Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

The opposite of a wish…

“An obsession is just a [stuck thought] in a [tired mind]…You will never lose your obsession while you are trying so hard to do so… Let your thoughts play their tricks as they will” — -Claire Weekes, 1969

But an obsession only gets stuck because of the energy used to fight it (rituals and avoidance). It is like a paradox. To treat it, we stop trying to control thoughts, but rather, lean into them.

Exposure and Response Prevention (EX/RP) is all about withdrawing the fuel for the OCD fire.

We gradually expose ourselves to our most anxiety-provoking thoughts, learn to tolerate the feelings, and then prevent rituals.

Are You Interested in Participating in Exposure and Response Prevention (EX/RP) Therapy?

I am looking for select candidates to provide EX/RP treatment to complete my certification as an EX/RP Provider for OCD. Ideal participants are:

  • 18-30 years old
  • Have been formally diagnosed with OCD in the past or suspect they have OCD
  • Willing to participate in 2x weekly sessions (90-120 min each, over 8-10 weeks)
  • Complete daily self-monitoring
  • Willing to face their obsessional fears and tolerate discomfort
  • May have tried EX/RP or have no experience with it

If you are interested, please use this form and answer the following questions:

  1. Please tell me your age, occupation, and city of residence.
  2. Have you ever been formally been diagnosed with OCD?
  3. Have you been treated before in the past using EX/RP?
  4. Why do you want to receive EX/RP?
  5. Do you need financial assistance to cover the cost of sessions?
Treatment Overview
  • Model overview:
    • 17-20 sessions, 90 minutes each session, 2x per week
    • During each session: Exposures (In-Vivo and Imaginal)
    • Daily Homework
    • Check-ins
    • Eliminating Rituals and Avoidance
  • Sessions 1-2 Assessment: 2 sessions-120 min each session.
    • Information Gathering
    • Create a Hierarchy of the Planned Exposures
  • Sessions 3+: (90-120 min each session, 2x per week)
    • In-Vivo and Imaginal Exposures based on the Hierarchy
    • 90+/- minutes of exposure and then processing in session
    • Plan the homework and check-ins
    • Complete self-monitoring during the week
    • Refrain from completing rituals and compulsions during the week
Common Types of Obsessions and Compulsions

Obsessions

  • Harming/Aggression (self or others)
  • Contamination
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Hoarding/Saving
  • Religion/Morality/Scrupulosity
  • Symmetry, Exactness, Order
  • Somatic/Body
  • Other

Compulsions

  • Washing/Cleaning
  • Checking
  • Ordering/Arranging
  • Repeating/Counting
  • Seeking Reassurance/Self-Reassurance
  • Undoing
  • Confessing
  • Mental Rituals
  • Memory checking
  • Self reassurance
  • Mental undoing/repeating
  • Arguing internally
  • Ritualized prayer
  • Monitoring
Why We Don’t Follow the Content of an Obsession

Content can be:

  • Bizarre
  • Fearful
  • Shaming
  • Humiliating
  • Guilty
  • Embarrassing
  • Depressing
  • Blasphemous
  • Contamination
  • Horror
  • Disgust
  • Mutilation
  • Violent
  • Abusive
  • Dangerous

Anxiety attaches itself to things you care a lot about–safety, love, connection, health (e.g. you worry about your children getting sick, because you love them dearly). It can also be absolutely meaningless. Following the content of an obsession is misleading and will only perpetuate the obsession as a negative reinforcer. You do not need to out logic or over analyze an obsession. The content, while it may not be random, is meaningless about you as a whole person. You are not dirty, evil, stupid, or anything else hurtful for having this experience.

Book an appointment to get started!
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