OCD TREATMENT OVERVIEW
Our office provides OCD counseling provided by trained psychologists and counselors.
It is very important to find a therapist trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, specifically a subset of this therapy called ERP (Exposure and Response Prevention), Metacognitive Therapy (MCT) and/or ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) to treat OCD symptoms. This is because traditional therapeutic approaches that might focus on skills like relaxation or reframing in an effort to 'control' symptoms can actually make OCD worse.
Through research, we have found ERP to be the gold standard treatment to successfully manage distress and to stop compulsions. Although it may seem like a paradox, we have found that engaging in the compulsions themselves actually makes the anxiety and obsessions worse. ERP teaches the brain to tolerate the distress of the obsessions causing the brain to eventually become desensitized (I know it might seem impossible - but one fundamental truth about human neurobiology is that the brain can eventually get 'bored' of almost anything if exposed to it enough!). The attempt to escape the distress of the obsessions through compulsions reinforces the intensity of OCD.
Currently, Dr. Ali Iverson, Dr. Gabrielle Rozio, and Jennifer Salazar, LPC are trained in ERP and ACT for OCD treatment.
Here are treatment steps:
Step 1: Complete a 60-minute intake interview.
Step 2: Your therapist will work with you to learn about the biology and patterns associated with OCD, will discuss the rationale for treatment, and will help you understand the treatment structure.
Step 3: Your therapist will introduce self-monitoring and will create a hierarchy of exposures with you. You will learn the principles of Metacognitive Therapy (MCT). You may also work on creating something called an acceptance script.
Step 4: You will work with your therapist through the hierarchy of exposures. Commitment to the therapy is essential - your therapist will work with you to identify possible secondary gains or other therapy interfering behaviors as necessary.
Step 5: You will work on self-exposure at home under the guidance of your therapist.
Step 6: The process will continue until your brain has become desensitized. You will then discuss relapse prevention with your therapist.