How Exposure Therapy is Effective in the Treatment of OCD

If you have a fear of contamination or feel discomfort at seeing things in disorder, these might be the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Now you don’t need to freak out if you have OCD because you are not alone. Reports suggest that about 2.3% of the population suffers from OCD.

Is there a treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

If you are struggling to cope with OCD, you can try Exposure Therapy to manage your symptoms. It is an extremely powerful and effective treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

You would have to have a lot of patienceif you choose to go for this therapy as it takes time to show results. However, in the long term, you will see that you have overcome your fear and anxiety.

What is Exposure Therapy?

Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) Therapy is a type of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) that exposes the person with OCD to things or actions that theyare afraid of or cause obsessive thoughts. This strategy teaches people suffering from OCD to manage their distress and have control over their thoughts.

Initially, it might be anxiety-provoking and very hard to face unwanted things or scenarios. However, the anxiety and fear will eventually subside. It is considered one of the most effective treatments for OCD.

Dr.SurajiWagage, a licensed clinical psychologist in Los Angeles, California, says that ERP therapy helps people with OCD to learn that “the situations that feel unsafe aren’t actually unsafe” and they will “never do an exposure that is actually unsafe.”

Let us understand ERP therapy with an example. Suppose there is a person with OCD who feels irritated to see things in a disorder. They might be asked to sit in a room where things are not arranged properly and refrain from arranging things in order. The need for perfection would naturally make them feel uncomfortable. But, the challenge is to tolerate their distress. They would eventually benefit from this therapy.

Is Exposure Therapy effective in OCD treatment?

Some studies suggest that the efficacy of ERP therapy in the treatment forObsessive Compulsive Disorderis at par with the efficacy of antidepressant medication. 50% to 60% of people with OCD, who have undergone ERPtherapy, have shown an improvement. This shows that ERP therapy can do wonders if you can complete all the therapy sessions with patience and perseverance.

If you undergo ERP therapy, an experienced therapist or counselor will guide you throughout the process. You will be exposed to the object of your fear through real-world exposure or through creating an imaginary situation. This might cause extreme levels of anxiety but the challenge will be to change the usual response to the stimulus. Once you learn to cope with the feeling of discomfort or distress, you will be able to overcome OCD.

How can Exposure Therapy help you treat OCD?

The goal of Exposure Therapy is to make you face your fears and change the way you respond to your fear. It is extremely challenging to unlearn the danger associated with the things that are feared. But, this therapy can be highly effective in the treatment for Obsessive CompulsiveDisorder.

Here, we will talk about two techniques that help people in OCD treatment.

Habituation – Exposure-based treatment makes people with OCD become habituated to the things feared and helps them to feel no distress after a certain point of time. For example, if you are scared of heights and you are made to look down from a high-rise building, your anxiety level would increase. However, if you keep looking down from a great height, eventually your anxiety would decrease and you will not be scared of heights anymore.

Preventing Avoidance – If you keep avoiding things that you fear, you will never be able to overcome your fear. So, you need to be exposed to things that you are scared of. For example, if you are scared of darkness, instead of avoiding darkness, try staying alone in a dark room for a while. Eventually, your anxiety level will drop.

Find the right therapist for you!

If you are tired of searching for ‘OCD treatment near me’ on the internet,Forward Thinking Psychological Services is your one-stop solution. Here, we are committed to offering the best treatment. Our professional therapists will help you learn effective ways to tolerate fear, anxiety, and distress.

If you are interested in our ERP therapy treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, get started with a consultation today!

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