Exposure with Response Prevention (ERP)

Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is a specialized form of CBT developed for the treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Research has consistently shown ERP to be the most effective form of psychotherapy for OCD and is at least as effective as medication treatment alone. Unlike medication benefits that end when one stops taking the medication, the benefits of ERP can last beyond the end of treatment. This is because what the individual learns about managing current OCD symptoms can then be adapted or reapplied if OCD symptoms arise in the future.

ERP consists of learning to face the thoughts that cause fear and distress in gradual, repeated practices without engaging in the rituals once used to manage those feelings. With frequent, repeated exposure, the individual learns that they can tolerate the distress, and, in many cases, experience a reduction in the distress that once caused so much disruption in their daily lives.

Sometimes ERP sounds daunting or overwhelming at first. However, at MCOA our goal is to work with clients to set up ERP in a manageable way. This process is active, collaborative, and evolves as treatment progresses.