Ritual Prevention

Description of the Strategy

Ritual prevention is a technique typically used for curbing compulsive behaviors in those with obsessivecompulsive disorder (OCD). Obsessions are ruminative, bizarre thoughts that create distress, and compulsions are behaviors performed after an obsession to lower distress. An example would be a person obsessed with thoughts of contamination and who compulsively washed his or her hands frequently throughout the day.

Ritual prevention involves some stoppage of the compulsion either via a client's self-control or with a therapist's help. Ritual prevention is typically used in conjunction with other procedures such as somatic control exercises, cognitive restructuring, and exposure. Initially, clients with OCD are taught to control aversive physical sensations such as trembling or hyperventilation. Cognitive restructuring is also employed to help ...

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