Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a mental health condition characterized by the ongoing presence of ruminations, obsessions and the inability suppress obsessive thoughts—leading directly to compulsive behaviors. Clinical research shows that a modality known as Exposure Response Prevention—or ERP—is best suited to overcome the behaviors and persistent thoughts that stem from OCD.
ERP is a form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) that specializes in the treatment of OCD through building gradual tolerance for stressors that present themselves. This clinical modality aims to expose clients to thoughts, images, objects, situations and experiences that may trigger anxiety, or begin the process of ruminating over obsessions, with the goal of building resiliency to these thoughts.
Over the course of treatment, clients establish their baseline threshold for distress tolerance and slowly work with their primary therapist to design interventions to increase their comfortability with their obsessive thoughts and ability to conquer their compulsive behaviors. Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) can vary in length based on client’s severity and level of need. It is effective at all levels of care offered by Resilience Treatment Center from Residential to Partial Hospitalization (PHP) and Intensive Outpatient (IOP).
At the time of admission to Resilience Treatment Center’s Obsessive Compulsive Disorder program, your primary therapist will work with you to develop individualized and tailored interventions to best address the obsessions and compulsions specific to your needs. These interventions never ask a client to engage in risky or dangerous behaviors and are fashioned in safe and supportive environments where clients can experience their stressors in a constructive and therapeutic manner.
To best illustrate Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) at work, an example helps explain how ERP can be constructively utilized for a client struggling with obsessions of contagion and germs. In such an instance, a client might work through a series of interventions with their primary therapist like dirtying one’s hands or eating finger foods without a utensil. These illustrations can be applied to a range of anxiety-inducing thoughts and behaviors and ultimately work to help clients mitigate their distress and build resilience to their ingrained fears.