Since you are going to start the process of ERP from the next section, it is important that you understand a small crucial aspect. Why this merits a separate chapter is that I did not want this important aspect to get lost in other chapters.
Exposure and response prevention is like setting time aside to study everyday so that whatever is asked in the test is doable. Mere response prevention as and when an obsession hits you is like trying to respond to the questions in a surprise test, without adequate preparation. To make this work, you will need to set time aside for your self-administered ERP sessions. You could start with an hour or even thirty minutes every day. But you need to decide on a fixed time that will be specifically reserved for ERP. That is a non-negotiable time, which you will not use for anything else but your ERP.
Doing your ERP session has to become a discipline like eating is. We eat three meals a day at specific times. No matter what happens, we are taught to make time for these meals. Similarly, no matter what happens, make time for your ERP. Your day’s schedule has to expand to incorporate ERP. ERP should not be done when some time is left over from whatever your day asks of you. The rest of your day’s activities should be done in the time that is left after ERP is done. If there are activities that you have to forego, let them be anything, but your ERP. So, in sum, set time aside for ERP every day and stick to it.
In the next chapter, we shall rationalize an obsession of ROCD Type 1.