Exposure and Response Prevention (EXRP or ERP) is the gold standard evidence-based treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). This form of treatment aims to reduce OCD symptoms and to provide long-term management.
EXRP aims to change the habitual response to unpleasant feelings. The ultimate goal is to learn to tolerate the uncertainty that comes along with everyday life. In turn, clients experience thoughts and feelings without the need to ritualize. This occurs through “exposure” exercises. The client is exposed to the fear and unpleasant feelings of anxiety, without doing the compulsion, thus breaking the obsession/compulsion cycle.
The first few sessions assess, explore, and identify the client’s unique obsessions and compulsions. A fear hierarchy is created in session and exposures are planned beginning at the bottom of the hierarchy. Exposure with Response Prevention are first practiced in the session, together with the counselor. These are then set for homework each day. Some exposures are done in real life and some are imaginary. Sessions are 20 minutes or 90 minutes and will be discussed with the counselor. EXRP treatment ranges from 12-20 weekly sessions, but varies each client.
EXRP is the treatment for OCD clients. To learn more about OCD, you can read more here. Some clients enter their first session with a diagnosis of OCD already from another provider. However, many clients arrive with no formal diagnosis and rather a hunch that they have OCD or experience obsessions and compulsions. EXRP will always begin with assessments to first ensure that this is the best course of treatment for you.
We understand that it can be difficult to confront your fears. Alongside an OCD therapist, clients will gain the skills and confidence to face the fears and engage in treatment. If you have questions about this treatment or would like to book a session, send us an email or give us a call.