“OCD is chronic”, as stated by experienced psychologist Fred Penzel, Ph.D. Because OCD is a complex mental condition, finding help may pose some difficulties. Not all mental health professionals are capable and well- trained to understand and treat OCD. And this has been a significant challenge for many patients and families.
The American Psychological Association recommends starting the treatment with Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). It is a type of Cognitive Behavior Therapy where the person is exposed to objects, thoughts, or situations that are known to start the obsessions and gradually taught how to manage and overcome them.
The following are helpful tips on how to make sure that someone finds the right therapist who knows OCD and its treatment well.
- Ask what kind of treatment method will be used for OCD. The right therapist will be able to answer you right away that you will need cognitive-behavior therapy particularly exposure and response prevention. “Cognitive Behavioural Therapy helps the patient explore and understand alternative ways of thinking and challenging their beliefs through behavioural exercises”, Dr Victoria Bream, a clinical psychologist explains. There should be no other methods or psychological treatments that shall be mentioned aside from the ones being mentioned.
- Ask what is involved in CBT and how it is going to be like. The answer you should be getting is that it includes the ability to face and overcome your fears and stopping from performing rituals. If the therapist assures you of being relaxed, hypnotized, able to perform thought stopping and biofeedback, be cautious and start to look for other therapists that can answer the question accurately.
- It is essential that a therapist has formal and thorough training with the use of CBT. Ask for their credentialing certificates.
- Experience-wise, the therapist had treated 5-10 persons with OCD with the use of CBT before you. “Before starting treatment, you can ask the psychologist or other therapist if they practice CBT in general and these specialized methods in particular, and whether they provide practice assignments between sessions—a good sign,” stated clinical psychologist Robert A. Lavine Ph.D.
- Confidence should be the language of competency. Your therapist should display confidence in explaining the treatment program particularly the process of CBT in getting good results.
- When asked about the time frame of the treatment, your therapist must provide you a CBT program that will run within about 20 meetings. Much longer than this may require other activities that the therapist will incorporate into the sessions.
- Find a therapist who is not conscious of his time spent on the therapy sessions, instead sets priority with your treatment process.
- Will allow you to bring in some resources self-help materials to see where you are with working on your condition.
Sometimes, psychiatrists can prescribe drugs to help with anxiety symptoms like increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, and panic attacks. The psychiatrist will also be giving some anti-depressants if required. A referral to the psychiatrist may need if the symptoms are too much and can compromise the present medical state of the person.
Finding the right therapist to help you with your mental health disorder should not be taken for granted. Aside from financial reasons, your time and effort are also considered as you continue to look for positive ways in dealing with your mental health state. This must be addressed, and one strategy is to obtain accurate and safe treatment modalities from a legitimate and highly specialized mental health provider that will make your money worth and your psychological health state improve.