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Janet Singer Updated: Jul 13th 2011

 

During OCD Awareness Week this past October, I sat in front of my computer, mesmerized, as I watched a live internet broadcast of first-person OCD stories. At the same time these stories were being broadcast, there were chat rooms open where people could connect and talk about anything related to OCD. I joined right in, letting everyone know that while I was not an OCD sufferer myself, my twenty-year-old son had recently recovered from severe OCD. I wanted to share our story as well as learn all I could about the disorder.

 

At one point during the chat, I connected with a distraught young woman who had been seeing a therapist for quite some time, but her OCD was getting worse, not better. “Is the ERP Therapy too difficult for you to do?” I asked her. “ERP Therapy?” she responded. “What’s that?”

 

I was stunned, though in retrospect I’m not sure why. Our family had floundered and then fought our way through a disorienting maze of treatments and programs, desperately trying to find the best help possible for Dan. But I had thought Dan was the only one who had been steered in the wrong direction, sent to the wrong therapists, and put on the wrong medications. It was then and there that I became an advocate for OCD awareness.

 

Exposure Response Prevention Therapy (ERP Therapy) is a type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and, in my son’s case, a very effective treatment for OCD. In a nutshell, this therapy involves the person with OCD facing his or her fears and then refraining from ritualizing. This can be extremely anxiety provoking initially, but eventually the anxiety starts to wane, and can sometimes even disappear. A concrete example of ERP Therapy in action would involve someone with OCD who has issues with germs. They might be asked to touch a toilet seat and then refrain from washing their hands. Treating OCD with ERP therapy has even been the topic of some reality shows over the past few years. So why do so many therapists remain in the dark?

 

Read in Full:

http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=43813&cn=6



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