Exposure Response Prevention for OCD Treatment

   Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) affects millions of people worldwide, causing significant distress and impairing daily functioning. Fortunately, Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) has proven to be a therapeutic approach that has been highly effective in helping those with OCD. ERP is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) that targets the main symptoms of OCD. The point of ERP is to expose individuals to their obsessions and compulsions that give them anxiety while preventing the compulsions that accompany it. Individuals gradually learn that their anxieties are groundless, which reduces OCD symptoms over time.

    A  study conducted by Abramowitz, Taylor, and McKay (2009) titled "Obsessive-compulsive Disorder" emphasizes the efficacy of ERP in treating OCD. The researchers conducted a meta-analysis, examining 53 studies involving a total of 1,542 participants. The results supported the effectiveness of ERP, demonstrating significant symptom reduction in participants who received ERP compared to control groups. The researchers highlighted that ERP was superior to other treatments, such as medication or relaxation techniques in achieving long-term remission. With ERP, individuals learn to challenge their fears and resist compulsions, leading to a sense of control and self-efficiency, which helps overcome OCD.


Abramowitz, J. S., Taylor, S., & McKay, D. (2009). Obsessive-compulsive disorder. The Lancet, 374(9688), 491-499. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(09)60240-3