• The last decade has witnessed remarkable progress in the treatment of obsessive-compulsives, with the introduction of response prevention and deliberate exposure to feared situations in vivo and in imagination. In a series of studies, the effects of the single components of this program were investigated. The results suggest that the optimal treatment includes a combination of all three procedures. It appears that in vivo exposure mainly affects anxiety/discomfort associated with cues for ritualizing; response prevention affects primarily compulsive behavior; and imaginal exposure assists in maintenance of treatment gains, perhaps through its impact on fears of future catastrophes associated with obsessions.
Steketee G, Foa EB, Grayson JB. Recent Advances in the Behavioral Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsives. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1982;39(12):1365-1371. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1982.04290120001001