Skip to main content

FACE: Fear & Avoidance

FACE fear and avoidance - Use effective CBT strategies to overcome anxiety and avoidance. FEAR: Find your goal, Action, Coping Strategies, Evaluate.


FACE Avoidance Worksheet   PDF

Face Problem Solving Worksheet   PDF


Overcoming Avoidance Webpage

We try to avoid the situations, people, places and/or even thoughts, which are likely to distress us. This avoidance helps prevent us becoming distressed in the short-term, but it is one of the main factors which keeps the problem going over a long time. Avoidance also interferes greatly with our everyday lives - life becomes much more restricted, which makes us feel even worse.

To overcome our problem, we need to overcome the avoidance.  We can learn to FACE the fear.

  • Find & identify goal
  • Action to take
  • Coping strategies
  • Evaluate

 & identify what you would like to be able to FACE, rather than avoid.  Start with one situation that is not too distressing.  You can gradually move on to more distressing situations later.

You might find it help to use a Hierarchy Of Feared Situations worksheet.

For example:  shop at a supermarket

Action:  Decide on the steps you need to take.  Break it down into manageable chunks, like steps on a ladder.  Take one step at a time, starting at the bottom.

For example:

  • (You might also go with a friend initially)
  • imagine a successful scenario (completing shopping without anxiety)
  • park car at supermarket but not go in
  • walk to entrance, then leave
  • walk into first section of supermarket, and stay for 5 minutes
  • etc.

:  Write down all your coping strategies and use those that are going to be most useful for that situation.

Some skills will be better when planning / before the situation.  Others more useful during the situation.

For example:

:  Review how things went. 

  • What went well? 
  • What didn't go so well? 
  • What could you do differently next time?

Decide whether you need to repeat this step, or move up to the next step. 

FACE Avoidance Worksheet PDF

Face Problem Solving Worksheet PDF

Overcoming Avoidance Webpage

Avoidance Worksheet PDF

Hierarchy Of Feared Situations PDF

Exposure Homework Sheet PDF

ERP Form PDF  Exposure & Response Prevention (e.g. for OCD)


FACE Fear And Avoidance - VIDEO

This website uses cookies to enhance your browsing experience. Privacy statement.

Back to top