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Hurdles in Treating Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and How To Address Them

Exposure therapy with response prevention is a type of therapy that is used to treat individuals, specifically those who suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The goal of this therapy is to expose the patient to their fears while preventing them from acting on their compulsive behaviors, which are aimed at providing immediate relief. While exposure therapy with response prevention has been proven to be effective, there is a common problem within this type of therapy known as client attrition.


Client attrition occurs when individuals discontinue treatment before completing the recommended number of sessions. This can occur for a variety of reasons such as lack of motivation, discomfort during exposure, or scheduling conflicts. Additional concerns may be related to failure to complete exposure homework outside of session. Unfortunately, when patients do not complete all the recommended treatment sessions, or processes such as homework, they may not experience the full benefits of exposure therapy with response prevention.


There are several solutions to address client attrition in exposure therapy with response prevention. One solution is to use a shared decision-making approach with patients. This means that the therapist and patient work together to set treatment goals and decide on the number of sessions needed for treatment. Patients are more likely to actively participate in the treatment process if they feel that their opinions and preferences are valued. Another solution is to ensure patients have adequate social support. Patients with OCD may feel ashamed or embarrassed about their symptoms and may be hesitant to talk about them with family and friends. Having a supportive network can help patients stay motivated and accountable throughout the treatment process. Lastly, therapists can utilize technology to provide patients with additional support outside of the therapy session. This can include mobile apps that track progress, provide homework assignments, and offer virtual sessions. This can help patients stay engaged in treatment and track their progress in a convenient and accessible manner. In summary, client attrition is a common challenge in exposure therapy with response prevention; however, there are effective solutions to address this issue, and create a positive outcome for those seeking help for OCD.


By utilizing shared decision-making, providing social support, and using technology, therapists can help patients stay engaged in treatment and maximize the benefits of exposure therapy with response prevention.


If you or somebody that you know is struggling with symptoms and behaviors related to OCD, please reach out to us at Panacea Therapy Group at 405-513-0282.

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