Let’s Talk 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. They perform rituals (compulsions) to relieve the anxiety. If the degree of functioning and impairment is high enough, it’s considered a disorder.
The good news is that OCD doesn’t have to rule or ruin your life.
Stop Singing OCD’s Song & Learn a New Tune.*
I treat adults who have obsessive compulsive disorder.
Exposure and Response Prevention is considered the gold standard of OCD treatment. As one of the few therapists in Northeast Ohio trained in ERP, I get to experience the freedom it brings to OCD sufferers every single day. In the most simplistic way to explain it, ERP exposes you to the thoughts, objects, images, and situations causing the distress. We then learn to respond without engaging in the rituals (that you see or don’t see) to relieve the anxiety, guilt, fear, disgust or uncertainty.
Exposures can be scary, but you’ll learn a process to approach them and skills to disengage from your thoughts and feelings, so you can commit to ritual prevention. We’ll learn that discomfort doesn’t equal danger. You can do this.
I believe strongly that the real progress happens outside of our sessions. Our brain learns by doing, which is why repetition, practice and consistency between sessions is so important. If you get stuck, we devise a plan that supports you when you need it. I may send articles, social media posts, or podcasts if I think something will help you progress. You’ll know when you can text or call me for real-life support if you’re trying to resist engaging in rituals. The entire purpose is for you to be able to do these things on your own. ERP truly empowers you.
And I look forward to the day when you don’t need me anymore — because you’ve mastered the skills to stop worrying and start living.
*One of my OCD clients used this metaphor, and I immediately fell in love with it.
Are You a Parent of a Child with OCD?
While I don’t currently treat children, I am specially trained in treating parents in Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions (SPACE).
If your child has obsessive compulsive disorder, you may feel frustrated and exhausted. Developed at the Yale School of Medicine’s Child Study Center, this program gives parents another option.
Evidence supports that parent skills training is highly effective in addressing OCD at the family level and is a great alternative or complement to individual therapy. We’ll plan out our steps in a loving and supportive way, and your newfound skills will indirectly lead to behavior changes in your child.