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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

We all have that friend who says things like, “I’m so OCD about that,” when talking about keeping their desk tidy, but real obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a complex anxiety condition that can negatively impact a person’s ability to lead a fulfilling life. We all have things that we’re particular about, but that doesn’t necessarily indicate an OCD diagnosis or need for therapy.

You can learn a little more about OCD on this page, and if you have questions or want to find out more, the team of therapists at The Center for CBT in New York City would love to chat with you about therapy for obsessive compulsive disorder.

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What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

As the name indicates, obsessive compulsive disorder is an anxiety condition that involves obsessions and/or compulsions that a person is unable to move beyond or control on their own. Obsessions may be things like unwanted thoughts, emotions, or physical sensations that happen with or without a triggering event. Compulsions are things like hand washing, organizing, tapping a pencil, biting fingernails, and other behaviors that a person may feel forced to perform to try to relieve the discomfort that the obsessive thoughts bring or how obsessing makes you feel. From time to time, people may experience obsessive thinking or engage in compulsive behavior, but individuals who have OCD usually have these experiences frequently, feel they are beyond control, and they interfere with the person’s ability to work or enjoy other aspects of their lives.

What are the signs of OCD?

Each person will experience OCD in different ways and to varying extents, which can make it a difficult condition to recognize. If you’re concerned you may be struggling with OCD, consider the following statements given by people who have OCD:

How Does CBT Help with OCD?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a unique therapeutic method that helps people to analyze the ways that thoughts, feelings, and actions are connected in order to change repeated behaviors, feelings, or thoughts that are not beneficial. For individuals with OCD, this form of therapy can be extremely beneficial. When people are able to fully understand cycles of thinking, feeling, and doing, they can begin taking steps toward change.

How Does Exposure & Response Prevention Help with OCD?

Our therapists may use a unique form of CBT called exposure and response prevention (ERP), which is the recommended therapeutic approach from the International OCD Foundation. This type of CBT involves exposing (both actually and hypothetically) an individual to specific thoughts, feelings, and actions that trigger or are linked to OCD symptoms. Then, the therapist and client engage in response prevention, which is where the person learns skills to change their obsessive or compulsive responses.

What Can I Expect During Therapy?

Because your experience with OCD is different from the experiences of others, we will spend some time getting to know you, so we can create a personalized plan geared toward helping you achieve your specific goals. Whether that includes exposure and response prevention or a combination of therapy approaches, our knowledgeable therapists continually assess your progress and adjust your plan to ensure that, through a dynamic approach to therapy, you’ll be able to achieve real, meaningful change. While we want you to make progress toward feeling more comfortable, we also recognize this is going to be a process, and it’s important to move at your pace. If you’re not ready to try out your exposure plan, let your therapist know. It’s always okay to hit pause or try something you feel more comfortable with first.
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Who offers therapy for OCD?

Each of our clinicians has years of unique training and experience that allow them to provide therapy using specific approaches that work best for certain clients. Our clinicians who offer therapy for OCD are featured below, and you can learn more about them by visiting our team page.

What Should I Do Next?

When you’re ready to begin therapy, we hope you’ll consider contacting The Center for CBT in New York City. We offer a safe space where you are free to be who you really are and express yourself and your values authentically. We embrace, value, and welcome people of all sexual orientations, genders, and racial identities. The Center for CBT in New York City makes beginning your therapy journey simple. You can get started any time by completing our online consultation request form. One of our team members will be in touch within 24 business hours to answer your questions.

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