Counselling and Therapy for OCD

Counselling and Therapy for OCD

Online and in-person

What is OCD? What are OCD Symptoms?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health disorder characterized by repetitive, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and behaviors (compulsions) that a person feels the need to perform.

Symptoms of OCD may include:

  • Obsessions: Persistent and intrusive thoughts, ideas, or images that cause anxiety or distress. Examples of obsessions might include a fear of germs or contamination, a need for things to be organized in a specific way, or a concern about harm coming to oneself or others.
  • Compulsions: Behaviors or rituals that a person feels the need to perform in order to reduce the anxiety or distress caused by the obsessions. Examples of compulsions might include excessive hand washing, checking and rechecking things, or ordering and rearranging objects.
  • Difficulty controlling obsessions and compulsions: A person with OCD may find it difficult to control their obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors, even if they recognize that they are unreasonable or excessive.
  • Significant time spent on obsessions and compulsions: Obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors can take up a significant amount of time and interfere with daily life.
  • Distress: Obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors can cause significant distress and anxiety.

If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of OCD, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional. Treatment for OCD may include therapy, medication, or a combination of both.

Common Types

There are many types of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and the specific obsessions and compulsions can vary widely from person to person. Some common types of OCD include:

  • Contamination OCD: This type of OCD involves a fear of contamination or germs and may involve compulsions such as excessive hand washing or cleaning.
  • Checking OCD: This type of OCD involves a need to check and recheck things, such as locks, appliances, or the safety of loved ones.
  • Symmetry and ordering OCD: This type of OCD involves a need for symmetry and order, and may involve compulsions such as arranging objects in a specific way or needing to perform certain actions in a certain order.
  • Hoarding OCD: This type of OCD involves a difficulty discarding possessions, even if they are no longer needed or wanted, and may involve compulsions such as keeping and acquiring a large number of items.
  • Scrupulosity OCD: This type of OCD involves a fear of committing moral or religious transgressions and may involve compulsions such as excessive praying or confessing.

It is important to note that these are just a few examples and that OCD can manifest in many different ways. If you or someone you know is experiencing obsessions and compulsions that are causing significant distress or interfering with daily life, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional.

Woman stares into a mirror.

Why Seek Help for OCD

OCD can significantly impact a person’s quality of life: The obsessions and compulsions associated with OCD can take up a lot of time and energy, making it difficult for a person to focus on other activities or pursue their goals.

The obsessions and compulsions associated with OCD can be anxiety-provoking and can cause a person to feel overwhelmed and stressed.

The behaviors associated with OCD can be embarrassing or socially unacceptable, leading a person to feel isolated from others.

The sooner a person with OCD seeks treatment, the more effective it is likely to be. It is important to seek help as soon as you start to notice symptoms of OCD.

Treatment for OCD

The most effective treatment options for OCD are Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and/or medication. The most effective form of CBT is Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), which has strong evidence supporting its use in the treatment of OCD. Additionally, medications called serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) can be effective in treating OCD.

How Can Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) Help with OCD?

Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is a type of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) that is specifically designed to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). ERP involves exposing a person to their obsessive thoughts and the situations that trigger their compulsions, and then helping them learn to resist performing the compulsive behaviors.

The goal of ERP is to help a person with OCD learn to tolerate the anxiety and discomfort that comes with their obsessive thoughts and gradually reduce their compulsive behaviors. By gradually exposing themselves to their feared thoughts and situations and learning to cope with the anxiety and discomfort that comes with it, a person with OCD can learn to overcome their obsessions and reduce their compulsions.

“There is a wisdom in trauma when we realize that our traumatic responses and imprints are not ourselves and that we can work them through and thus become ourselves.”

― Gabor Mate