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  • Writer's pictureRachel at Epiphany Center

ICBT: Another Great Treatment for OCD!

by Rachel Tombaugh


Another fantastic treatment for OCD is available now at Epiphany Center! Inference-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (ICBT) differs from ERP (Exposure and Response Prevention) both in how it views the core problems that drive OCD and in how it approaches the resolution of these problems. For some people with OCD, this shift in approach can offer a wonderful new perspective and a fresh set of tools to help them overcome their struggles. 


Traditionally, ERP has been considered the primary treatment for OCD. ERP views obsessions as intrusive thoughts that are distressing (but in and of themselves unremarkable) and incorrectly interpreted by the sufferer as being both important and threatening. This, in turn, creates anxiety and distress that result in compulsive behaviors to neutralize the anxiety.  Treatment involves gradually reducing avoidance of feared situations while eliminating compulsions. This process therefore teaches sufferers  that their fears are excessive and not congruent with the actual level of threat. Tolerance of uncertainty is typically viewed as a core objective of the treatment process and the therapy is largely behavioral in nature. 


ICBT views OCD differently: obsessions are actually doubts that the individual forms through a process of logic and reasoning.This process results in confusion between possibility and reality. ICBT therefore addresses this faulty reasoning process in order to help the individual use normal reasoning (which sufferers use all day when OCD is not in charge!) in situations that were previously controlled by OCD. This approach aims to help restore trust in one’s self, senses, and common sense. Exposures are therefore not a primary component of therapy and the primary objective is to teach people how obsessional reasoning can gradually be replaced with normal reasoning in order to eliminate the obsessional doubts that drive OCD. The approach is delivered in 12 modules that teach these concepts, along with practice of skills in and out of session. 


ICBT enjoys solid empirical evidence that it is effective in the treatment of OCD at levels of success that are comparable to ERP. Another tool that can help people with OCD is a wonderful opportunity and we are proud to be able to offer you this approach to aid in your recovery! 


©2024 Epiphany Center for OCD and PTSD LLC



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