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Exposure and Response Prevention for Pediatric Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

UPMC Content 2

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.