After you have completed your exposures, the next step is to fill in the Reflection column with your experience. This is the feedback to yourself about how your exposure went. Say, you step out believing that it would not rain. But it does rain and you get drenched. When you return, you reflect on the event and provide yourself the feedback that next time you would carry an umbrella. This would probably help you not get drenched the next time. Similarly, your reflection after exposures will help you manage them better the next time you do them.
You could reflect on the following questions. Was the exposure simple or difficult to handle? Was it too simple to help or overwhelmingly difficult? What worked and what didn’t? Did you recognize your compulsive urges during the exposures? Were you mindful enough to not do the compulsions? What were the replicable insights you could glean out of the experience? How do you feel after the exposure? You may realize that you anticipated five compulsions, experienced six urges, could manage three and could not manage the other three. Thus, you prepare your brain to do better the next time so that you can manage all six.
Using this Planning-Exposure-Reflection cycle will help you face your exposures better as shown in figure 5.7.1.
Figure 5.7.1: The Planning-Exposure-Reflection Cycle
In the next chapter, we shall look at the undesirable but understandable concept of compulsions during exposures.