ERP Therapy for OCD


  • Concerns about Germs and Contamination

  • Concerns about being Responsible for Harm, Injury, or Bad Luck

  • Unacceptable Thoughts

  • Concerns about Symmetry, Completeness, and the Need for Things to be "Just Right"

Exposure and Response Prevention

ERP therapy for OCD is an evidence based psychotherapy that helps reduce anxiety by exposing oneself to obsessions while preventing compulsions.

OBSESSIONS are unwanted and distressing images, thoughts, or urges that repeatedly enter your mind. Sometimes they are disgusting to you, you may recognize them as senseless, and they may not fit your values.

Obsessions differ from worries in that worries are about possible negative things related to life problems that you are afraid might happen. For example, you may worry about failing an exam, about finances, health, or personal relationships. In contrast to obsessions, your worries don’t usually seem totally senseless, disgusting, or inconsistent with your values.

COMPULSIONS, are behaviors or acts that you feel you have to perform although you may recognize them as senseless or excessive. Usually compulsions are performed in response to an obsession to help you feel better. At times, you may try to resist doing them but this may prove difficult. You may experience discomfort that does not diminish until the behavior is completed. Examples of a compulsions are the need to repeatedly check appliances, and the lock on the front door before you can leave the house and repeated hand-washing. While most compulsions are observable behaviors, some are unobservable mental acts, such as silent checking or having to recite nonsense phrases to yourself each time you have a bad thought. Compulsions, as we define them here, are not to be confused with other kinds of compulsive behavior such as overeating, gambling, drinking alcohol, over-shopping, or other “addictive behaviors.”