Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or OCD, involves having unwanted thoughts, images or urges that make a person feel anxious or distressed and engagement in compulsive behaviors which are an attempt to reverse the obsessive thoughts or urges, to reduce distress, or to eliminate uncertainty by performing some sort of action.
Some common themes in OCD include:
- Unacceptable thoughts
Research demonstrates effectiveness of CBT with exposure and response prevention (ERP) for the treatment of OCD.
Exposure with response prevention involves facing fears without engaging in activities (rituals or compulsions) that reduce anxiety, neutralize thoughts, or create an illusion of certainty. Goals are to return to valued activities while processing your learning about discrepancies between predictions and outcomes and increasing confidence in your ability to cope with uncomfortable emotions.