This is supported by research using PET scans, which have found higher activity in the orbitofrontal cortex in patients with OCD(citation needed).OCD is treated via exposure and response prevention (ERP), a successful and widely used, cognitive behavioural therapy recognising the link between OCD and TAF (Meyer 1966). The patient is exposed to an anxiety-provoking stimulus, designed to trigger the compulsion, then asked to refrain from performing their rituals (response prevention). The patients are shown different ways to resist their compulsive behaviours through a series of desensitising situations. Research confirms ERP therapy is a long-lasting improvement for OCD in sufferers reducing symptoms by 55% – 75% (Franklin et al 2000).
ERP works by helping patients to understand they are misinterpreting their thoughts; they learn the obsessional situation is not dangerous and that, given time, anxiety naturally declines (Franklin et al 2000). Other studies have also established good overall success rates (Foa et al., 2005; Foa, Steketee, & Ozarow, 1985; Franklin, Abramowitz, Kozak, Levitt, & Foa, 2000).