In "Behavior Therapy for Obsessive - Compulsive Disorder", Dr.
Samuel M. Turner demonstrates his approach to treating this form of
anxiety disorder. Because this approach assumes that obsessive -
compulsive disorder (OCD) derives from an underlying core fear,
treatment involves exposing the client to fear-producing stimuli
and teaching blocking of compulsive behaviors. The therapist takes
an active role in encouraging and directing the client in efforts
to prevent habitual obsessive responses to fear. In this session,
Dr. Turner works with a 32-year-old woman whose obsessive -
compulsive disorder takes the form of obsessive washing and
avoidance behavior. Dr. Turner helps her to dismantle her fear of
contamination with exercises that expose her to her core fear. This
video features a client portrayed by an actor on the basis of
actual case material. The behavioral treatment of OCD involves
prolonged exposure to fear-producing stimuli and the active
blocking of associated compulsive behaviors. Exposure, in this
context, refers to treatment that involves confrontation with
fear-producing stimuli. The various strategies used to engineer
such exposure reflect different theoretical notions regarding the
nature of fear reduction. The goal of exposure treatment is the
elimination of maladaptive anxiety, intrusive obsessional thoughts,
and associated ritualistic behaviors.
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