Anxiety and other neurodivergences can cause us to be hypersensitive to bodily signals or cause our body to be over-reactive to stimulating forces. Interoceptive exposure therapy is a very common method for treating anxieties that involve our bodily signals. If you are researching interoceptive exposure, I want to advise against using this therapeutic approach as a strong believer in the importance of interoception for wellness and health. I believe that the adverse aspects of interoceptive exposure are often ignored.
I am Kelly Mahler, an occupational therapist, and I want to offer you an alternative option for approaching these uncomfortable feelings that you are trying to manage with interoceptive exposure. I believe that the answer to interoceptive sensitivity and anxieties is not to force yourself to experience these signals in a way that could harm you. Rather, I believe that a slower, more methodical approach to our body signals will promote a healthier relationship with our bodies, better self-recognition, and long-lasting self-regulation strategies.