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714 | A Faith-based Approach to Exposure Response Prevention and Inhibitory Learning Therapies for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Counseling Skills, Techniques, and Empirically-supported Treatments, Saturday 9/16 2:15 – 3:30, Workshop Tracks


Judy Lair, M.A.



Approved For CE

Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers

Approved For CME/CEU

Medical Doctors, Osteopathic Doctors, Physicians Assistants, Midwives, Nurses and Nurse Practitioners




Oftentimes, faith-based clients are hesitant to engage in standard behavioral therapy for fear their therapist will push them to say or do something which contradicts their beliefs, especially Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) and Inhibitory Learning Model (ILM) since they require clients to expose themselves to their “Goliaths.” Many faith-based clients worry this means pursuing thoughts and feelings that they deem “sinful” and contrary to their beliefs. Research shows positive outcomes are directly related to a client’s willingness to do the therapy work; therefore, it is essential therapists establish a therapeutic trust in the process by customizing their approach and language of the goals and action steps of ERP and ILM to this faith-based population to gain buy-in from clients while being culturally sensitive to their belief system. This workshop will teach licensed mental health professionals and medical professionals the fundamental basics of ERP and ILM and how to use spiritual concepts to frame the goal and action steps of ERP/ILM for willing faith-based clients. Last, the presenter will demonstrate how to customize each client’s ERP/ILM experience, resulting in more buy-in to do the work and better outcomes. 

Learning Objectives

1. Outline the goals, objectives, and differences between Exposure Response Prevention and the Inhibitory Learning Model and apply them based on individual client responses to therapy and describe research that shows using variability in therapy approaches provides for a more customized client approach relating to better outcomes.
2. Develop a script integrating the fundamental basics of ERP/ILM with broad faith-based beliefs utilizing spiritual principles and examples to educate faith-based clients about the goal and action steps of therapy.
3. Discuss how to apply specific information related to the client’s interests, values, beliefs, and knowledge to facilitate client buy-in by crafting hierarchy therapy exposures in line with the client’s faith beliefs.
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