November 26, 2018

Understanding OCD Treatment

Written by Rachel Eddins

Posted in Anxiety and with tags: Anxiety, OCD

Therapist treating and understanding OCD

Trying to understand OCD can be daunting. The thoughts and behaviors you might be experiencing can be overwhelming and you might not know what can be done to alleviate your symptoms. However, OCD is manageable. Take a look at these common treatments to gain a better understanding of OCD treatments.

Exposure-Response Prevention

In Exposure-Response Prevention (ERP), the client works with a clinician to slowly expose themselves to their obsessions without engaging in the compulsion. For someone with outward compulsive behaviors, this may seem obvious because they lessen the number of times repeating the behavior.

It can be trickier with purely-obsessional (pure-o) OCD because it’s hard to quantify a compulsion that is in your mind. It is, however, possible with techniques such as mindfulness. Engaging in thought compulsions take a lot of mental energy and sufferers can spend hours ruminating. With mindfulness, however, the client will experience the obsessive trigger and instead of engaging in the thought compulsion, they will use mindfulness to allow themselves to feel the fear and discomfort that comes with the obsession instead of engaging in the compulsion that comes along with it.

By engaging in mindfulness, you are able to let the anxious thought wash over you without engaging in the obsessive thought behaviors to try to push it away, or make it “right”. The more you do this, the less power the thought(s) have and the obsessive thought(s) become less frequent. When you do have the thought(s) again, it becomes much easier to let it come into your mind and leave your mind without obsessing over it.

Exposure Scripts

Exposure scripts are a part of ERP that takes the exposure a bit further. In exposure scripts, the client writes out a script of what the worst is that can happen with OCD.

An exposure script would look like, “I want to hurt animals. I have become a violent and terrible person.” The person should get as descriptive and gruesome as their anxiety will let them. They then should read this script several times a day, every day, until their anxiety subsides.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Learn more to understand OCD treatmentTraditional CBT has not shown to be the most effective treatment for OCD, but it can be used in conjunction with ERP. In CBT, the goal is to identify the core belief and to reframe dysfunctional thoughts.

Acceptance Commitment Therapy

In ACT, the client attempts to become fully accepting of the uncomfortable thoughts and feelings they experience. They then explore what their values are and try to commit to those values.

A person with OCD would learn to fully accept and make room for their obsessions without fighting them. There is growing research that this treatment can help greatly with OCD.

Understand OCD Treatment with a Specialist

Research for OCD treatment is a growing field and these treatment options have been shown to be the most helpful. Book an appointment with a therapist if you’d like help understanding OCD or need help alleviating your symptoms. Eddins Counseling Group in Houston, TX has many qualified clinicians specializing in OCD treatment. Call us at 832-559-2622 or book an appointment online. 


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