In PSYCHOLOGY REVIEW Vol. 16, No. 3 I looked at definitions of OCD and the common obsessions and compulsions experienced by OCD sufferers. Now, let’s think about the various treatments used in the recent past and today.
The earliest application of psychological models to obsessional problems led to the development of effective behavioural treatments — in particular, exposure and response prevention (ERP). ERP involves exposing the patient to their intrusive thoughts/images while getting them to refrain from their usual rituals. The approach is based on research findings that the discomfort and urge to ritualise decays when the patient does not complete the ritual and that this discomfort becomes less with continued practice at refraining from the ritual.
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