Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) Therapy in Toronto
Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is one of the most effective and frequently used cognitive-behavioural therapy methods in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It is a combination of exposure therapy and response prevention.
What is exposure and response prevention technique?
The exposure component of ERP refers to the confrontation of fear-provoking or anxiety-inducing thoughts, emotions, images, events, or situations. The response component refers to the shift away from compulsive behaviour after being triggered.
ERP is done alongside the support and guidance of a trained therapist in a gradual manner. You begin confronting things that only cause mild, tolerable anxiety and slowly begin climbing towards more difficult images.
How successful is ERP for OCD?
ERP is popular for good reason. Research has shown a marked reduction of OCD symptoms in 50 to 60% of the clients after ERP sessions. While clients may continue to have milder obsessive-compulsive symptoms, these symptoms do not typically interfere with healthy living.
The effectiveness of ERP for OCD relies on several factors including:
- Client-therapist alliance
- Session compliance
- In between session homework completion
It can also be affected by partners, friends, and family members. ERP therapists may ask close family and friends to adhere to the client’s treatment in order to improve outcomes.
ERP is also an effective treatment for phobias, anxiety-related disorders, and panic disorders.
Benefits of ERP
ERP can be rigorous, but it offers a number of psychological, emotional, and health benefits. ERP aims to:
- Help us feel more comfortable in situations that once made us feel anxious
- Handle anxiety-provoking situations with ease and comfortability
- Understand the thoughts of fear that form our belief systems
- Identify people, events, and situations in our lives that have reinforced these fears
- Develop new, functional cognitions and provide insight and skills to living a healthier, more fulfilling life
Keep in mind that ERP is not a quick or easy fix. A therapist can advise and encourage you, but they cannot do the work for you. ERP may lead you to feel more anxious for a short time, but this is part of the process.
ERP is most effective when completed in a committed and wholehearted way. Regular sessions are an essential part of treatment. An ERP therapist will often recommend an 8-week, 12-week, or 16 week program as you begin your journey.
How does ERP therapy at KMA work?
ERP therapy at KMA begins with a 50-minute introductory session with one of our intake counsellors.
Because a good client-therapist relationship is an important factor in ERP, at KMA, we ensure we pair you with the best possible fit based on your goals and personality.
We will provide you with a set of customised next steps. This includes the recommended ERP therapist who is best equipped to help you, and any additional resources or services we feel would be helpful.
The consultation is also a wonderful time to address any questions you may have.
Once you’re matched, your ERP therapist will prioritise getting to know what’s most important to you.
Get started with ERP therapy today
KMA Therapy has five locations throughout Toronto and we offer online therapy, too. To learn more about ERP therapy, give us a call at 416 487 6288 fill out our registration form below to have our care coordinator reach out with more information.
You can also book a session with us directly.
Check out our therapies page to explore other services we offer, and read these articles to learn more about your therapy journey: