Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for OCD is called Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). Therapy begins by learning fundamental skills about how to manage the anxiety associated with OCD. Following this initial education, session time is spent practicing the skill of defying OCD rituals and tolerating OCD-related anxiety, first in ways that are easy, then in ways that are progressively more challenging. The process of tolerating OCD-related anxiety is called "exposure." During exposures, anxiety will slowly come down on its own, without having to perform an OCD ritual. When individuals become good at exposures in therapy, they can begin to practice between sessions. With repeated practice, targeted areas of OCD anxiety tend to decrease. At the end of a successful treatment, an individual should feel confident to manage OCD on their own. CBT for OCD works well for adults, teens and children and can be used in combination or as an alternative to medication.