Imaginal exposure is one part of an approach to treatment called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT therapy focuses on the idea that most psychological problems can be traced back to early learning experiences and those experiences affect how we interpret and react to things that happen to us later in life.
CBT is an empirically supported treatment - meaning it has been extensively researched and scientifically proven - for borderline personality disorder.
BPD can be related to traumatic experiences.
Whether it was an experience from when you were a toddler that you have forgotten or something horrific that happened while a teenager, these incidents may be responsible for some or all aspects of your BPD
In the CBT model, part of the reason that traumatic experiences from the past continue to trouble us today is that we learn to avoid thinking about them. This is natural since past events can cause very painful emotions and we try not to live in the past. But because we try to push away thoughts about the occurrences and avoid anything that reminds us of those experiences, we actually prevent ourselves from learning that the memories won’t harm us and that we are safe. Imaginal exposure aims to bring these experiences to the surface so that you can reframe how you think about and react to those memories. By shifting those reactions, your reactions and behaviors in other situations may also be improved.