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erp for ocd


I was wondering if anyone had done erp to treat ocd. My psychologist said thats what we need to do but I read about it and it sounds absolutely terrifying. I am so so scared and dont know how I will cope with it at all. I have been seeing them for anxiety related issues and this has only recently come up as I didnt want anyone to know but felt I definitely needed to deal with it but I just dont anymore and am very scared. 


Anyone have any experience with this?


Thanks so much xxx

Re: erp for ocd

Hi @Charliex,


I haven't personally experienced ERP for OCD, however, I have learnt about it it in my psychology degree and also experienced similar exposure therapy in my own treatment of generalised anxiety from my psychologist. It is completely understandable that you are terrified, ERP is an emotionally challenging form of therapy. For someone who suffers from overwhelming anxiety (which sounds like you are), the last thing you want to do is to tackle that anxiety head on.


If I can provide some insight it would be to let you know that your psychologist will make the process somewhat managable for you.. it will be done in baby steps. The exposure has to obivously be challenging in some regard, but the psychologist will slowly build up to the more challenging things for your OCD, s/he won't just throw you in the deep end first session. I know from personal experience that the facing your anxieties head on is absolutely terrifying, however, you will get through that terrifying moment and you will feel better on the other side. I truly believe that ERP can help!


What is it that you are feeling most terrified about? Is it that you are terrified of facing the anxieties? Or is it that you are apprehensive that facing your anxieties isn't worth it as it won't help?


I hope this provides some insight for you! Feel free to ask more questions.



Re: erp for ocd

Thanks so much @bee14, that is helpful - I think I'm just worried that when I have to do something i know will set me off, even if its small, that I wont be able calm back down and it will be worse than it is at the moment and I dont know how I could cope if it gets worse thats all. I also get a bit worried and doubt that eveything i think is even ocd at all and my fears are actually realistic (I know rationally that this is not the case but my brain seems to try and convince me otherwise!)


Thanks very much for your help Smiley Happy 

Re: erp for ocd

@CharliexIt is completely understandable and expected that you may be feeling worried about not coping with a potential distressing situation. I know so well that fear of doubting whether certains symptoms are 'legitimate'. That is something I also struggled with for a long period of time. It might be helpful in situations like that to remind your self that whatever symptoms you are experiencing and whatever emotions you are feeling, they ARE legitimate, regardless of whether they fit a stereotypical diagnosis. If it causing you distress then its something worth talking about and challenging. Let me know how you go with the ERP! I would really encourage you to try it, and continue to do so as you'll probably want to stop at first, but its benefits will show themselves long term.


You're welcome! Smiley Happy

Re: erp for ocd

I have OCD and Autism so I don't know if my OCD is influenced, magnified or enhanced by my ASD however I try to keep things organised. I get extremely annoyed if not, and try to keep my area as tidy and organised as possible. However I have experienced multiple cases of childhood abuse and traumatisation.

Re: erp for ocd

Hello @Alina_Lorena, thanks for sharing your story. It must be really difficult feeling annoyed at times when you feel that things are not organised. I am sorry to hear that you have experienced abuse and trauma whilst you were growing up. Have you been receiving any support to help you get through these times? Heart