Talk Therapy vs. ERP Therapy

Therapy through Magnifying Glass on Old Paper.Sometimes I give talk therapy a rough time on this blog– but, please know that I am not against talk therapy (I see a talk therapist weekly for panic and adjustment disorder). I am merely against talk therapy for OCD.

I spent about four years meeting with talk therapists about my OCD. Once a week, I’d sit down, talk about my fears and confess my struggles– and my therapist would reassure me.  In other words, it was a one-hour compulsion fest.

Not good.

Every single OCD expert will tell you to skip talk therapy and do exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy.

Look, I get it: talk therapy is easier. In fact, in comparison to exposure therapy, it’s a walk in the park and ERP is a walk in hell.

But it’s not effective for treating OCD.

Talk therapy, which is lovely and helpful and beneficial for so many other disorders, naturally enables many OCD compulsions.

Four years in talk therapy didn’t make a dent in my OCD. Twelve weeks in ERP therapy mastered my OCD.

It’s just about know what treatments are effective. Band-aids go on scrapes, insulin is used for diabetes, chemotherapy for cancer, ERP for OCD.

I do love my talk therapist, but I don’t ever let us venture into the realm of treating OCD. Yes, we draw parallels– all the time, actually!– but I know that if my OCD flares up, I will turn to an exposure, not to a compulsion.

Have questions about ERP therapy vs. traditional talk therapy?  Let’s chat!

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3 thoughts on “Talk Therapy vs. ERP Therapy

  1. Hi Jackie, How can I “share” your articles on your blog on my facebook page? Usually I see some sort of button to click…anyway, I like your post and want to share them! Thank you! Sam

    Heal. Grow. Shine.

    Samantha Bray, LCSW Compassionate treatment of anxiety, depression and OCD 3355 Bee Cave Rd #605 Austin TX 78746 t. 512. 636. 0104 samanthabraylcsw@gmail.com http://www.samanthabray.com

  2. Four years of talk therapy, Jackie? Wow! My son went through about four months of talk therapy for his OCD, and that was more than enough time to make his OCD worse! Glad you found ERP, just wish it were sooner!

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