Exposure Hierarchy Worksheet

GinaMarie Guarino, LMHC GinaMarie Guarino, LMHC

Worksheet published on September 12th, 2019

Exposure Hierarchy Worksheet

Phobias are a challenging struggle for clients to experience. Working with clients who are trying to overcome irrational or debilitating fears takes a great deal of time and patience. A person who is facing a phobia or fear will work hard to develop the courage to face it head on, and often need guidance and support from their therapist.

A great way to help a client feel supported in facing their fears is creating a plan of action with them. It can be helpful to break down and get an in-depth understanding of their fear and how it affects them. Creating a hierarchy of fears can be helpful in developing a plan for therapy.

About This Worksheet

This is the Exposure Hierarchy worksheet. This worksheet is intended to be used with clients who are suffering from fears and specific phobias. It uses features of exposure therapy to break down feared situations in preparation for facing the client’s triggers.

This worksheet is a great exercise for adolescents and adults. It is intended to be used in conjunction with exposure therapy. It is ideal for individual therapy sessions.


In preparation for working with a client to overcome their phobia, complete the worksheet in an individual session. Brainstorm the potential triggers for a feared response with the client, and place each trigger in its corresponding area of the pyramid.

When you have completed this exercise, use the worksheet as a blueprint for tackling each trigger to help the feared response feel less intense. Move up the pyramid with the client as they face and overcome each trigger.

Download Exposure Hierarchy Worksheet

Link To This Worksheet

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