“Imaginal exposure” entails visualizing oneself in the feared situation, including the consequences of the feared situation.
“Ritual prevention” entails refraining from ritualistic behavior.
“Processing” entails examining the change in your level of distress and in your beliefs after having experiences that disconfirm these erroneous beliefs that are part of your OCD.
Exposures will be framed as opportunities to test hypotheses about feared consequences brought on by obsessional distress.”
This is the counter intuitive part. This is where it is similar to physical therapy, where the physical therapist asks you to strengthen the muscles, to stretch yourself, to allow yourself to feel the necessary pain and work through it. And to stop when the pain is not helpful pain, which can be hard to discern by yourself.
The danger with OCD is that most see the awkward feelings, the discomfort, as unnecessary. They go only so far in enduring the discomfort, then they give in and do their ritual, which reinforces the OCD. Your therapist will help you go all the way through the discomfort to help you see that it will go away without the ritual. It does go away.