Obsessive-compulsive and related disorders include obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), trichotillomania (hair pulling disorder), and excoriation (skin picking disorder). Each of these involve a strong urge to perform a certain behavior—check the door locks, pull a hair, pick at a spot on your skin—that can become very distressing until you give in and act on the urge. Often the urges are accompanied by feelings of anxiety, stress, or fear that might temporarily go away once you act on the urge. However, this creates a problematic cycle, with you constantly having to perform certain behaviors to feel some relief from anxiety, and your anxiety intensifying more and more each time.
Many people try to “get by” and deal with these issues on their own for years, leading to long-term stress and exhaustion and getting in the way of living meaningful lives. However, this does not need to be the case—these problems can be effectively treated and people often see significant improvement within as little as 15 therapy sessions.
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Dallas CBT specializes in treatment for OCD in children and adults. Contact us today at 214-305-2110 or fill out the contact form below to receive more information about treatment.
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Potential signs of OCD:
- Preoccupation with certain fears, such as contamination, harming self or others, acting out sexually, or offending God
- Stressful or scary thoughts, images, urges that pop up repeatedly in ones mind, or a frequent feeling that things are not “just right”
- Feeling compelled to do certain behaviors over and over again in order to feel less anxious or get rid of a certain thought
- Feeling like you cannot control the unwanted thoughts and behaviors
- Frequently being late because of compulsive behaviors
Our state-of-the-art treatment involves Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is an empirically supported treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and anxiety disorders including social anxiety, panic disorder, and phobias. ERP involves gradual and systematic exposure to anxiety-provoking situations while simultaneously reducing and eliminating typical fear responses, such as escape or avoidance or compulsive behaviors in OCD (e.g., checking, washing, ordering). With young children, exposure-based CBT requires significant involvement from the parent(s).
Exposure therapy is a type of CBT that is the most effective for anxiety and obsessive-compulsive related disorders. In fact, it is often referred to as the “gold-standard” of psychological treatments for these issues. Exposure involves gradually and systematically confronting fears and anxiety-provoking situations that you have been avoiding, with the aid and support of your therapist. Exposure provides the opportunity to learn that feared consequences are unlikely to come true and that your anxiety will go down naturally over time– and after repeated exposure, it will stay down. Exposures can be conducted as imaginal, where you are asked to imagine a feared situation, in vivo, or real life exposure, and interoceptive, which involves confronting feared bodily sensations. The overarching goal of exposure therapy is to reduce or eliminate avoidance of objectively safe situations, which leads to reduction in anxiety about these situations. Although this treatment causes short-term anxiety, as it involves facing the fears that you have been avoiding, it is the most effective way to gain long-term freedom from anxiety.
In exposure therapy, you can expect to: learn about causes of anxiety and factors maintaining it, identify the role that thoughts play in the anxiety process while learning to frame thoughts differently and, most importantly, engage in gradual and systematic exposure to situations which provoke anxiety. Treatment is tailored to each client, with their specific type of anxiety and their own experiences influencing the content of each component of treatment.