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Exposure And Response Prevention Therapy (ERP)

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Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is considered a first-line treatment for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and it’s particularly effective for young people. As a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), it helps clients confront their fears or discomfort related to their obsessional thoughts (exposure), and resist the urge to perform compulsions (response prevention).

The Exposure And Response Prevention Therapy (ERP) handout helps clients better understand OCD and learn that their anxiety diminishes when they gradually face their fears instead of avoiding them. The handout starts with a clear definition of the ERP method. In the middle section, easy-to-understand examples illustrate how the process works and its benefits. The bottom part includes a list of do's and don'ts for effective implementation of the technique.

By using this handout, kids and teens can break the cycle of obsessions and compulsions so they can regain control over their lives and significantly reduce the impact of OCD on their daily activities. Caring adults can encourage the use of relaxation strategies after an ERP exercise to help calm nerves.

For additional OCD support feel free to explore our OCD Coping Skills and OCD Coping Statements handouts.

*This item is an instant digital download. A link to download your files will be emailed to you once payment is confirmed.

Want more resources like this? Check out our full catalog of anxiety worksheets and handouts.


  1. Law, C., & Boisseau, C. L. (2019). Exposure and response prevention in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder: Current Perspectives. Psychology Research and Behavior Management, 12, 1167-1174. https://doi.org/10.2147/prbm.s211117
  2. Olino, T. M., Gillo, S., Rowe, D., Palermo, S., Nuhfer, E. C., Birmaher, B., & Gilbert, A. R. (2011). Evidence for successful implementation of exposure and response prevention in a naturalistic group format for pediatric OCD. Depression and Anxiety, 28(4), 342-348. https://doi.org/10.1002/da.20789
  3. Riise, E. N., Kvale, G., Ost, L., Skjold, S. H., Hansen, H., & Hansen, B. (2016). Concentrated exposure and response prevention for adolescents with obsessive-compulsive disorder: An effectiveness study. Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders, 11, 13-21. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jocrd.2016.07.004
  4. Sukhodolsky, D. G., Gorman, B. S., Scahill, L., Findley, D., & McGuire, J. (2013). Exposure and response prevention with or without parent management training for children with obsessive-compulsive disorder complicated by disruptive behavior: A multiple-baseline across-responses design study. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 27(3), 298-305. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.janxdis.2013.01.005
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