What is ERP?
How does it feel to jump into a really cold swimming pool? It’s really cold at first, but before long you've forgotten how cold it was when you got in. Or consider watching your favourite scary movie over and over again. You may leave the lights on after that first viewing but eventually, the movie loses its “fear factor.”
When fearful situations are confronted while preventing all maladaptive safety behaviours, the brain learns a new, more adaptive response to that situation. This process is called habituation or inhibitory learning, and it’s really cool. That is the basis for ERP.
It’s almost impossible to face your fear alone, but only you can confront the OCD fear.
Think of driving: you’re in the driver’s seat and your ERP therapist is in the passenger seat.
You’re in control of the wheel and the only person that can maneuver the car, stop and go, and control the volume of the radio. In the passenger seat, your ERP therapist guides you down the dark and bumpy roads, helping you to correct your path, all the while encouraging you to confront the thing that is most fearful.