OCD: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is an Anxiety Disorder characterized by the presence of obsessions (thoughts that are fearful in nature) and/or compulsions (urges to do something to eliminate fear). Clients may receive this diagnosis if these symptoms are interfering with their daily life or relationships.
Clients with OCD may find some aspects of their symptoms are very adaptive- they may be very organized and detail oriented and have a strong insistence on quality at work or other endeavors. However, many OCD clients find that there is a constant chatter in their heads to strive for illusive perfection which, if not attained can be extremely discouraging and anxiety producing.
A central feature of OCD is the fear of ambiguity or uncertainty in situations and often in relationships. People with OCD find themselves unable to stop researching or trying to figure something out. They may have difficulty not knowing for certain what will occur in the future and have difficulty when plans change. Ambiguity is extremely uncomfortable for people with OCD and they often try to avoid it through elaborate planning and focus on details as well as making sure those around them behave in expected ways.
These symptoms can become exhausting for the OCD sufferer and exasperate their families, friends and collegaues. At CriticalPath Counseling we use Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) techniques (the standard of care for OCD) to help clients change the behaviors they want to change. We help OCD sufferers feel better and learn to use self-management techniques to keep avoidance urges in check.
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