ERP Therapy Chicago
Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is the gold standard treatment of choice for Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder. ERP Therapy usually involves creating a hierarchy of feared situations based on an individuals’ OCD thoughts, practicing exposure to the feared triggers and consequences, and learning techniques to refrain from engaging in compulsive behaviors.
Exposure Therapy for OCD
Exposure work can be done either in the therapy office or outside of the therapy office in a “real-life” setting (when appropriate) to enhance effectiveness of the exposure work. Therapy will involve self-monitoring and support from your therapist both during session and in the form of phone coaching outside of sessions when you are practicing exposures on your own.
Cityscape Counseling is dedicated to working creatively with you to help you overcome your OCD behaviors so that you can participate fully in your life again.
What is EXPOSURE?
- Exposure is a procedure in which you purposely confront objects or situations that trigger distress
- You stay in those situations long enough for your anxiety to decrease by itself
- You may believe that your discomfort will last forever unless you avoid or escape such situations
- You may feel as if you couldn’t handle such a situation
- As you will find out, this is not true.
- – At first, you can expect to feel anxiety or discomfort.
- – After exposure practice, these situations will no longer make you feel as uncomfortable as they once did (you “get used to it”)
- This process is called habituation
ERP for OCD
ERP is a type of cognitive behavioral psychotherapy that is designed to break two types of associations that occur in OCD: The association between sensations of distress and the objects, situations, or thoughts that produce this distress (“obsession = anxiety up”) and the association between carrying out ritualistic behavior and decreasing the distress (“compulsion = anxiety down”)
ERP breaks the automatic bond between feelings of anxiety and ritual behaviors so that you can be freed of this vicious cycle and move on with your life.