Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Therapy
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) affects up to 6 million adults in the United Sates at some point in their lives, and one third of those began to experience OCD symptoms in childhood. OCD is an anxiety disorder, which impairs an individual’s quality of life, invades peace of mind, and consumes a great deal of time. Obsessions ans compulsions usually creates an immense amount of anxiety, fears, doubts, uncertainty, bodily pain and stress, intrusive thoughts, ruminations, rituals, repetitions, reassurance-seeking, and/or avoidances. Unfortunately it is often times misunderstood, and often leads individuals to feel a great deal of anguish. Yet with the proper diagnosis and the correct form of treatment, there is hope; OCD is treatable!
OCD is a term often used in our culture in a light-hearted way for someone who is neat, organized, or quirky, but those who are afflicted with OCD know that the term used in this context is a great misrepresentation of what true Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is all about.
OCD has two components: obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are unwanted, persistent, and reoccurring thoughts, urges, impulses and images, which cause significant distress, triggering emotions such as anxiety, disgust, guilt, and doubt. Compulsions are repetitive behaviors and/or mental acts that a person feels driven to perform in attempt to neutralize, reduce, or prevent danger and anxiety associated with the obsession. The compulsions are essentially ineffective, in that they keep the cycle going, actually contributing to the problem. OCD is time consuming, exhausting, and interferes with an individual's quality of life.
OCD may take very specific forms, but can also vary from person to person. Common obsessions include: contamination, germs, losing control, going crazy, harm to others or self, unwanted sexual or immoral thoughts, superstitious thoughts, and religious obsessions. Compulsions may involve checking and rechecking things, arranging and rearranging things, confessing, praying, asking for reassurance, washing (such as hand-washing rituals), repeated tapping, blinking, or counting, changing thoughts, replacing words, saving things, and repeating something until it "feels" right. The person may also avoid situations or triggers, or try to get family or friends to cooperate in the activity or ritual for them.
There are other conditions which are in the category of Obsessive Compulsive Related Disorders. They include: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Hoarding Disorder, Trichotillomania, and Excoriation Disorder (Skin Picking Disorder). There are evidence-based treatments for each of these. While some include exposure and response prevention, others might include habit reversal and stimulus control, cognitive restructuring, behavioral experiments, or acceptance and commitment therapy. It is very important that those who treat OCD and Related Disorders are well trained and experienced professionals. Effective treatment for these problems does not involve simply talking out one’s issues. Rather, specific evidence-based interventions tailored for the individual are most effective.
Services for OCD
- Comprehensive evaluation & diagnosis
- Individualized treatment planning
- Weekly ERP sessions
- More Intensive ERP Options
- Family meetings and psycho-education if indicated
- Consultation with other mental health providers or physicians
- Presentations to community, schools, facilities, and organizations are available