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.