What is OCD?

OCD stand for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It is characterized by unwanted intrusive thoughts that cause great distress. In order to ease the anxiety associated with the obsessive thoughts the sufferer will engage in behaviors. These are the compulsions. Unfortunately the behaviors only temporarily relieve the anxiety so they are repeated. Sometimes the sufferer will need to engage in the compulsive behavior for a long time causing severe disruptions to their life. OCD behaviors can be excessive hand/body washing, checking doors, locks, etc., things needing to be “right”, i.e. straight angles, numbered a certain way.

Treatment for OCD and anxiety is done from a Cognitive Behavioral model which includes Exposure with Response prevention. We examine the thinking behind the behavior to see if it is “realistic” thinking or “anxiety” thinking. Exposure therapy involves confronting the behaviors that are meant to alleviate anxiety. Together we create a list of “experimental” behaviors meant to challenge the anxiety. You will never be surprised or tricked and you will never be asked or told to do something you are not ready to do. The treatment is collaborative and cooperative.