Exposure and Response Prevention

Exposure and response prevention (ERP; also known as exposure and ritual prevention) is a behavioral treatment to reduce symptoms in a variety of anxiety disorders, such as specific phobia and posttraumatic stress disorder, but sometimes is used in the treatment of other types of disorders such as drug addictions and bulimia nervosa. ERP uses psychoeducation, in vivo exposure, imaginal exposure, and prevention of responses or rituals that patients employ to distract themselves from the anxiety they feel, which preclude them from learning that anxiogenic (anxiety producing) events are not really harmful. Despite its potential application in diverse disorders, ERP has been most extensively studied in relation to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), a dysfunction for which ERP is the psychotherapy treatment of choice. ERP has been shown ...

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