OCD Treatment: Integration Exposure Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Medication
OCD is one of the most debilitating psychiatric conditions but few people understand this unless they are suffering themselves. Even family often do not understand despite the desire to be supportive. OCD is an anxiety spectrum disorder but it requires very specialized treatment integrating several types of therapy and often medications depending on the severity. I treat teenagers and adults with severe OCD. I provide in-home OCD treatment and office-based treatment. The following specialized treatment components are typically part of the treatment plan:
1. Clarification of the diagnoses and any co-morbid diagnoses such as panic attacks, depression, eating disorders or PTSD, which all need to be incorporated into treatment for the symptoms of OCD to resolve. This is done with a thorough evaluation and ongoing clarification during treatment.
2. Integration of family into the treatment plan in order to create the most understanding and helpful environment for the patient to heal and get better
3. Utilization of Exposure therapy is the cornerstone of OCD treatment. An extremely specialized exposure therapy plan is put into place in which the obsessive thoughts and compulsive actions are identified and targeted. Having someone who is well-versed in exposure therapy and who treats OCD frequently is necessary as if this is done incorrectly, it worsen the OCD and anxiety.
4. Integration of other psychotherapeutic modalities such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and psychodynamic therapy. These other specialized therapies work on identifying the origins of the maladaptive thoughts and behaviors and supplement the exposure therapeutic process to create a comprehensive healing process.
5. Medication integration-Although OCD can often be treated with therapy alone, there are often cases where medication becomes necessary to make necessary progress. The medication often can be used short-term in order to advance progress in the therapy and once the progress is made, the medication can be weaned off. Common medications include SSRI’s such as Prozac, Luvox, Celexa, Zoloft and Lexapro, as well as Clomipramine which is a very specialized medication for severe OCD.
With a truly comprehensive approach to OCD treatment, one can become free of their OCD and begin to live life as the success rate is extremely high when an integrative approach is used by an expert in this specific anxiety disorder.