Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is a unique type of CBT developed to treat individuals with OCD. While OCD is an anxiety disorder, it has unique characteristics that must be addressed in treatment.
ERP begins by helping an individual understand what OCD is and why they feel the urge to do many of the things they do. They learn to identify the difference between what they are afraid of (obsessions) and what they do to alleviate the fear (compulsions).
Then, the individual learns to confront their fears (exposure) without engaging in the compulsive safety behaviors (response prevention). Exposures begin in sessions with a therapist and is then practiced outside of sessions.
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