COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a method of treatment in which the therapist works collaboratively with the client to help challenge thoughts and as a result change behavior in a way that will result in improved mental health. It is a present-focused, active treatment that is designed to teach the client skills and techniques that can be used during and after active treatment to maintain improved mental health and a higher level of overall functioning.
EXPOSURE AND RESPONSE PREVENTION THERAPY (ERP)
Exposure and Response Prevention is the gold standard treatment for OCD.
When a person experiences a high degree of anxiety and distress, they tend to escape from the situation and then avoid that situation again in the future. Exposure therapy encourages a person to choose not to avoid or escape from anxiety, but rather to intentionally allow the anxiety to stay with them, knowing that the anxiety is temporary and harmless. Over time a person will gradually experience decreased levels of anxiety. This drop in anxiety that naturally occurs when you expose yourself to your fear and choose not to avoid is a response called habituation.
Therefore, during exposure therapy a client and therapist create a hierarchy of feared situations, and then together decide how to begin and how to proceed up the hierarchy over time. The client is actively involved, and is always in control of the treatment process.