Exposure and Response Prevention for Pediatric Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Exposure and response prevention (E/RP) is a behavioral therapy that helps those with OCD by gradually and systematically confronting feared situations and decreasing the anxiety response.

E/RP conducted with a trained therapist has been shown to be one of the most successful approaches for tackling OCD fears, and regaining functioning. It may be used effectively as a stand-alone treatment, or in combination with medication.

At the Pediatric OCD Program, we gear E/RP therapy toward each child's specific symptoms.

Elements of Exposure and Response Prevention

During E/RP therapy, your child:

  • Identifies fears and rank them from mildest to most severe.
  • Gradually confronts the situation, object, or person that triggers obsessive thoughts = exposure.
  • Is encouraged to refrain from, or delay, the compulsion/ritual = response prevention.
  • Repeats the exposure, decreasing his or her anxiety over time = habituation.
  • Gradually works toward his or her most severe fears.

Make an Appointment with the Pediatric OCD Program

Call 412-235-5354 to schedule an evaluation or to discuss pediatric OCD treatment options at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC.

UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences | Supplemental content provided by Healthwise, Incorporated. To learn more, visit www.healthwise.org

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

Pittsburgh, PA, USA | UPMC.com