Current neurophysiological and psychological accounts view exposure therapy as the clinical analog of extinction learning that results in persistent modifications of the fear memory involved in the pathogenesis, symptomatology, and maintenance of anxiety disorders. Evidence from studies in animals and humans indicate that glucocorticoids have the potential to facilitate the processes that underlie extinction learning during exposure therapy. Particularly, glucocorticoids can restrict retrieval of previous aversive learning episodes and enhance consolidation of memory traces relating to non-fearful responding in feared situations. Thus, glucocorticoid treatment especially in combination with exposure therapy might be a promising approach to optimize treatment of anxiety disorders. This review examines the processes involved in aversive conditioning, fear learning and fear extinction, and how glucocorticoids might enhance restructuring of fear memories during therapy.