OCD Exposure Hierarchy Worksheet

GinaMarie Guarino, LMHC GinaMarie Guarino, LMHC

Worksheet published on January 6th, 2020

OCD Exposure Hierarchy Worksheet

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an oppressive condition to live with each day. It causes many daily challenges, and can cause a client to feel helpless to ever get better. OCD causes a lot of obsessive thoughts, compulsive behaviors and irrational fears that can be difficult to manage. It creates many challenges as a person tries to live normally while also managing compulsions and obsessive thoughts.

For a person with OCD, many situations can cause a great deal of distress. Simple tasks can be challenging for a person with OCD, which makes it a struggle to get through your day without feeling hopeless to feel better.

An important first step to feeling better when suffering from OCD is to understand what fears, compulsions and obsessive thoughts are affecting you. Therapy for OCD requires a lot of exposure and re-exposure to challenging and uncomfortable situations. A great first start to therapy for OCD is to organize fears and challenges from most tolerable to least tolerable.

About This Worksheet

This is the OCD Exposure Hierarchy Worksheet. This worksheet serves as a guide to organize feared and uncomfortable situations that your client faces each day. When complete, the worksheet can serve as a guide for your therapeutic work with your client.

This worksheet is great for adolescents and adults who are suffering from OCD or related issues. It is intended to be used in individual counseling. This worksheet is great for adolescents and adults suffering from the condition


Assign this worksheet for your client to complete. This can either be done in session or as a homework assignment. When complete, review the results with your client.

Discuss how you will use the hierarchy pyramid as a map or guide for your work with your client. Explain that you will work with your client by tackling the most tolerable fears and concerns first, and progressively move up the pyramid, tackling each fear at a time. Assure the client that you will challenge the client, but also move at their pace.

Provide a copy of the worksheet for your client. Keep a second copy for yourself, for reference.

Download OCD Exposure Hierarchy Worksheet

Link To This Worksheet

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