OCD Self Help

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Self-Help for OCD

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a disorder where individuals experience unwanted, intrusive obsessions accompanied by anxiety. In response to the anxiety, individuals perform compulsions in order to obtain temporary relief. OCD is a chronic, debilitating disorder that requires therapeutic help and/or medication to treat. There is not a cure for OCD, however symptoms can be managed and it is possible to live a successful and productive life with OCD.

Medication, prescribed and monitored by a doctor is an effective way to manage symptoms. Exposure Response Prevention therapy (ERP) is the gold-standard and best therapeutic treatment for OCD. There are many therapists who are trained in using ERP that can help teach individuals how to manage OCD and live successful lives. It is imperative to find a therapist who specializes in treating OCD. If a therapist is not using ERP therapy, they are not effective in helping treat the symptoms of OCD.
Self help for OCD is not recommended before receiving treatment from a trained professional. While there are many resources to learn about ERP therapy, it is imperative to work with a trained therapist to learn and understand how OCD affects the mind and how ERP can help you manage OCD. Trying to learn ERP therapy on one’s own may increase anxiety and could potentially worsen symptoms.

Once an individual has received ERP therapy, it is possible to apply the techniques to symptoms on one’s own with future obsessions and compulsions. ERP therapy teaches OCD sufferers techniques they can apply to symptoms and practice with future symptoms to help alleviate anxiety and the need to perform compulsions. However, individuals may need to seek help from a trained therapist depending on the severity of the symptoms. Self help for OCD is not recommended if an individual is experiencing overwhelming anxiety and depression, or suicidal thoughts or ideation.

There are many tools and support networks available for individuals who are seeking avenues for self help for OCD after treatment. Therapy apps and programs have been created by sufferers to help others who live with OCD or are looking for supplemental help during or after treatment. Peer support specialists can help individuals through therapy and after to use their lived experience to support individuals working toward recovery. Support groups and online support groups can also be helpful for individuals to help them feel less alone and help with the stigma that accompanies recovering from a mental illness.

It is possible to provide self help for OCD after an individual has received effective treatment for OCD through ERP therapy. The tools and techniques one learns in therapy can be applied to other obsessions and compulsions that may arise from OCD within their lifetime. However, if anxiety, depression, or suicidal ideation becomes overwhelming, it is recommended that individuals seek help immediately and receive ERP treatment to learn to combat the debilitating symptoms of OCD.

If you are looking for therapists and resources in your area to help treat OCD, please contact Chrissie Hodges at . Chrissie can help you find the right path to recovery by finding effective treatment and resources for 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 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.