ERP Treatment in Ontario
Reclaim your life from OCD using Exposure and Response Prevention.
Living with OCD is terrifying.
Knowing you “shouldn’t” be fearful but unable to stop the constant worry, you’re at odds with yourself all the time, and it’s exhausting. OCD has taken so much from you: you feel caged by what it tells you to do or not do; where to go or not go and you’re so frustrated with its rules! If you’re not worried, you’re waiting with baited breath until the fear comes back.
You want to live a life free from the torment of OCD.
Regaining your life from OCD is not easy, but it’s worth it.
When our clients confront the fear and overcome OCD, they describe as sense of relief, but not in the way a compulsion does. The sense of relief ERP provides is long-lasting, with an understanding that no matter what OCD throws at you, you’ve got the skills to handle it. You reclaim control over your life, and the ability to make decisions and choices free from the OCD voice and fear.
Therapy in Ontario can help you feel hopeful about the future.
Your life becomes yours again: Return to work, go back to school, and travel the world without the shackles of OCD.
How does ERP Work?
ERP teaches you how to confront the OCD fear gradually without resorting to compulsions or rituals. Your brain learns that OCD is wrong (and in fact has been lying to you) and the fear dissipates.
Exposure with Response Prevention is a highly specialized treatment modality specifically used for OCD. It was developed by Edna Foa and her colleagues after research they conducted suggested fear has a component of pathological avoidance and confronting previously avoided objects, situations, or people could promote positive change (Foa & Kodak, 1986).
You can read the study for yourself, here (External link) (https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1986-15090-001)
Guided by your therapist, you’ll first get to know the OCD through an assessment. The purpose of the assessment is to determine the core fear that maintains the OCD. Sometimes this os obvious, but often it’s not. The assessment will inform you and your therapist about the types of exposures you’ll create and do together, based on the core fear. Before exposures start though, you’ll create a hierarchy with your therapist, which serves as a kind of road map for the OCD recovery journey.
Exposure and Response Prevention is needed when the fear is feeling scary enough that it’s preventing you from living the life you want. When you’re listening to the OCD voice more than you’re own, it’s time for ERP.
Research suggests anywhere from 17-22 ERP sessions are required; however, we find three factors contribute to treatment length:
- Therapist Skill: A skilled ERP therapist is crucial to OCD recovery
- Readiness: Facing the OCD fear will be one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. You want to be ready to face the fear, or this treatment will not be effective.
- Motivation: ERP is hard work and requires a short-term but intensive homework requirement.
- Frequency of sessions: Your therapist will recommend a frequency of sessions based on the factors listed above and severity of the OCD.
If you’re experiencing a loss of freedom, control, choice, and inability to relax from the OCD, ERP may be right for you. Book a free consultation to learn more.
In most situations, ERP is covered under extended health benefits. Look for MSW, RSW on your benefit packages. In addition, social workers are included on the federal Medical Expense Tax Credit and are exempt from tax.
Our rate is $225 per session.
Your therapist will recommend a frequency of sessions; however, best outcomes occur with no less than once per week when you begin exposures. Here’s why:
- ERP is difficult and with less frequent sessions OCD can often creep in and foil your recovery progress.
- Weekly sessions allow us to identify and problem solve any difficulties in completing exposures before you begin to avoid the exposure work or give into ritual prevention
- ERP is designed to increase in difficulty (and skill development) each week until you’re no longer fearful of the OCD; this is often accomplished quicker with consistent sessions.
- Assessment: Uncovering the Core fear and target of treatment
- Exposure: Either real word or imaginary to the core fear
- Processing: Discussing how you overcome OCD in the exposure
- Ritual Prevention: Exposure only works when you don’t do the compulsion OCD wants you to do
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