- Cognitions (Thoughts)
- Behaviors (Actions)
It one of the most well studied types of therapy currently available, with very high success rates in mental health patients. Perhaps not surprisingly, it is also one of the preferred treatments for obsessive compulsive disorder, or OCD, which is an anxiety disorder characterized specifically by cognitions and behaviors.
What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?
OCD is a type of anxiety disorder where an individual suffers from persistent thoughts, known as “obsessions,” and may follow those obsessions with behaviors, known as “compulsions” that help them find some temporary relief from the obsession.
An example of OCD is an individual that frequently concerns themselves with contamination, such as fearing germs or getting sick. It causes them anxiety, but they cannot stop thinking about it (hence the term “obsession”). To worry less about it, they wash their hands frequently. This behavior is known as a compulsion.
Fear of contamination is a common obsession with OCD. But obsessions can vary considerably. Examples of obsessions include:
- Being overly concerned about forgetting something.
- Imagining murdering, raping, or otherwise hurting people.
- Guilt over sinning.
These are only a few of the many possible obsessions. In these cases, it is not that the person forgets things, or would ever hurt anyone, or has sinned. It is that they cannot stop thinking about it no matter how much they want to stop. It causes them anxiety and distress, and so they perform some type of behavior to rid themselves of the discomfort.
CBT is specifically designed to address these types of issues. With CBT, the treatment seeks to find ways to stop the obsessions through a variety of cognitive techniques that are aimed at reducing the frequency of thoughts and the reaction to them. Similarly, the behaviors a person performs when they struggle with CBT can reinforce the fear. So CBT seeks to eliminate those behaviors, and find alternative and healthy behaviors to replace them.
CBT for OCD on Long Island, NY
My goal in determining the right treatment for your unique challenges is to first get to know you as an individual, and see what you may benefit from most. In some cases, that may be a different treatment from CBT. But we’ll also look into cognitive behavioral therapy as a way to help treat your obsessive compulsive disorder, if it appears that that will provide you with the best results.
If you’d like to schedule an appointment to start talking about your OCD symptoms, please give me a call today at (516) 732-0273. I have three offices on Long Island, including one in Garden City, one in Lawrence, NY, and a new one in Rockville Centre. Contact me today to get started.