markedly following a didactic workshop on exposure therapy. The present findings support the reliability and validity of the TBES.