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Khazan: So what are some of the situations that you might send someone into? Like, “go give a speech?”
Hofmann: Initially, we use speaking in front of the rest of the group. In the seventh or eighth session, we go on to do more individualized exposure treatments, constructing something that we would call a “social mishap” exercise. We expose them to their worst-case scenario. For example, if someone is not engaging in any dating behaviors because they are concerned about being rejected, we would ask them to go to a restaurant and ask every woman at the table for her number. And obviously, he would get rejected a lot, and that’s the purpose of it.