Because it’s important to find a therapist who has the proper training, skills and experience to effectively implement Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) – and is also an individual with whom your loved one feels comfortable – it’s worthwhile to interview a potential therapist.  Here are some questions to ask a therapist before committing to treatment:

  • Are you trained to use cognitive behavior therapy to treat OCD?
  • Where did you obtain your training?
  • How many clients with OCD have you successfully treated?
  • Are you ever willing to leave the office for treatment sessions?
  • Will you conduct therapy sessions by telephone or online (e.g., Skype) if necessary?
  • Are you licensed to practice in this state?
  • What techniques do you use to treat this specific form of OCD?  (You want them to mention CBT involving Exposure and Response Prevention, or ERP).

Avoid a treatment provider who:

  • Claims that the main technique for managing OCD is relaxation or talk therapy or play therapy for children;
  • Believes that OCD is caused by childhood trauma, toilet training, self-esteem issues or family dynamics;
  • Blames parents or one’s upbringing for OCD;
  • Seems guarded or angry at questions about treatment techniques; or
  • Claims that medication alone is the most appropriate treatment for OCD

Your family member’s relationship with his or her therapist is vital.  During therapy, your loved one will have to discuss fears and behaviors – which may be very uncomfortable – as well as take on ERP exercises the therapist prescribes.  Finding the right person is important not only for your loved one but also for your entire family.  A therapist can play a significant role in helping a spouse or other family members learn how to respond appropriately to OCD behavior.  In addition, a professional may be able to help you and other family members learn to manage negative emotions and other difficulties that result from living with a person who has OCD.  It’s extremely important that the family work together as a team to gain control over this disorder.

You can contact Beyond OCD to discuss therapy options for OCD.

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