OCD Counseling & Therapy

Jennifer Landon

LPC

Emphasizing the concept that we all suffer and that there is a way out of suffering, I help clients understand and practice the ways to relieve suffering. By incorporating the practice of mindfulness, body awareness and buddhist psychology, the client begins to make sense out of their situation while also gaining a deep connection to their own inane wisdom and... Read More

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Are OCD and Germaphobia The Same Condition?

Not exactly.

When most people envision Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), they imagine: sparkling clean kitchens, frenzied hand washing, painstaking organization, or difficult-to-please micromanagement.

But for many people who suffer from OCD, this assessment misses the mark.

OCD and “messiness” are not mutually exclusive states. In fact, your life can be chaotic—your home, a disorderly mess—and you can still suffer from crippling OCD!

That’s because OCD consists of two components: obsessive thoughts & compulsive (or uncontrollable) actions. We imagine that “compulsive actions” must always consist of rituals that can be seen; but often, individuals with OCD engage in mental compulsions—actions such as counting, praying, or mentally assessing your environment for safety—that are not easily detectable.

How Does OCD Develop?

Although the true roots of OCD are most likely genetic or neurochemical, the characteristic compulsions of OCD typically develop as a soothing mechanism to curb unwanted or distressing thoughts.

These intrusive (or obsessive) thoughts commonly include:

  • Irrational fear of committing a violent or sexual crime: murder, assault, rape, incest, pedophilia, etc.
  • Fear of harming yourself or others: a careless accident, such as forgetting to switch off a gas stove and unintentionally sparking a house fire
  • Fear of losing your sanity: paranoia about hallucinating or dissociating from reality
  • Fear of contamination: via germs, bodily fluids, chemicals, or disease
  • Fear of angering God or of going to Hell
  • Obsessions with perfection, balance, or symmetry

 

To neutralize the intensity of these obsessive thoughts, individuals with OCD develop compensatory behaviors known as compulsions. These repetitive techniques—although affording temporary relief—are ultimately ineffective at the long-term reduction of anxiety. In fact, over time, these compulsive rituals become so all-consuming that participating in the behaviors and attempting to conceal them from others generates overwhelming distress.

Common compulsive behaviors include:

  • Cleaning: repetitive hand washing or showering; avoiding dirty or “contaminated” objects
  • Checking: inspecting appliances to ensure all household items are switched to “off”; checking and rechecking to confirm that each door in the house is locked
  • Replication: repeating a certain action until it’s execution feels “perfect”; tapping an item a specified number of times before permitting yourself to proceed to other activities
  • Mental Compulsions: counting, praying, or rehearsing conversations in your head

 

Although many of these thoughts and behaviors are common in individuals without OCD—for a sufferer of OCD—obsessions and compulsions are extremely time-consuming, anxiety-provoking, and functioning-inhibiting. Fortunately, help is available for managing your OCD!

Our innovative team of counseling experts uses an arsenal of successful techniques to ensure that you regain control and functionality over your life—while still having fun in the process! In addition to traditional talk therapy methods such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), we also offer:

  • Exposure Response Prevention (ERP)
  • Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Mindfulness
  • Meditation
  • Psychotherapeutic Yoga

The Lifeologie Difference

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A creative, multi-specialty approach to life’s inevitable difficulties.

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Collaborative care from a team you can trust.

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