Last reviewed 01/2018
Response prevention is a technique used in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorders.
For example, a patient who washes compulsively after contact with dirt is encouraged to find something else to occupy themself for a period time before washing. This period of time is gradually increased.
In this treatment, the following features are common:
- sessions should last for at least an hour
- reassurance only increases the problem
- supervision is less important than the instruction to the patient not to carry out the behaviour; force is counter-productive
- home practice is best - a partner may be enlisted as a co-therapist
- different features of the problem change at different rates
Such treatment may be relatively short e.g. 3-8 weeks, but may have enduring effects.