Exposure & Response Prevention

Our Model for Comprehensive Care Produces Encouraging Results

As a comprehensive treatment program, Mountain Valley has developed a paradigm of care that emphasizes the whole person, and not just his or her clinical needs. Mountain Valley believes that the broader intellectual, social and physical health needs of our residents must be addressed, so that our residents can graduate our treatment program with the knowledge, skills, and confidence, to overcome not only their anxiety, but other challenges in their life as well.

Clinical Model: Exposure & Response Prevention

Mountain Valley Treatment Center focuses on gradual Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) as a primary evidenced-based treatment modality to address OCD, OCD Spectrum Disorders, and anxiety disorders, such as Social Anxiety and Panic Disorder. ERP, also referred to as exposure therapy, is a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) technique that helps people confront their fears in a systematic and gradual way. When people are fearful of something, they tend to avoid anything associated with their fear. Fears can include, but are not limited to, specific objects, activities, thoughts or situations. Although this avoidance might help reduce feelings of fear in the short term, it can intensify such feelings over time. Avoidance often creates repetitive “safety” behaviors that become detrimental to everyday function and well-being. Exposure therapy is designed to help break the pattern of avoidance and fear. Mountain Valley provides a safe and nurturing environment to help decrease avoidance. Our expert clinical team and specially trained residential staff help residents recognize irrational thoughts and behaviors related to fears, allowing them to engage in healthier and more fulfilling activities and relationships.

Exposure therapy at Mountain Valley is conducted in a controlled, compassionate, and, collaborative fashion. Residents work closely and methodically with their therapists to design and implement their own individualized exposures. Staff help residents practice exposure work during their stay at Mountain Valley. Before graduating, residents take ownership of their exposures, voluntarily seeking out uncomfortable situations that provoke fear and staying with them until the feared situations become tolerable. This Self-Directed Exposure (SDE) and response prevention leads to “habituation”, and is supported through participation in a unique programmatic model that consists of a series of clinically integrated experiential activities. These serve as a conduit for exposure work, as well as an opportunity for residents to be introduced to new, challenging, and fun skill-building activities.

Our goal is to equip residents, and their families, with a solid understanding of OCD, anxiety and ERP strategies for treating their specific behaviors and avoidance. Through ongoing education about anxiety and repeated ERP challenges, our residents internalize the necessary self-awareness and skills to reduce the impact of unwanted and often debilitating worries and fear. They will more effectively manage inevitable relapses, and move forward with increased confidence to achieve personal goals and live a more fulfilling life.

Email Jen Fullerton in the Admissions Office for further information.