What type of therapist is best for OCD?

So, you have made the decision to begin OCD therapy! Once you want to begin therapy, you definitely want to make sure you find the right OCD therapist. It can be difficult to make the decision to start any type of therapy. Whether you are an adult or teen looking for OCD therapy, there are things that you want to consider to ensure you have chosen the best fit therapist for yourself. 

What are some ways to find a good therapist? For any type of treatment you want to find a therapist who has the proper training and experience relevant to the issues you need help for. This is essential in terms of being able to make progress in therapy and manage your symptoms differently. Of course, there are different types of therapists, in terms of the interventions and techniques that they use. And therapists can also differ in terms of their personal styles. 

Aside from any specific experience, you want to ensure that your therapist is a good match for you. This means that you feel comfortable in their presence and that you can share information with them in an open and honest way. This is a very important factor in terms of helping you make progress in therapy. It has been found that the role of the therapeutic alliance is important for treatment engagement and treatment progress. 

The therapeutic alliance is about the relationship between a client and therapist. A strong relationship will often develop when an individual has a strong sense of trust in their therapist, they feel comfortable sharing information and they become connected and engaged with the work that is being done together. This is true for both adults and youth who are looking to begin therapy. 

Beyond the relationship of therapist and client, other factors are also important regarding how to find a good therapist. In terms of a therapist who can deliver treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder, you want to also ensure that they have the right skill set. An important aspect of being an OCD therapist is having the proper training in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for OCD, with a focus on exposure and response prevention (ERP).

An OCD therapist will also usually draw on other interventions, such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy as well as the use of distress tolerance skills and emotion regulation work. These latter skills can be helpful when learning to lean into your anxiety, tolerate uncertainty and manage difficult thoughts and feelings that may emerge during exposure therapy. . 

If you are searching for a therapist for your teen with OCD, you will want them involved in the process. Adolescents and youth are often not the ones to reach out for treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder. However, it is very important that they are involved in the process.

At Forward Thinking Psychological Services, we offer an initial free of charge meeting with your potential therapist. We call this a “meet and greet”. It is all about ensuring you find the best fit therapist. We always ask that adolescents attend the meet and greet session – with or without their parents. This is another important step in ensuring that you are matched with an OCD therapist who will help you in the path to recovery. 

online OCD therapist

What techniques will be used to treat OCD?

Beyond the types of therapists that you want to look for, you will also want to understand the types of techniques and interventions that will be used during OCD therapy. 

As mentioned, CBT for the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder is evidence-based and effective. During this type of approach you or your teen will learn a variety of different skills. These will include:

  • Psychoeducation about anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Creation of a graded exposure hierarchy to begin gradual exposure and prevention work
  • In-session, coached exposure and response prevention work
  • Cognitive techniques – to learn to challenge unhelpful appraisals about your intrusive thoughts that can drive the OCD 
  • Cognitive techniques – that can allow you to challenge an inflated sense of responsibility and overestimated thoughts about harm happening to you or your loved ones
  • Exposure and response prevention work that aligns with your values and what matters to you – allowing you to push against the OCD and enhance your quality of life

Other techniques for OCD therapy will also include acceptance and commitment therapy strategies. These will include:

  • Enhancing present moment awareness
  • Noticing, naming and normalizing the experiences that you have in terms of your OCD thoughts and feelings
  • Cognitive defusion techniques to allow you to learn to unhook from difficult thoughts and feelings
  • Discussing values and committed action with respect to exposure therapy and life choices

All of these different techniques will help teens and adults with OCD change their approach to managing intrusive thoughts and anxiety. Overall, treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder will help you to become your own therapist and manage your OCD differently! At FTPS, we want to help you to take the impact and power out of your intrusive thoughts. And we will do this in a collaborative way so that you feel comfortable during therapy sessions with your healthcare provider. 

What is the training and background of the OCD therapist?

There is no one school that every OCD therapist will have gone to. However, there are certain things you can and should ask about when meeting with an individual who says they are an OCD therapist. 

The type of therapist you meet with, in terms of their experience, is important. It is essential that you meet with a qualified professional who has undergone training in cognitive behavioural therapy for OCD as well as exposure therapy for OCD. These are considered gold standard approaches to treat OCD and are evidence-based interventions. You also will want to meet with an individual who is either registered as a psychologist, social worker, psychotherapist or occupational therapist who specializes in psychotherapy. All these professionals are regulated and will only deliver treatment that they have proper training for. 

Therapists under the supervision of a psychologist (often a psychology student completing their doctoral degree) will also be well–equipped to provide you with excellent treatment. In these instances, you will want to review the training of the therapist you are meeting with as well as their psychologist supervisor. These are both important as they will work together closely on your treatment plans. If you are an adolescent or teen reaching out for OCD therapy, you will want to ensure that your healthcare provider is regulated to work with people of your age group. These are all things you can ask when first meeting your therapist. 

You can ask your potential therapist different questions when you meet them as well. These may include:

  • What is your experience working with individuals with OCD? 
  • Can you tell me more about your clinical training and background?
  • What is your approach to treatment when working with individuals with OCD?
  • Do you use exposure therapy for OCD? Can you give me some examples of what that would look like in our therapy together?
  • What happens if I experience a lot of anxiety during treatment? How can you help me manage this?

What is the treatment cost?

Treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder would not be covered under OHIP in Ontario in a private practice clinic. However, private insurance plans will sometimes cover OCD therapy. It is important to check with your insurance provider to find out more information. 

How should I get started?

What would be the next steps for you? Does FTPS provide OCD treatment near me? If you are interested in OCD therapy, we offer virtual therapy in Ontario and BC for OCD. These are great things to talk about with our team!

How do our services work? These are all the services we offer to get you started at FTPS for the best treatment possible and best OCD therapist:

  • We offer a free intake call with our intake coordinator who knows about OCD and will ask you important questions to understand what you are looking for
  • We will provide you and/or your teen with the opportunity to meet with an associate for a 30 minute no charge meet and greet. This provides you with an opportunity to speak with an associate, learn about their approach and ask all the questions you have
  • If the initial associate you met with is not a good match for you, you can meet with another associate – free of charge! Just let us know!
  • Browse through our website and learn about the profiles of all our team members.
  • Talk to the intake team about who feels like a good fit. We will have suggestions as well, based on our experiences with the therapist-matching process

Reach out to us at Forward Thinking Psychological Services. We are ready to work with you and your loved ones on symptoms of OCD. We will bring you closer to a life that is of value to you. We look forward to hearing from you!

DISCLAIMER: This content is meant for informational and educational purposes only. Only a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist can diagnose a mental health disorder. The content of this website is not meant to be a substitute for therapy. Visiting this website should not be considered to be equivalent to a relationship with FTPS. Mental health concerns should only be discussed in the context of providing professional services after the consent process has been completed with a qualified FTPS associate outside of our website.