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Exposure and Response Prevention (E-RP)

Our therapists assist clients in implementing exposure and response prevention (E-RP), the key component of behavior treatment for OCD. Anxiety ratings (Subjective Units of Distress Scale or SUDS) are monitored at the beginning and throughout the exposure, with the goal to achieve habituation to anxiety within the session.


  • Clients learn to implement exposure and response prevention within an intensive and specialized OCD treatment program
  • Clients learn to achieve habituation to anxiety through response prevention

Self-Directed Exposure (SDE) with Response Prevention

Clients practice independent implementation of E-RP with the primary objective of enhancing independence and empowerment. Anxiety ratings (Subjective Units of Distress Scale or SUDS) are monitored at the beginning and at the end, with the goal to achieve habituation within the session.


  • Clients learn to independently implement exposure and practice response prevention.
  • Clients learn to elect targets (OCD triggers) that will lead to mastery and achieve habituation through response prevention.

Cognitive-Behavior Therapy for OCD

Clients learn about evidence-based treatment of anxiety disorders, exposure and response prevention (E-RP), and other behavioral techniques, especially as they relate to OCD. In addition, therapists review the basics of cognitive-behavior therapy, cognitive distortions, mood monitoring, and cognitive restructuring, especially as they relate to depression and anxiety. Discussion, role-play, and behavior therapy skills will increase the clients’ ability to cope and problem solve.


  • Clients learn basic and advanced cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques.
  • Clients learn about challenges that arise when implementing E-RP and ways to use cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques to enhance the quality of the E-RP session.
  • Clients learn the cognitive-behavioral therapy model and advanced cognitive restructuring techniques.
  • Clients practice skills outside of group, using “thought records” specifically designed for this group to challenge cognitive distortions.

Treatment Contract Review

Using the “client as a colleague” model to foster commitment and motivation for change, clients assess how well goals were met.


  • Clients learn about the “client as a colleague” model, and learn to become proactive and take responsibility for their treatment.
  • Clients learn how to achieve short term and long term goals through accountability and receive constructive feedback from staff and group members.

Treatment Motivation

Therapists help clients identify and discuss factors related to motivation for treatment, as well as barriers to treatment. Clients evaluate their commitment to cognitive-behavioral treatment through identifying personal values, adaptive goals, and resistance to change. Discussions assist clients in exploring and resolving ambivalence around treatment, as well as empowering clients to take control of their treatment.


  • Clients explore their values and commitment to change through education and discussion.
  • Clients learn strategies to increase motivation, as well as strategies to decrease barriers to treatment.

Relationships and Communication

Therapists address issues and conflicts that loved ones of anxiety sufferers often experience. Education and discussions will center on family dynamics and the client’s interactions with family members.


  • Clients will learn how anxiety symptoms affect family interactions.
  • Clients will learn to identify triggers for family conflicts, and how to reduce conflicts and increase support.
  • Clients will learn effective forms of communicating about needs with loved ones.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Therapists reviews that basic tenets of ACT; contact with the present moment, values, committed action, self as context, defusion, and acceptance.


  • Clients will learn and practice acceptance of unwanted private experiences which are out of personal control
  • Clients will learn to identify their values and how to commit to living in a valued driven direction by being psychologically present


Therapists provides education about and guided practice of mindfulness meditation. Dicussions center on how to practice and apply mindfulness skills during everyday activities in an effort to better cope with anxiety and depression.


  • Clients learn basic mindfulness skills.
  • Clients practice mindfulness skills and learn how to apply these skills to their OCD and other anxiety symptoms and depression.

Relapse Prevention

Therapists reviews the basics of motivational interviewing and the stages of change in the process of recovery. Clients are educated about the differences between relapse and slips and taught skills to maintain emotional and behavioral stability. Discussion, motivational interviewing, and other exercises enable clients to commit to and practice their relapse prevention skills/plans while receiving support from peers and staff.


  • Clients learn about the change process and build motivation for improving their lives.
  • Clients identify triggers and high-risk situations for relapse.

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Testimonials From Our Sister Program

  • Gabriel, Arizona
    The Houston OCD Program was invaluable to me in my recovery.  I had been dealing with anxiety and OCD for over a decade, and been to numerous therapists and psychiatrists.  The program was definitely one of the most useful treatments I have received.  My whole view on my illness has changed.  I have gone from […]