Q & A
What is Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP)?
ERP is a gradual process in which OCD sufferers approach anxiety provoking scenarios (exposures) without using compulsions or engaging in safety behaviors (response prevention). We know avoidance does not stop OCD, but, rather feeds it and ERP is the antidote. Your relationship with uncertainty and anxiety and the process by which you relate to your thoughts and fears is profoundly changed.
Why Exposure and Response Prevention?
Supported by hundreds of research studies, ERP yields meaningful changes in a person's functioning. Simply put, it works! Life satisfaction, flexibility, mindfulness, self-worth and self-compassion, and sense of self/identity thrive (to name just a few).
Is online therapy as effective as face-to-face?
Web- based therapy removes barriers to treatment (specialty care in your area, travel time/distance, and inconvenience). You open an app and your session starts from the ease of your computer or smartphone. For OCD, many argue that telehealth improves treatment; You are in your natural environment where your OCD lives and targeting it can be done more efficiently in real time with the guidance/support of your therapist.
How long does treatment last?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) for OCD is a time limited therapy. Clients actively participating in ERP in-between therapy sessions typically work with their therapist for 6-8 months. It can be less or more depending on the individual's needs, other co-occurring disorders (i.e. depression) , and chronicity.
Wow, you really love ERP. What other modalities do you use?
CBT with ERP is at the center of how I approach each case but Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), and cognitive therapy are embedded in my practice and do some heavy lifting too.