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Overview

Exposure and Response Therapy (ERP) is the treatment of choice for people with OCD. It is a form of CBT in which the person with OCD is asked to describe to list all their obsessions and compulsions. These are then arranged in an ascending list of how much each frightens the person. Starting with the easiest and least scary obsession in the list, the therapist would design an activity that exposes you to that obsessive fear. For instance, if you have a fear of germs, touching a doorknob could be the activity. After engaging in the activity, the therapist would stop you from immediately engaging in your compulsion, for example of washing your hands. The therapist would make you delay engaging in the compulsion more and more until eventually, the distress stops as your mind gets the idea that nothing bad will happen on not completing the compulsion.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), on the other hand, focuses on identifying and changing the meaning attached to the obsessive thoughts, which help reduce their distress and the accompanying need for compulsions.
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OCD Psychiatry: What is it and how can it help you?

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Living with OCD and Overcoming Them: Survivor Stories

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How effective is Psychotherapy for OCD?

Psychotherapy is considered more effective than medications for treating OCD symptoms in adults and children. In severe cases of OCD, medications are required, thus, medications and psychotherapy are the most effective treatment forms in those cases.

What are the benefits of Psychotherapy for OCD?

Psychotherapy helps the person with OCD understand how their thoughts drive their emotions and actions, identify and change the meaning attached to their obsessive thoughts that fuel their OCD symptoms, improve their distress tolerance thus reducing their OCD symptoms.

How many numbers of sessions are required?

The number of sessions required depends on the severity of OCD in the person and how responsive they are to psychotherapy sessions.