OCD and Exposure

You have mostly likely heard the acronym OCD before but do you know what it stands for?  OCD stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  We all have obsessions such as worrying bad things will happen and compulsions such as knocking on wood.  The O and the C of OCD are a natural part of our lives.  It is when these obsessions and compulsions begin to run our lives that it becomes a disorder.

According to Aureen Pinto Wagner, one of the leading OCD experts for children, “obsessions are thoughts or worries that pop into your mind and won’t go away, even when there’s no reason to be worried”.   Some common obsessions are worries about germs, getting sick, doing something wrong, hurting others, thinking things have to be just right, and saving things you do not need.   Wagner states “compulsions are the rituals you do over and over again to make the obsession go away”.  Some examples of rituals are washing, cleaning, apologizing repeatedly, arranging, checking, and starting things over again.

Dealing with OCD can make you feel confused, scared, angry, embarrassed, sad, and hopeless.  The good news is that there are effective forms of treatment.  According to the International OCD Foundation, one of the most effective forms of therapy is a cognitive behavioral therapy called Exposure-Response Prevention, or “ERP”.  The IOCDF states:

The “Exposure” in ERP refers to confronting the thoughts, images, objects and situations that make a person with OCD anxious. The “Response Prevention” in ERP refers to making a choice not to do a compulsive behavior after coming into contact with the things that make a person with OCD anxious.

Working through OCD requires support and a desire to make changes.  These changes can often be difficult. However, change can happened through ERP once you have committed to do the work.  If you or your child are dealing with OCD and are ready to seek help, be sure to choose a counselor who understands the disorder and is using ERP to treat OCD.  Amy Smith, one of our counselors here at Life Skills Resource Group, recently attended an in-depth three-day intensive training course in cognitive behavior therapy for mental health professionals who are treating individuals with OCD and related disorders.

The Orlando counselors and life coaches at Life Skills Resource Group have made a commitment to help individuals, couples, children, adolescents, and families incorporate positive healthy skills into their lives and would be honored to help you and your family. Please read about OUR TEAM here at Life Skills Resource Group in Orlando and become familiar with the counselors and life coaches who are willing to help you on your journey.


Amy Smith