OCD, or obsessive compulsive disorder, is an anxiety disorder characterized by unwanted thoughts and uncontrollable as well ritualized, repeated behaviors. People with OCD use their rituals to try to control their anxiety. They realize at the time that their thoughts and actions are irrational but are not able to stop them.
Some of the most common outward signs of OCD are excessive hand washing, counting steps or objects, or doing things in number groups, i.e. touching a doorknob five times before opening the door or turning the light on and off five times before leaving it on. These thoughts and actions can leave a person with OCD miserable and isolated. They may even try to break themselves of these thoughts and rituals. However, it is very hard to do alone. They need to have a therapist help them with it. The next question is how to find a therapist for OCD.
Not all therapists are qualified to work with OCD patients. Here is a list of some ways to find a therapist for OCD:
Check with professional organizations. The websites for both the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation and the Anxiety Disorders Association of America have lists of qualified therapists who use cognitive behavioral therapy. A list like this is the easiest way to find a therapist.
Check with your primary care physician or psychiatrist. Psychiatrists are a good resource to find OCD therapists because they will have a list of therapists who deal with specific disorders. They are also aware of which therapists have had complaints against them and which haven't.
Compile a list of questions. Asking things like how much training in CBT, the therapy that works best of OCD, the therapist has and how many OCD patients they have worked with in the past gives you a good way to weed out the therapists who aren't familiar with OCD. The therapist should have studied CBT in school or attended seminars and workshops as part of a continuing education process and should have worked with at least 15 OCD patients prior to you.
Know what works. There are all kinds of treatment out there. Learn what therapies work the best for you.
Fighting OCD is possible. Fighting it with the right mental health professionals makes it easier to beat and beat long-term, but finding the right therapist can be really difficult. Hopefully these suggestions will help.
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