Did you know that approximately 2 percent of the global population has obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)? It’s one of the most common mental health conditions. You’re probably reading this because you searched ‘OCD therapy near me’ or ‘OCD therapy online. Well, there are numerous options, online platform such as BetterHelp.com are good solutions if you’re living far from a city for example.
Here’s the deal: therapy for OCD has proven to be highly beneficial, even without the use of medication. So if or your loved one has this disorder, therapy is a viable option. However, educating yourself beforehand is key to finding a good therapist capable of delivering the right treatment.
This article will present everything you should know.
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- What is OCD?
- Treatment Options for OCD
- Best Online Therapies for OCD
- How Do I Find OCD Counseling Near Me?
- How Do I Find an OCD Therapy Online?
- Tips for Selecting a Therapist for OCD
What is OCD?
OCD or obsessive-compulsive disorder describes a behavior where a person repeatedly performs an action or actions as a result of thoughts or sensations. This could be something as simple as double-checking doors and windows or something complicated as obsessing over religion or another person.
The reason why it got the name obsessive-compulsive disorder is that the thoughts or sensations present as obsessions, whereas the behavior resulting from it, is often compulsive, i.e., beyond the person’s control.
If the person is not able to do the task they are obsessed with, they can feel frustrated, stressed, and even emotional at times.
Such individuals lack control over their thoughts and actions. As a result, this disorder can cause serious disruptions in their lifestyle and also impact the people around them in more ways than one.
Examples of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
While the symptoms of OCD vary greatly, there are some common examples of symptoms and behaviors that indicate the presence of OCD. These may include:
- Excessive fear of contaminants or germs that can make one sick. Such individuals may repeatedly wash their hands, avoid physical contact with others, and fear visiting hospitals.
- Unwanted violent or bizarre sexual thoughts and compulsion to act on those thoughts.
- Obsession with order or perfection like even number of objects, straight lines, and properly labeled things.
- Too much focus on religion to the extent of fanatism, leading to excessive fear of God or obsession with morality.
- Superstitious ideas like lucky or unlucky socks, numbers, dates, or colors. Even overreliance on zodiac signs may be considered a symptom of OCD.
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Treatment Options for OCD
Typically, there are two routes of treatment for people with OCD: medication and therapy. Often, these two are used together, especially for severe cases combined with other mental disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or general anxiety.
A World Journal of Psychiatry article pondered over the two main treatment options for OCD backed by research and evidence. It states that OCD treated with medication alone has a higher chance of relapse. On the other hand, therapy has better results.
It also states that drop-out rates of those who do go to therapy are also comparatively higher, which just goes to underscore how important it is to work with a professional therapist who knows how to effectively treat the client with such a disorder.
On the pharmacological front, OCD is usually treated with anti-depressants. This presents the risk of over-dependence or even addiction to these anti-depressants, which opens yet another can of worms. In such instances, the client may get worse and face new problems.
Best Online Therapies for OCD
Before we talk about finding an OCD therapist near you or going for OCD therapy online, let’s talk about the specific therapies available for the treatment. This will help you talk in detail when you consult with a therapist as to what course of action should be taken.
In most instances, a psychologist may use more than one therapy for OCD.
Here are the well-known therapies for treating OCD:
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
CBT is one of the most common therapies in the psychology world, used for the treatment of various mental illnesses and conditions, including OCD. The main purpose of CBT is to help the client understand their thoughts and where they are coming from.
It helps people first control their obsession and, ultimately, their compulsiveness by recognizing their thought patterns and understanding the erroneous messages their brain sends. This therapy may have its limitations in certain cases, especially if OCD is paired with serious mental illnesses like Schizophrenia.
Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP)
ERP is a type of cognitive behavior therapy, which is considered the best for OCD. It has shown the most efficacy in OCD treatment in numerous studies. Just recently, an Italian study focused on OCD patients during the Covid-19 pandemic showed once again that ERP works, especially when used with other interventions.
EPR basically involves gradually exposing the person to objects or situations that cause anxiety or fear. It also teaches how to respond to such stimuli and control compulsions by altering responses.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
EMDR, although more common for PTSD, anxiety, and depression, can also be used for treating OCD, especially one that’s linked with trauma. Research has shown that EMDR can also help treat OCD caused as a result of PTSD.
Usually, therapists combine EMDR with CBT for treating such patients.
How Do I Find OCD Counseling Near Me?
Now, let’s address the main question: how to find OCD therapy near me? With OCD quite common in many parts of the world, many psychotherapists provide therapy for OCD. So, it shouldn’t be so difficult to find an OCD therapist in your town or city.
That said, it can be difficult in some places where there aren’t many therapists or those that are there are fully booked. It could also be that you have tried local therapists, and you want to change your therapist. Whatever the reason may be, here are some ways you can find near you:
The first thing you can do is type ‘OCD doctors near me’ or ‘OCD therapists near me’ on search engines and go through the results. You may have to spend some time winnowing out the relevant from the irrelevant.
Not all therapists may be best at OCD, so once you have found a therapist or a mental healthcare clinic, make sure to check out their website. You can even call them directly and discuss therapy options as well as the fee and insurance details.
Search in Online Directories
Another way to find a certified therapist for OCD is to search online directories. They may not have recommendations for all areas, but if you live in a big city, you can surely find many.
Ask a Medical Practitioner, Friend, or Family Member
You can also try asking a medical professional like your general physician for a recommendation. Similarly, you can also ask friends and family to refer an OCD therapist if they know of one.
How Do I Find an OCD Therapy Online?
Since it can be hard to find and see an OCD therapist in person for some, especially those with limited options, online therapy for OCD presents a great opportunity to manage this condition.
Online therapy works just like in-person, except you use telemedicine modes like audio calls, video calls, and text messages.
While some therapists provide teletherapy online independently, your best bet is to go with an online therapy platform. This will eliminate your search time by presenting you with a qualified therapist.
The most reliable online OCD treatment is being provided by the therapists on BetterHelp.com. The platform is one of the biggest in the world, with hundreds of therapists who are all qualified and trained.
You can even find one who is located in your town or state. But really, you can connect with a therapist from anywhere. The best part is that it matches with the therapist itself. So as soon as you mention OCD in the initial sign-up form, you’ll be matched with a therapist specializing in OCD.
If you want a specific therapy like ERP or EMDR, you can also find that on this platform.
Tips for Selecting a Therapist for OCD
- Make sure that you explain your situation and symptoms in as detail as possible.
- You should click with the therapist and feel comfortable.
- Before trying a specific therapy, ask the professional to walk you through what it entails and what you can expect.
- Make sure to check for their qualifications and certifications.
- Don’t feel hesitant to ask questions or raise concerns, especially when you feel uncomfortable.
You can find OCD counselling near me for both in-person and online treatment. However, online therapy may be more flexible and affordable. In any case, do what you feel works best for you.
Don’t be discouraged if therapy is taking time, as OCD cannot be treated overnight. Also, relapse can occur, but it’s important to go into therapy again and get the control back.
OCD isn’t entirely untreatable. Even if you cannot achieve a total cure, you can make it manageable and learn how to cope with the obsessions and compulsions.
Writer for Therapy Hunter as well as psychology
professor at Malta University.