I am an adult with obsessive compulsive disorder.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or OCD, is a biologically based mental illness where the sufferer has obsessions, or thoughts that are intrusive and distressing, and they perform rituals (compulsions) to relieve the anxiety. If the degree of functioning and impairment is high enough, it’s considered a disorder.

If you think or know you have OCD, we’ll develop a plan to show you that it doesn’t have to rule (or ruin) your life. On the contrary, we want you to be the best you can be.

I believe my child has obsessive compulsive disorder.

The definition of OCD for the child is the same, but diagnosis can be a little trickier. Depending on the child’s age, their vocabulary may simply not be able to describe truly what they’re feeling. This is why getting an expert involved is essential. So if you’re not sure that your child has OCD but suspect it, call me, and we can discuss. Many of my clients are children, and I’m well-versed in helping children understand the various techniques for managing their OCD.

Exposure and Response Prevention

ERP is the gold standard for treating OCD, and I’m one of a few therapists in Northeast Ohio trained in it. For more information about treatment and the importance of ERP, please visit the International OCD Foundation.

Harness the Power of Willingness

Ever since the OCD conference last month, I’ve been thinking so much about the idea of willingness. it’s not a new concept for me, but something Dr. Jonathan Abramowitz said landed perfectly. He said “we’re going to use exposures to get better at having anxiety.” For anyone who hasn’t been reading my posts, an exposure…

Thoughts: What Can You Control?

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could control our worries? Sometimes. But all is not lost. Worry is a temporary feeling just like joy or anger, and it, too, serves a purpose. While we can’t control the initial thoughts that may have evoked the worry, we can control how we respond to the thoughts. The…

Stop Fighting Your Anxiety

I just came back from the Annual OCD Conference in Austin. Something I kept hearing over and over again was anxiety and fear tolerance over anxiety and fear reduction. As a therapist specializing in the treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and anxiety, this notion is something I know and impart often. But the conference speakers…

The ABCs of OCD

On Monday, we discussed the basics of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in children. I thought it might be helpful to also share this quick, ten-second breakdown. The O is for Obsessive. An obsession is an intrusive thought, which is highly distressing, that causes the child to feel worried, anxious, disgusted or just “not right.” The C…

Ask Joanna: OCD in Children

Fall has arrived! For those of us in Northeast Ohio, we look forward to the cooler temps, apple picking and pumpkin carving! We also look forward to the nationally recognized OCD Week. Ok, admittedly, only a select few of us look forward to that last one. The reason I look forward to it is because…

Treating OCD through ERP; Is it Worth it?

How Exposure and Response Prevention Can Treat Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Symptoms Every week, I talk with people struggling with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and those that love them. It’s heartbreaking to hear how lives get smaller as compulsions get bigger. Like a 24-year-old who spends hours washing a certain way out of fear of being…