What is Effective Treatment for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

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What is Effective Treatment for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

Obsessive-Compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder that consists of obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are unwanted, intrusive thoughts which cause the individual significant stress accompanied by anxiety. The individual will perform compulsions in an effort to relieve the anxiety. The compulsions provide temporary relief, but the relief is short-term and inevitably the obsession and anxiety will return. The compulsive cycle in an effort to relieve anxiety about the obsession is exhausting, tormenting, and tortuous for the individual.

OCD is a chronic disorder and cannot be left untreated. It is imperative to be treated by a trained therapist who practices Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Exposure Response Prevention (ERP). ERP is considered to be the gold-standard and best treatment for OCD. If a therapist is not using CBT & ERP, you are wasting time, money, and could be putting yourself or loved one in jeopardy of symptoms getting worse.

Exposure Response Prevention therapy is an evidence-based, behavioral therapy that teaches individuals with OCD exposure techniques to their obsessions while resisting the urge to perform compulsions. This practice helps the individual desensitize to the anxiety accompanied by the obsession. While the individual may feel fear in exposure to the obsession, a therapist can help guide them through the practice and teach them how to see the benefit of resisting compulsions. ERP gives individuals the ability to understand how their learned responses have been keeping them stuck in the OCD cycle. A trained therapist can help you come up with the most effective OCD treatment plan in order for you to learn to manage symptoms and move forward with your life.

There are many factors that can attribute to how favorably an individual will respond to ERP. One of the biggest factors is finding the right therapist. It is important the OCD sufferer find a therapist they feel comfortable with and can trust. Another factor is the commitment level to ERP. Individuals entering ERP therapy must be 100% committed to the therapy and process. It is intensive work and requires the individual to work in therapy sessions as well as during their own time. Outside support is a positive factor for treatment as well. Peer support can help with motivation, support, and hope during the process of treatment. Also having family members or loved ones help support during the process of treatment can help with motivation and commitment to therapy.

Many therapists trained to treat OCD will also add supplemental therapeutic tools to help the effectiveness of treatment.  Common supplementary treatment would be Mindfulness or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Therapist might often suggest Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) as supplemental treatment. Peer support or a therapy coach can also be used as a supplemental support in treatment. None of these therapeutic supplemental strategies should be used to solely treat OCD or as a replacement for ERP therapy.

If you are in need of treatment for yourself or a loved one for Obsessive-Compulsive disorder, please fill out the contact form for Chrissie Hodges at www.treatmentforocd.com to find therapists and resources in your area to get you down the path to recovery. OCD is a treatable disorder and Exposure Response Therapy is an evidence-based, effective treatment that is used to teach individuals to manage and live successfully with OCD.

Therapists Who Treat Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

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Therapy for OCD, Who Treat Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Getting the right treatment for OCD is just as important as the therapy itself. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is one of the most misunderstood brain illnesses, and treating OCD is a close second in that confusion. Many therapists will claim to treat OCD in their practice, however they are using techniques which are not only ineffective, but can make OCD symptoms worse.

Why do OCD Therapists do this?

There are a few reasons this can happen. First, there is a lack of knowledge about the best practiced therapy for OCD. Like many people who live with OCD and loved ones who enable symptoms, treating OCD is counter-intuitive to how one would naturally respond to someone suffering. Reassuring an individual suffering from violent or sexual intrusive thoughts is actually participating in the sufferer’s compulsions, but as human beings, we want to help alleviate the suffering. Unless one is effectively trained in understanding this concept, they likely will follow their instincts, which in turn will keep the sufferer stuck in the OCD cycle. General therapists see many different types of illnesses, and their skills may not be sharpened to cutting-edge practices of particular types of brain disorders. It is important to seek someone who specializes in counseling for OCD to get the most effective treatment, otherwise you are wasting time and money.

Second, a therapist may have worked with an individual with OCD before and had favorable results. If so, they may deem themselves worthy of being able to help others manage symptoms. There are many therapeutic tactics that can ‘take the edge off’ of OCD temporarily, or unfortunately even provide relief because the tactics may actually turn in to compulsions. If this happens, a sufferer may believe they are better or cured, at least for the meantime. This may translate to a therapist that their treatment was effective and in turn they have the skill set to treat OCD. However, in majority of OCD cases, there is only one type of therapy that is effective long-term. If a therapist is not practicing Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with Exposure Response Prevention (ERP), the patient will likely suffer greatly in the long run as any other therapeutic tool by itself is not recommended for long-term success with OCD. If your therapist is not using CBT/ERP therapy, they are not averse in effectively treating OCD. It is important to see a therapist who specializes in OCD to create a successful OCD treatment plan.

Lastly, a therapist may claim they treat OCD when they actually can’t out of ignorance. Therapists want to help people, this is why they get into their field typically. Just because they don’t have the knowledge, doesn’t mean they don’t care or want the best for you. With the demand for effective treatment for brain disorders, it is not likely that one therapist will have best practices for every single illness. They simply just may not know the right treatment path for OCD and/or how and where to obtain those skills. This isn’t a reflection of their abilities to help others, it is merely an indication they are not trained in the specialized area of treating OCD. They might be incredible at helping with trauma, depression, or other areas, however if effective treatment for OCD is imperative for you right now, move on to someone who specializes in CBT/ERP and get the help you need.

When getting treatment for OCD, it is important to find someone who has knowledge and experience in best practices about what effectively works in treating OCD. If you are working with a therapist who is not practicing CBT/ERP, you are wasting time, money, and your symptoms may likely get worse. For more information about effective treatment, please see my blog ‘Effective Treatment for OCD’.

Please contact Chrissie Hodges through the contact form on www.treatmentforocd.com to schedule a consultation or peer support session to help find an OCD therapist and resources in your area that will help you on the path to recovery.

How can I find an OCD Specialist near me?

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How can I find an OCD Specialist near me?

A therapist who is effective in treating Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) therapy. If your therapist is not using these types of therapy, they are not qualified to treat OCD and you are wasting time and money on their services. To find out more about why CBT and ERP are the premiere, evidence-based treatment for OCD, visit my blog ‘What is Effective Treatment for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder’.

Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to find a qualified OCD therapist in your area. However, even if you are not close to an OCD therapist in your area doesn’t mean you cannot receive effective treatment. There are many therapists that will do tele-therapy with programs that are Hipaa compliant. This means that your privacy is protected during sessions, even through electronic devices. Tele-therapy gives therapists the much needed opportunity to reach individuals who are in need of treatment for OCD all over the world.

Many therapists will cross state lines with tele-therapy to provide therapy for individuals who do not have access to proper treatment for OCD. Therapists will also do tele-therapy for individuals who may be homebound for their symptoms or who would like support during their home exposures.
Tele-therapy can be just as effective as in-person therapy. When I went through ERP, I received phone therapy from my therapist and I did not feel it was in the least bit ineffective or delayed a positive outcome as a result. The commitment level and participation of the individual receiving ERP therapy does not have to be any less when engaging in tele-therapy.

Treatment for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder can often have a barrier with cost. It is important to ask the OCD therapist if they can take insurance, however there are not many that will. If the OCD specialist does not take insurance, not all hope is lost. Many therapists will work with individuals on a sliding payment scale, or may have associates working with them who charge a lesser fee. Do not be afraid to ask the therapist if there are payment options in order to get the therapy you need for OCD. It also may be possible to get a single-case agreement with your insurance company. Inquire with your insurance for more information.

There are many strategies you can explore in helping to get the most out of the therapy sessions you can afford. Talking to your therapist about OCD self-help strategies in between sessions such as homework, peer support, apps, workbooks, and support groups are ways to get supplemental support to advance recovery with OCD. A therapist can assign homework in between sessions to help further you along in the therapy process. Peer support is an incredible way to receive support from an individual with lived experience at a lesser cost than therapy. There are OCD apps, workbooks, and programs designed to support individuals for accountability and support during treatment. Support groups online or in your area are a great way to receive support as well throughout your therapy experience.

If you are in need of an OCD therapist in your area or other resources, please go to treatmentforocd.com and fill out the contact form to set a consultation or peer support session with Chrissie Hodges. Chrissie will be able to help you find the right therapist and resources to find your path to recovery with OCD.

The Ebb & Flow of OCD Symptoms

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The Ebb & Flow of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Symptoms

Untreated symptoms of OCD can sometimes take a backseat to other things in life, and at other times they can be driving the vehicle dangerously full speed ahead. The waxing and waning of symptoms can be just as maddening as the symptoms themselves. When symptoms aren’t as prevalent, sufferers will often hold the belief that perhaps they may diminish and disappear forever. Unfortunately, this sets the individual up for feeling a giant loss of hope when symptoms return at full force. The fleeting feeling of relief provides a greater sense of urgency when the sufferer is hit square in the face with uncontrollable anxiety and the need to do compulsions.

This is the nature of OCD. OCD is a chronic condition and worsens without proper treatment. Treatment can be implemented at any time, but unfortunately many individuals will put off treatment if their symptoms have ebbed and are not extreme. This furthers the idea that perhaps their OCD isn’t as bad as they think and it can possibly subside on its own. This is a dangerous mindset. Eventually, symptoms return and the individual may experience even more distress after experiencing relief.

When OCD symptoms become present after a period of relief, sufferers may experience surges of panic and a dire need to find relief immediately. They may book an appointment with a therapist for treatment or a peer specialist for support in an urgent manner to seek hope and relief. If symptoms abate before the scheduled appointment, the urgency may have waned and individuals may cancel or not feel as engaged as they did when they booked the appointment believing maybe THIS time things will be different. It is not different, though. Untreated symptoms will likely never go away without proper medication and/or treatment with Exposure Response Prevention therapy.

There is no better time to find the right treatment for your OCD symptoms than right now. Finding help with OCD is necessary to live a full and successful life without symptoms interfering. Whether you are experiencing extreme urgency for relief, or your symptoms aren’t as extreme as they have been in the past. It is imperative to learn to manage the chronic and debilitating symptoms of OCD before things get too dire. If you are looking for an OCD therapist or resources in your area to get you on the path to recovery, please fill out the contact form on www.treatmentforocd.com to set up a consultation or peer support session with Chrissie Hodges. She can help you get you on the right track toward recovery from OCD.

Can OCD be Cured?

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Can Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder be Cured?

Obsessive-Compulsive disorder is a chronic illness that can be treated effectively with therapy. Many people will experience periods of remission and in some cases loss of symptoms altogether. However, it would be misleading to label treatment of OCD as a cure.

As mentioned in my blog ‘The Ebb and Flow of OCD Symptoms’, there is often waxing and waning in intensity of obsessions and compulsions. Often, individuals can begin to recognize a pattern when symptoms may arise and increase. These symptoms can be managed by receiving the best treatment for OCD with Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) Therapy. Familiar patterns of OCD can be learned and recognized through mindfulness and experience with the illness. In combining therapy, practice, and understanding how and when symptoms affect an individual’s life, individuals may begin to believe OCD can no longer have an impact on their lives. It is important to distinguish that OCD has become manageable, not because it has been cured.

It is important to understand that OCD is not a curable disorder because relapse can happen to anyone who has experienced OCD and remission. When an individual learns to manage OCD through ERP, it is a conditioned choice the individual has made in response to the irrational obsession. While the original obsession(s) may become obsolete, the opportunity to latch onto another obsession with an OCD response is possible. Believing one is ‘cured’ from OCD may cause the individual to be less vigilant when their brain responds to an irrational fear.  Engaging in the OCD cycle even once could trigger a relapse. Relapse is devastating for anyone, but can add an extra layer of hopelessness to someone who believed they were ‘cured’ from OCD.

When people are seeking treatment and they find out there is no ‘cure’ for OCD, it can deter them from engaging in therapy and cause them to feel hopelessness. It is important to understand that although ERP therapy does not ‘cure’ OCD, it can absolutely help an individual manage their debilitating symptoms and gain their life back. While it may be disappointing to find out you will not be cured from OCD, it is exciting to know you have the strength within yourself to condition your brain to function in a capacity that can bring you relief instead of torment from OCD.

It is important to find the right therapist when seeking treatment for OCD. If the therapist treating you is not doing CBT/ERP therapy, you are wasting time and money and your symptoms may worsen. For referrals to therapists and resources in your area, please go to www.treatmentforocd.com and click on the contact form for a consultation with Chrissie Hodges. She will be able to point you on the right path to recovery for OCD.