Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is a behavioral treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and related disorders.
ERP includes an educational component where you learn how OCD functions and how compulsions (including avoidance) strengthens OCD. Intrusive thoughts act as false alarms going off in the brain. Knowledgeable in how OCD operates, you are ready to learn how to skillfully outmaneuver it.
During ERP sessions, the therapist guides and supports you in doing exposures. An exposure is when you deliberately trigger your OCD without doing compulsions. This process allows valuable new learning to take place in the brain. The false alarms lose their urgency as you become an expert in responding to them.
With ERP, your relationship with your thoughts profoundly changes. ERP allows flexibility and ease to return to your life.