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.