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Good afternoon all!

 

I hope you're all doing well.  For a few weeks I've been weighing up whether ERP or CBT is the best course of tackling my OCD.  Of course everyone is different and not every approach serves as a 'one size fits all'.  

I'm looking today at trying some ERP, essentially thinking my thoughts deliberately while not undergoing any compulsions.  I recognise that anxiety is a constant feature and I recognise my compulsions, both mental and physical.

Does anyone else try this on a regular basis?  I'm unsure of how long I'm to do this for... is it like a mediation sessions where I put aside an hour to focus on this, or perhaps it's simply when the thought pops in the head throughout your daily life, think about it.

Personally, I not only think about the thought, but the consequences that would follow as a result.  I say, "yes, this is a genuine possibility and this could happen."  

Any pointers from more experienced ERP-ers would be great.

 

Thanks 😍

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No, you don't do ERP when a thought pops in your head. That's the time to practice simply not doing compulsions and returning your focus to what you were doing.

ERP should be on a schedule, like 6 o'clock every night. You sit down in a quiet space and conjure up an obsession. You let it arise. You want your anxiety level to rise. Knowing what your usual compulsions are, you work on not doing them. Let the thought float around. Relax and breathe. After a time, your anxiety should lower to near normal levels. At that point, the session is over. Go do something else. 

Practice makes perfect. Repeatedly doing this with one obsession should result in two things. The peak of your anxiety should lower over time and the length of time it takes for your anxiety to return to normal should shorten over time.

If after repetition you reach a point where that thought no longer raises your anxiety, you move on to a different and hopefully harder obsession.

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