Exposure & Response Prevention for Anxiety & OCD
While general counseling can help with anxiety by working on self-compassion and self-worth, more severe and specific anxiety or phobias can benefit from exposure & response prevention.
About Exposure & Response Prevention for Anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Exposure and response prevention (ERP) is a systematic therapy program that gradually exposes you to your anxiety triggers so that you can habituate to them and develop coping skills. You’ll also develop confidence in confronting and managing anxiety. ERP also starts with a focus on developing self-compassion and coping skills.
ERP sessions are offered
- In office
- Virtually / online / by telehealth
ERP sessions are not typically offered outside unless a structured program is already in place, because the outdoors is not conducive to sitting down and constructing a program. The outdoors or nature techniques may be used as part of coping skills and necessitate time outside.
ERP sessions are typically once a week to start, and we will scale back to every other week and then monthly as we make progress.
Foundations of Exposure & Response Prevention
Self-Compassion & Self-Care
Being able to self-soothe and support yourself through hard moments is important when you’re about to willingly face something scary. This is where we start – developing self-soothing and coping skills for the work ahead.
Slow & Steady
ERP is a gradual program that exposes a client to stressors in a planned, systematic way that is not too overwhelming. A hierarchy of stressors is mapped out and working through anxiety is not rushed.
Science & Research
ERP is an evidence-based treatment that has been shown to reduce OCD symptoms as well as maintain treatment results over time.
Skill Development for the Future
ERP not only decreases symptoms, it also helps clients develop skills in managing their anxiety. As a result, therapy outcomes are sustained and maintained in the future and clients have the autonomy to care for themselves.
Example ERP Goals
- Increase self-soothing and mindfulness skills in order to tolerate anxiety.
- Learn about and understanding the behavior of anxiety and the principles behind ERP – why we do what we do.
- Implement exposure and response prevention exercises in sessions and at home.
- Decrease symptoms of anxiety and/or OCD by using above skills.
- Increase skills in identifying + implementing strategies for decision making, managing anxiety, separation of anxiety from self, managing stress.
- Reduce session frequency while maintaining progress independently.
Interested in working together?
We’d love to chat – please fill out our online form to share more details with us and schedule a consultation. After you’ve filled out the form, we’ll contact you to schedule.