Exposure and Ritual Prevention (ERP)

Within the Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) paradigm, there are some specific techniques that have produced exceedingly positive results with certain disorders. One of these is actually a strategy consisting of two techniques combined. When the CBT technique of Exposure (See “Exposure” in Glossary) is coupled with Ritual Prevention (also called Response Prevention), the protocol is known as Exposure and Ritual Prevention (ERP).


Ritual Prevention is a technique used by cognitive behavioral therapists in treating patients with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), where the goal is to break the individual’s habit of performing an unreasonable or excessive action (i.e., an unnecessary ritual that the patient depends on to “stay safe”).


This protocol (CBT with ERP) is widely accepted as the most successful method of psychological treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in the field today.