The Use and Misuse of Exposure Therapy for Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders

ISSN: 1875-6441 (Online)
ISSN: 1573-4005 (Print)

Volume 13, 4 Issues, 2017

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Current Psychiatry Reviews

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Michael E. Thase
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
3535 Market St, Suite 670
Philadelphia, PA 19104

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The Use and Misuse of Exposure Therapy for Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders

Current Psychiatry Reviews, 10(4): 277-283.

Author(s): Jonathan S. Abramowitz and Ryan J Jacoby.

Affiliation: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of Psychology, Campus Box 3270, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.


In this article we define and describe the use of exposure-based therapy for OCD. This approach involves confrontation with feared stimulus with the aim of facilitating fear extinction. Exposure, however, is not applicable for a number of psychological conditions now listed as related to OCD in the DSM-5. We explain when it is appropriate to use exposure and when it is not, and raise cautions for clinicians to consider when working with patients with problems putatively related to OCD.


Body dysmorphic disorder, exposure therapy, hair pulling, hoarding, obsessive-compulsive disorder, skin picking.

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Article Details

Volume: 10
Issue Number: 4
First Page: 277
Last Page: 283
Page Count: 7
DOI: 10.2174/1573400510666140714171934
Price: $58

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