OCD & Anxiety
Effective treatments exist! Specific tools are often needed.
OCD, Anxiety, and Related Disorders- there are effective outcomes when sticking closely to the Gold Standard treatment of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). In OCD, Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is additionally recommended as the first place to start.
“To get stronger, you gotta do stuff you don't think you can do, and you gotta do that stuff while simultaneously you doubt you can do it.”
Serious Treatment For Serious Challenges
Come see the difference specialization makes
You may already be very familiar with references to OCD, especially in the larger culture. “I’m soooooo OCD” is a phrase, often unhelpful to true sufferers, that reflects the current sentiments of many: Neat. Picky. High Standards. Demanding. This is NOT necessarily OCD in and of itself. If you have the real deal, know this: it’s a very challenging disorder, AND it’s highly treatable. Stigma and lack of understanding go beyond ‘pet phrases’, and even in the clinical community, evidence-based practices can often be overlooked, seen especially through exposure therapies themselves being used a minority of the time they are indicated. If you’re ready to get serious about OCD & Anxiety Treatment, whether you’re new to the treatment world or fully initiated, a strong majority of clients who complete treatment with me find significant improvement with a range of severity levels and even multiple diagnoses.
Sticking closely to the evidence, the person and therapeutic relationship in my practice is never sacrificed for purely mechanical adherence to theory. Come discover the difference of applying the best researched, first-line treatments for OCD and Anxiety Disorders.
Curated to get you started.
We all have an alarm system in our brain. “False alarms” regularly occur in OCD, making it very difficult at times to function. Find out more about it, along with effective treatment, in this video.
What is Exposure Therapy & How Do You Do It?
Exposure therapy. It often seems strange. Counterintuitive. Find out the basics of this powerful tool.
The 4 Types of Exposure Therapy
Learn the 4 types of exposure therapy with examples.
ERP 4 OCD- Ultimate Guide to treating OCD by Justin K. Hughes, MA, LPC
This FREE Training on ERP for OCD covers all the essential basics and more: – its history, the diagnosis of OCD, how exposure therapy is used, the gap between evidence and practice, and MUCH more. Find the full slides below.
Egosyntonic & Egodystonic
Sometimes the things I think about are because I value them or desire them. Sometimes the things I think about are because I don’t value them or desire them. What the heck? Find out the difference between two important terms, especially helpful in treating intrusive thoughts.
Guides and Brochures
FREE for subscribers- click to get NOW!
This guide was formulated to walk with you in being mindful in an “Exposure-Friendly” way. What do you mean? Well, mindfulness isn’t just a positive affirmation thing, in fact, that’s a type of meditation. Mindfulness is contact with the present moment. This helps you get more skilled at that, whether you’re aware of things that are comfortable or distressing. Check out the accompanying video on YouTube.
Faith Leaders- Ministering To Those With OCD
For faith leaders, it’s a reminder from the research that they/you are the real front door to mental health. Despite the fact that doctors and hospitals may be attributed this designation, many people feel most comfortable talking about mental health issues with a faith leader first. This guide is an introductory, yet thorough look into how collaboration together can benefit those who suffer with OCD.
Learn how to do a simple functional assessment- looking at the related parts in a context. Start with the beginning trigger/circumstance, and though you will want to pay attention to feelings and sensations, the key work that is done in CBT is by and large focusing on what you can change in your thoughts/beliefs and behavior.
Specially Curated Resources
These are handpicked, referenced in ACTUAL therapy sessions.(Sorry, I cannot accommodate outside requests to add to resources.)
This page may contain affiliate links. This means that some links on this site will produce a small commission from affiliate sites. Read more
A Short History of OCD
“‘The obsessional disorder has been badly served by its historians,’ writes historian of psychiatry G.E. Berrios, who notes that ‘there does not seem to be one book fully dedicated to its history.'”View >
OCD- A Worldwide Leading Cause of Disability
Research into the World Health Organization’s global estimates on disability reveal an incredible impact on sufferers of OCD- and their loved ones.View >
Beyond the Doubt Blog (Jeff Bell / Shala Nicely)
“An inside perspective on life with OCD and the lessons of uncertainty.”View >
Chrissie Hodges’ Website
Mental Health Advocate & Public Speaker, OCD Referral/Resource Consulting and Peer Support Services, Author.View >
Dark Thoughts (NPR’s Invisibilia)
“What should we think about our thoughts? Invisibilia’s Alix Spiegel walks us through the secret history of thoughts, and introduces us to a man who is tormented by his own violent thoughts.”View >
Facing Your Fears: Exposure (Anxiety BC)
“An important step in managing anxiety involves facing feared situations, places or
objects. It is normal to want to avoid the things you fear. However, avoidance prevents
you from learning that the things you fear are not as dangerous as you think.”
Howie Mandel on OCD (YouTube)
Howie Mandel, the comedian, actor, and game show host, shares of real life struggles with OCD.View >
Imaginal Exposure for OCD and Anxiety (OCD LA)
“For many people struggling with OCD and related anxiety disorders, one of the most beneficial treatment tools is imaginal exposure. In order to best understand this technique, it is first necessary to understand the basic idea of Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP).”View >
Nuts and Bolts of Imaginal Exposure (CCT)
“Imaginal exposure involves the client imagining the feared object or situation to evoke fear and anxiety. Research has demonstrated that direct in vivo exposure to feared objects or situations is more effective than imaginal exposure to the same circumstance. However, the combination of both exposure strategies has produced excellent outcomes and, at times, imaginal exposure is the only exposure strategy therapists can use to treat a specific fear….”View >
OCD Treatment (IOCDF, Dr. Jenike)
On YouTube, “Dr. Michael Jenike talks about OCD Treatment for The Peace of Mind Foundation.”View >
“The national OCD charity, run by and for people with lived experience of OCD.”View >
Peace of Mind
“Whether you or someone you love has been diagnosed with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), or if you think you may be experiencing OCD, we understand navigating treatment options and finding support can seem overwhelming. Our mission is to help you and your loved ones find evidence-based information and resources.”View >
Relapse Prevention in OCD (Shala Nicely)
“As you go into recovery from OCD, it’s good to keep in mind that relapse
prevention is a process, and living how we want to live requires some
The History of OCD (OCD UK)
“The incidence of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) or Obsessive Compulsive Neurosis as it was once known, is a relatively common disorder and can be traced historically, cross-culturally and across a broad social spectrum and does not appear to restrict itself to any specific group of individuals.”View >
The OCD Stories
“The OCD Stories podcast is a show that aims to offer hope and inspiration. Host Stuart Ralph interviews some of the best minds in OCD treatment and recovery to share their advice, to both entertain and educate listeners towards a healthier life. The show was created in 2015. Since that time is has been downloaded over 3 million times globally.”View >
Treating OCD: What Is ERP? (Child Mind Institute)
On YouTube, “Jerry Bubrick, PhD, interim senior director of the Anxiety and Mood Disorders Center, discusses the “gold standard” of treatment for obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders.”View >
What Is ERP Therapy? (Shala Nicely)
“The best way to describe exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy… is with an example. Let’s say that you are deathly afraid of bridges…. You see them and you just freeze up. You say to yourself, ‘I didn’t want to go to what’s on the other side of the bridge anyway. I’ll just stay here.’ And so you stay there. And unfortunately, you end up staying afraid.”View >
What is ERP? (IOCDF)
“It is possible that you may have heard of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) before. CBT refers to a group of similar types of therapies used by mental health therapists for treating psychological disorders, with the most important type of CBT for OCD being Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP).”View >
What is OCD? (Made of Millions)
“We’ve all had intrusive thoughts — upsetting ideas or images that pop into our mind for no reason. Like the thought of steering your car into oncoming traffic, or blurting something offensive out in the middle of a meeting. Most people are able to brush these thoughts off and forgot about them. But for some, they play on an endless loop, causing tremendous amounts of anxiety.”View >
What You Need To Know About OCD pdf guide (IOCDF)
The premier organization for OCD sufferers provides this concise pdf guide.View >
Getting Your Insurance Company To Pay For OCD Treatment (Dr. Fred Penzel)
“If you are lucky enough to be able to pay for your treatment out-of-pocket, then this article will probably not be of much interest to you. If, however, you rely on health insurance to pay for treatment, then read on.”View >
NHL Goalie Corey Hirsch’s OCD Story (Player’s Tribune)
“It’s the summer of 1994, I am standing at the edge of a cliff in Kamloops, British Columbia, and I am checking out. In February, as a 21-year-old starting goalie, I’d backstopped Canada to an Olympic silver medal. In June, as the third goalie for the New York Rangers, I’d drunk out of the Stanley Cup.”View >
Overcoming Unacceptable Thoughts (Houston OCD)
Check out this presentation by several notable clinicians on “overcoming unacceptable thoughts.”View >
Soooo OCD podcast (Terrible, Thanks For Asking)
“OCD is one of those acronyms we use to say, “I’m a little quirky” or “I like my room to be VERY clean.” But what does it mean to actually live with OCD? I have no idea, so we asked people who do.”View >
What Is ERP? (Shala Nicely)
“Let’s say that you are deathly afraid of bridges. Big bridges, little bridges, bridges in between….you want nothing to do with them. You see them and you just freeze up. You say to yourself, “I didn’t want to go to what’s on the other side of the bridge anyway. I’ll just stay here.” And so you stay there. And unfortunately, you end up staying afraid.
Because when we avoid what we’re afraid of, it stays this big, scary thing.”View >
Medications for OCD (IOCDF, by Dr. Jenike)
“The types of medication that research has shown to be most effective for OCD are a type of drug called a Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SRI), which are traditionally used as an antidepressants, but also help to address OCD symptoms.”View >
TMS for OCD (IOCDF)
“We regularly receive inquiries about Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), Deep Brain Stimulation, and other newer treatments to help those individuals who have not responded to medication or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).”View >
Exposure and Desensitization (U of Mich)
“We spoke about sensitization in the section “Anxiety Fuel.” Now we’ll talk
about desensitization, which means we work to make our anxiety alarm less
sensitive, so it doesn’t go off as often or as loudly.”
Key Research Articles on ERP (Science Direct)
Check out some of the key research article on ERP from Science Direct.View >
Key Research Articles on Imaginal Exposure (Science Direct)
“Imaginal exposure refers to patients intentionally confronting specific memories….in their imaginations either by verbally describing … or by writing a description…”View >
AT Parenting Community (Anxious Toddlers)
“My name is Natasha Daniels and I am a child therapist who specializes in anxiety & OCD. I have devoted my career to helping families raise children with these struggles.”View >
Kids and OCD: The Parents’ Role in Treatment (Child Mind Institute)
“By doing what comes naturally to a parent, you are inadvertently accommodating the disorder, and allowing it to take over your child’s life.”View >
Contamination Fact Sheet (IOCDF)
Check out this fast read on contamination in OCD.View >
Existential and Philosophical Obsessions (Dr. Fred Penzel)
“Many of us grapple with existential questions about the meaning of life, the universe, existence, and so on, at one point in our lives. However, for those with a type of OCD called Existential OCD, or “Philosophical OCD”, these questions can become all consuming.”View >
Fear of Causing Harm (Beyond OCD)
“Individuals with OCD frequently have fears that they or someone they care about will be harmed. These fears often lead to checking behavior – checking that doors are locked, for example, to prevent intruders from getting into the house. Or making sure that all electrical items are turned off so a fire doesn’t start. But in many cases, people with OCD are fearful that they may cause harm – physical, sexual, or mental.”View >
Harm OCD: Symptoms and Treatment (OCD LA)
“Harm OCD is a manifestation of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in which an individual experiences intrusive, unwanted, distressing thoughts of causing harm. These harming thoughts are perceived as being ego-dystonic, which simply means that the thoughts are inconsistent with the individual’s values, beliefs and sense of self.”View >
Living With Pure OCD (Made of Millions)
“Purely Obsessional OCD, also known as Pure O, is a type of OCD in which a sufferer engages in hidden compulsions.”View >
Living With Religious OCD (Made of Millions)
“As a subset of OCD, Scrupulosity means you’re constantly preoccupied with doing the right thing. Religiously. Morally. Ethically.”View >
Need For Perfection (Beyond OCD)
Check out this list of examples in perfectionism OCD.View >
7 Metaphors for Cognitive Defusion (Steven Handel)
“‘Cognitive defusion’ describes the process of accepting your thoughts while at the same time distancing yourself and not clinging to them. Here are 7 great metaphors that illustrate this concept perfectly.”View >
Cognitive Defusion (ACBS)
“Purpose: See thoughts as what they are, not as what they say they are. Method: Expand attention to thinking and experiencing as an ongoing behavioral process, not a causal, ontological result.”View >
Cognitive Defusion (The Washington Center for Cognitive Therapy)
“CDef (originally called cognitive distancing by the founder of cognitive therapy, Dr. Aaron Beck) is a process where — under certain circumstances — we choose a different relationship with the stream of thought that flows through our heads.”View >
Distinguishing Information-Seeking and Reassurance Seeking
This helpful chart is an educational guide separating info-seeking from reassurance.View >
You read that right! Learn to face fears and make it…interesting and fun!View >
Jonathan Abramowitz’s site
His name is eponymous with OCD and Anxiety Research. He offers great free resources on his site.View >
“May” or “May Not” Exposure Scripting (Shala Nicely)
“…MOMN statements, which are a type of exposure scripting, can be used with any type of OCD content…because OCD is not about the content!”View >
Relapse Prevention in OCD (Shala Nicely)
“As you go into recovery from OCD, it’s good to keep in mind that relapse
prevention is a process, and living how we want to live requires some
Find Help (IOCDF)
The most advanced search tool to find OCD therapists, advocacy, groups, clinics, and programs.View >
My OCD Community (Health Unlocked)
“My OCD Community is a safe, supportive, informative, and friendly community for all people affected by OCD. It also supports all people affected by OCD related disorders….”View >
NOCD App and Therapy
NOCD provides a platform across the U.S. and in parts outside to offer resources and affordable therapy.View >
OCD Community (The Mighty)
“We’re a community that supports each other by sharing our experiences.”View >
OCD Community (Patients Like Me)
“By sharing your stories and data, you will: help each other live better and uncover the best ways to manage your health today, help researchers shorten the path to new treatments tomorrow.”View >
Coping Statements For Christians With OCD and Scrupulosity (ACCFS)
A list and downloadable sheet on statements when in deep uncertainty.View >
OCD and the Death of the Christian (Desiring God)
This article helps explore the faith component involving trust in God while having OCD. While it does not provide resources as to treatment, it offers some important considerations underscoring the bigger picture of seeking God while having a debilitating disorder.View >
Religious and Moral Scrupulosity in Christians (ACCFS)
Dr. Ted Witzig talks on this important topic: “Scrupulosity is a subtype of OCD where religious and moral matters become entwined in the obsessive-compulsive cycle. People suffering with this disorder worry that they have sinned or done something immoral, even when they have not.”View >
PURE OCD: The Invisible Side of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (Chrissie Hodges)
“Pure O: The Invisible Side of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder follows Chrissie Hodges, a typical eight year old whose life changed drastically with the onset of symptoms from Pure OCD.”View >
Stopping the Noise In Your Head (Dr. Reid Wilson)
“Dr. Reid Wilson proposes a groundbreaking, paradoxical approach to overcoming anxiety, worry, OCD, panic, and phobias by moving away from comfort, confidence, and security and willingly moving toward uncertainty, distress and discomfort.”View >
ERP For OCD Group
Welcome to thriving while having OCD.
Ready to go deeper and connect with others who share a common focus? This group is serious about life-long engagement and pursuit of goals without letting OCD get in the way! Comorbid diagnoses are treated in group insomuch as they do not deter from group focus. Screening is required to ensure each group member can benefit. This is an advanced level group, meaning that while newcomers may not have as much experience, most group members are well-advanced in utilizing CBT, ERP, and more.
- Minimum 12 week commitment with these prerequisites:
- Basic understanding of CBT and ERP for OCD. This requires having had education on these topics in a clinical setting.
- Experience with developing and successfully implementing exposures in counseling sessions and outside of them.
- No clinical “detours” (e.g., untreated addiction, trauma, severe depression) that need treatment first.
- All clients must go through at least 2 individual counseling sessions to screen for appropriateness. If prerequisites for the group are not met, sessions can help prepare to join.
Ready To Boost Your Outcomes In A Group? Fill In The Form Below:
From My Blog
Related posts from my blog
Intrusive, Unwanted Thoughts and Faith (I am Second Blog)
Honored to be featured again in the I Am Second mental health blog, this post addresses the common occurrence of Intrusive Thoughts and how those of Christian faith can live in freedom. Click Here to Read NOWRead More >
Accidental Exposure: A Strong Mind Is Not Made In Comfort
Accidental workouts are great; just don’t base your exercise off of them. Has this ever happened to you? You have an exercise routine (walk, weights, circuit, CrossFit), and while expecting to take a holiday break, say Thanksgiving…..until someone challenges you in the paint for pickup game of basketball (in my family we had the 6 […]Read More >
Getting Aroused With Anxiety
Mark* was generally confident in his therapy, but bringing up sex….well, he got a little sheepish. He had these small avoidances that he never realized were behavioral and cognitive avoidances. For example, he would never have sex with his wife when the kids weren’t away from home. He intentionally steered conversation away from topics with […]Read More >
Intrusive, Unwanted Thoughts and Faith
“I feel like I really love my baby, but, I just don’t know. I have these terrible thoughts that pop into my mind. Thoughts of harming my baby. I actually vomited last night it made me so upset. I don’t know why I’m having these” “Everyone around me, including my pastor, seems to think I […]Read More >
A Prayer of Obsessive Surrender
Most of my clients hear from me at some point (when it’s appropriate for me to share) my own personal examples in dealing with obsessive thoughts. I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder and have gotten very stuck in obsessive thinking and resultant feelings. Born through my own personal trials and individually tailored to clients who want […]Read More >
Journaling vs. Exposure Scripting in CBT (Therapy Insider Tip)
When clients become experts in doing exposures (Social Anxiety, PTSD, OCD, Phobias), they become used to facing fear, disgust, and other uncomfortable feelings square on without tricks and escapes- while still pursuing the valued behaviors and thought processes they want. Sounds too good to be true? It’s not, but it takes discipline and hard work, […]Read More >
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