Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Laurel Bidwell


Social Work


“Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a neuropsychiatric condition that ranges in severity, with the presence of obsessions or compulsions that are time-consuming…or cause marked distress or significant impairment” (Dyches et al., 2010, p. 35). It is the fourth most commonly diagnosed mental illness in the United States, affecting 1 in 200 children and adolescents (Bornheimer, 2014; Whiteside et al., 2014). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) is the primary choice for treating youth diagnosed with OCD (Morgan et al., 2013). Due to the lack of research on the use of ERP in the treatment of children and adolescents suffering from OCD, this qualitative study will explore the effectiveness of ERP from the perspective of professionals working with this population. The main research question for this study was: What are professionals’ perceptions on the effectiveness of Exposure Response Prevention for children and adolescents diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder? Data were collected through face to face and phone interviews with four professionals that have experience utilizing ERP with this specific population. The interviews were transcribed and coded using a grounded theory approach. Within the findings the five major themes that emerged were 1) strengths of ERP, 2) education, 3) ethical concerns, 4) treatment interfering behaviors and 5) distress tolerance. These five themes were supported with seventeen subthemes. Data in this study supports the effectiveness of using ERP with children and adolescents diagnosed with OCD.

Included in

Social Work Commons