You recently started OCD therapy, and you’re wondering what to expect in an OCD therapy session. Now it’s time to be proactive. When you look online for ‘OCD therapy near me,’ you will need to work very hard — not just during your therapy sessions but also between sessions. Read on to understand how the therapy works and what can you expect?
What is OCD?
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Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, is an anxiety disorder that affects people in different ways. People with OCD have unwanted thoughts, feelings, or behaviors that make them feel uncomfortable or distressed. They perform certain rituals to lessen their discomfort, but the rituals only provide temporary relief. Over time, they usually realize they cannot keep up with their compulsions and start believing their obsessions are true.
What is OCD Therapy?
OCD therapy typically involves both medication and psychological treatment. Psychological treatments for OCD include Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and Exposure Response Prevention (ERP).
Typically, a person will start with the preferred treatment method that they may find more effective and discontinue the other method after reaching a plateau.
When you look for ‘OCD therapy near me’ online , the sessions will typically include psychoeducation (learning about OCD), learning how to identify your symptoms, anxiety management techniques (deep breathing, relaxation training, etc.), identifying triggers for symptoms, modifying cognitions that lead to compulsive behaviors.
What Happens in an OCD Therapy Session?
An OCD therapy session typically includes a combination of psychoeducation, learning about symptoms and triggers, anxiety management techniques (e.g., deep breathing), identifying symptoms and triggers, modifying cognitions that lead to compulsive behaviors, etc.
In an average 50-minute session:
- The therapist takes around 10 minutes to conduct a brief assessment of your symptoms.
- The following 15 minutes teach you about OCD and modify cognitions that cause compulsive behaviors.
- Around five minutes will be spent on breathing relaxation exercises to lower anxiety.
- The therapist typically spends twenty-five minutes demonstrating how cognitive behavior therapy works while you practice with a series of homework assignments that the therapist has planned for you.
What Should You Expect During the Therapy Session?
You will start by learning about your symptoms and triggers during the first 10 minutes of the session. The therapist may ask questions like these to understand your experience with OCD:
- What are some things that make you anxious?
- How do you usually try to solve them?
- How successful are your attempts?
Once the therapist understands your experience with OCD, you might spend 10 to 15 minutes learning about the disorder and how cognitive behavior therapy can help you.
During this time, the therapist will typically share their experiences in treating people suffering from OCD. You may also see some examples of homework assignments that the therapist has planned for you to complete between sessions. After that, it’s time to practice some of the techniques you have been taught in the session. It may include deep breathing exercises and relaxation training.
The following 15 minutes will identify symptoms and triggers and modify cognitions leading to compulsive behaviors. Once the therapist is satisfied with your progress, you might spend another few minutes of the session on breathing exercises and relaxation training.
The therapist will spend the last 25 minutes demonstrating how cognitive behavior therapy works while you practice with a series of homework assignments planned for you to complete between sessions.