Treatment For Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) occurs when a person gets caught in a cycle of obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are persistent thoughts, impulses, or images that are intrusive, unwanted, and distressing. These obsessions often target the things that we care about most in this world (our family, health, safety of our loved ones, etc.) In response to the distress created by these obsessions, people with OCD perform certain compulsions - mental or physical behaviors that are repeated in an attempt to get rid of the obsessions and/or decrease distress. Unfortunately, the relief that people feel from completing a compulsion is only temporary, and the obsessive-compulsive cycle continues. A diagnosis of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is made when this cycle of obsessions and compulsions becomes extreme enough to become time-consuming and/or impairs well-being.
What is the Treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?
There has been a great deal of research regarding what kind of therapy is most effective for treating OCD. The treatment with the most empirical support for its efficacy is a specialized form of cognitive behavior therapy called Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). In a nutshell, Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) breaks the vicious cycle of obsessions and compulsions by helping people to gradually expose themselves to the situations that trigger their obsessions while refraining from engaging in their compulsions.
Our therapists have extensive experience utilizing Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) to treat Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in children, teenagers, and adults. ERP therapy starts with a thorough assessment to establish a solid understanding of the client's specific OCD triggers and symptoms. We utilize this personalized information, as well as our expertise in Exposure and Response Prevention, to develop an individualized treatment plan that is tailored specifically for the client to most efficiently extinguish the obsessions and compulsions. Importantly, this is done in the context of a warm, caring environment (often with a lot of laughs) so that the client is being fully supported while having fun and feeling encouraged as they break the cycle of OCD.