Exposure and Response Prevention Motivators
Exposure and response prevention (ERP) is hard work and it can be terrifying. We always say that both ritualizing and treatment are difficult and that the only difference is that treatment leads to an end of rituals and avoiding treatment leads to endless rituals. Nevertheless, ERP is painful and what can you do when you feel your fear rising and the idea of a OCD free life doesn’t seem as important as your anxiety in the moment. I think at these times it is useful to remember why you want to get away from OCD. Below are two sets of questions with suggested sub-questions. I would urge you to write about these in the most painful way you can remember, so that when OCD threatens to overwhelm your treatment, you will have more to fight back with.
The first set of questions concerns what have you lost to OCD? Within this set think about 1) Because of OCD, I’ve Missed; 2) Humiliating Experiences; 3) Financial/Employment Losses; 4) Guilt; 5) Lost/Wasted Time; 6) Because of OCD, I’ve Been Late To; 7) Damaged or Lost Relationships; 8)Other OCD Losses:
The second set of questions concerns how have you hurt your loved ones with your OCD? 1) Forcing Them to Ritualize; 2) Making Them Late or Missing Events; 3) Hurt Them with My Other OCD Demands; 4) Hurt Them with My OCD Anger; 5) Hurt Them with My OCD Rigidity; 6) Ignoring Them Because of OCD Thoughts; 7) Ignoring Them by Withdrawing; 8) Other.
So rather than avoiding an exposure think about your reasons to fight OCD and remember that if you get better, not only will your life improve, so will the lives of your loved ones.