the exposure in erp refers to exposing yourself to the thoughts, images, objects and situations that make you anxious and/or start your obsessions. while the response prevention part of erp, refers to making a choice not to do a compulsive behavior once the anxiety or obsessions have been “triggered.” all of this is done under the guidance of a therapist at the beginning — though you will eventually learn to do your own erp exercises to help manage your symptoms. with erp, the difference is that when you make the choice to confront your anxiety and obsessions you must also make a commitment to not give in and engage in the compulsive behavior. the alarm is there to get your attention. if an intruder is trying to break into your house, the alarm goes off, wakes you up, gets you to act. ocd takes over your body’s alarm system, a system that should be there to protect you.
when your anxiety “goes off” like an alarm system, it communicates information that you are in danger, rather than “pay attention, you might be in danger.” unfortunately, with ocd, your brain tells you that you are in danger a lot, even in situations where you “know” that there is a very small likelihood that something bad might happen. now consider that your compulsive behaviors are your attempts to keep yourself safe when that alarm goes off. the bottom line is that in order to reduce your anxiety and your obsessions, you have to make a decision to stop the compulsive behaviors. it is important to know that exposure and response prevention changes your ocd and changes your brain. you begin to challenge and bring your alarm system (your anxiety) more in line with what is actually happening to you. while talk therapy may be of benefit at some point in a ocd patient’s recovery, it is important to try erp or medication first, as these are the types of treatment that have been shown through extensive research to be the most effective for treating ocd.
and how can you find a provider who is trained to provide erp? for someone who is afraid of catching germs from a doorknob, for example, the way to overcome this fear using erp would be for them to touch the doorknob. it is important to know that these obsessions can lead to extreme, compulsive behaviors that will disrupt the person’s overall quality of life. when it comes to the treatment of mental health disorders, it is important to pursue care as quickly as possible. while this is a mild issue compared to ocd, it forms the foundation of the research behind exposure and response prevention therapy.
once this layer of treatment has been completed, the next step is for the patient to envision the feared outcomes on their own in the presence of a therapist. at this point, the patient is responsible for trying to avoid completing their compulsive type of ritualistic behavior. under the guidance of mental health professionals, patients who undergo erp therapy gain the tools they need to target and address ocd symptoms. the goal of erp is to gradually expose patients to their obsessions in a safe and controlled environment. mclean is a leader in erp therapy to treat obsessive compulsive disorder.
the exposure in erp refers to exposing yourself to the thoughts, images, objects and situations that make you anxious and/or start your obsessions. while the exposure-based therapy works for ocd by exposing the individual to the feared stimulus, either by imagining it or through real-world exposure, exposure and response prevention (erp) therapy is one of the most effective forms of treatment for ocd. under the guidance of mental health, .
although ocd was once thought to be untreatable, the last few decades have seen great success in reducing symptoms with exposure and response prevention (erp), exposure and response prevention, commonly referred to as erp , is a therapy that encourages you to face your fears and let obsessive you might’ve noticed that exposure and response prevention, or erp, is the most commonly recommended form of therapy for, .
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