What is OCD?

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) has two major symptoms; obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are recurrent and persistent thoughts, impulses, or images that cause significant anxiety or distress. Compulsions, or rituals, are repetitive behaviors, thoughts, or images that you feel you have to do in order to reduce the distress caused by the obsession.

Some common examples of compulsions/rituals may include:

  • Excessive hand washing 
  • Checking and re-checking 
  • Repetitive behaviors until they feel “just right” 
  • Counting 
  • Thoughts to counteract negative thoughts 
  • Arranging and Rearranging 
  • Seeking reassurance

Some common examples of obsessions include thoughts related to:

  • Harm of self or others
  • Contamination 
  • Sex
  • Religious themes
  • Health 
  • Symmetry 
  • Aggression 
  • Relationships

What is Exposure Response Prevention (EXRP)?

The gold standard evidence-based treatment for OCD is Exposure Response Prevention (EXRP). EXRP involves exposing clients to their fears without performing the associated rituals, which ultimately reduces anxiety and distress in the long term. By learning to tolerate uncertainty, clients can reduce OCD symptoms and acquire skills for long-term management, leading to an improved quality of life and decreased distress.

Some clients come to therapy with a diagnosis of OCD already from a GP, Psychologist or Psychiatrist. Many arrive with no formal diagnosis and rather a hunch that they are experiencing OCD symptoms. We will begin with assessments to first ensure that this is the best course of treatment for you. Then, we will explore and identify your unique obsessions and compulsions to create an exposure hierarchy to gradually approach certain fears. The client initially practices exposures in session with the therapist and then continues with exposure practice between weekly sessions. Exposures can be both real-life situations and imagined scenarios.


Sessions are 50 minutes, however, sometimes 75 or 100-minute exposure sessions are needed. The duration of EXRP treatment ranges from 12-20 weekly sessions, depending on each client's specific situation.

We understand that it can be difficult to confront your fears. Together with your OCD therapist you will gain the skills and confidence to face them.

EXRP Treatment Sessions

Ready to regain control of your life? Learn more about how this treatment may be right for you.

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