Exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy is an effective way to
obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). With ERP, you repeatedly expose yourself to an obsession,
such as something you fear is contaminated. Then you deny yourself the ritual
compulsive act. In this case, the act would be washing your hands.
ERP helps break the link between your obsessive thoughts and
compulsive rituals. You repeat this process every day for several weeks or
months. You keep doing it until your anxiety is reduced and you do not feel the need to
perform the compulsive behavior in response to the obsessive thought.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.