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Exposure with Response Prevention (ERP)

What is exposure therapy and how can it help me overcome my worries?

Exposure with Response Prevention is an empirically-validated treatment for Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Trauma.  The Exposure piece of ERP involves exposing someone to situations that typically cause him or her anxiety.  The Response Prevention piece involves refraining from avoidance or giving into compulsions.  Many people fall into the habit of engaging in avoidance or compulsive behavior because it seems to reduce their anxiety in the moment.  However, it increases their anxiety in the long-term.  For example, if an individual feels anxious about going to school or work and stays home as a result (avoidance), his anxiety may be reduced in that moment but will often be worse the next day when it’s time to go back to school or work.  This may easily lead to chronic absences if Response Prevention is not engaged. 

ERP can be a very effective treatment because it can help you prove to your brain that your feared situation is not as scary as anxiety makes it seem.  When using ERP, our counselors will be right by your side to help you utilize the healthy coping skills you’ve learned in session to face your anxieties head-on.  We’re here to climb that mountain with you!  Climb on.