It’s almost 2022 and time for New Year’s resolutions. And you want to work on your OCD as your resolution! Congratulations! You have come to the right place. We can help you find the right therapist and begin your work.
In this blog, we will talk about what to look for in an OCD therapist. And what to do to be motivated to work on your OCD!
When choosing any therapist, you want to focus on the right fit. That often means that you feel comfortable speaking with the therapist and that a safe space has been created for you. It also means that you can talk about things with your therapist that cause you distress and anxiety. Of course, you also want a therapist with experience in treating OCD. Here are some key elements to look for in your therapist when you meet with them to start your OCD work:
- Your therapist has training in CBT, with a focus on Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP).
- Your therapist understands what OCD is – that means they understand the nature of obsessions and compulsions/rituals.
- Your therapist understands the nature of intrusive thoughts and the normalcy of intrusive thoughts. We know that everyone has these types of thoughts. Therapy is about changing your relationship to these thoughts. Therapy is not about changing these thoughts themselves.
- You are able to set specific goals with your therapist. At the end of your first 1-2 sessions, you feel you have a greater understanding of your presenting issues and what you will be working on.
- Although you are seeking help for your OCD, you might have other issues you want to work on. You can ask your therapist about their experience with other issues as well. This will allow you to understand the full scope of what you can talk about in therapy.
Working on symptoms of OCD is hard work! In therapy you will learn: important facts about OCD and ERP work, facing triggers and not turning to compulsions and rituals, leaning into anxiety and distress; and building up your fear tolerance muscles.
You might be thinking, how will I tolerate experiencing this anxiety and distress? Or, what if my anxiety gets so high and never comes down? These are important concerns to discuss with your therapist. Your therapist will tell you that your body is better at managing anxiety than you think. We know from research that our bodies are able to ride the wave of intense anxiety and bring ourselves back to baseline, even when we do nothing at all! This is just one of many important things we learn about when starting therapy for OCD and anxiety.
You can also think about taking small steps as you work on your symptoms of OCD and anxiety. Rome wasn’t built in a day! And you can’t overcome something that has been a part of your life for many years. However, you can work on overcoming your fear and distress with professional support and guidance. Also, you can learn that fear is not dangerous. You can build up your tolerance to fear and anxiety in the same way you can build up your muscles at a gym. Anxiety is uncomfortable, but it is definitely not dangerous.
We are very glad you have found us here at Forward Thinking Psychological Services. As we start a new year, we have also launched a brand new website. You might notice that our look has changed. But we have stayed the same and continue to offer evidence-based treatment for OCD, anxiety disorders and so much more!
Explore our site! Learn about everything we do. We offer services throughout Ontario and British Columbia and are excited to work with you.
A New Year is approaching. The time iS NOW. We are here for you – reach out!
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