Offering modern OCD treatment for children.
OCD can cause intrusive thoughts (e.g., there are germs on my hands), images (e.g. seeing germs on hands or germs crawling on hands), and impulses (e.g. feeling compelled to touch something dirty) to trigger intense fear (e.g. sweating, dizziness, nausea, feeling of dying) or catastrophic thinking (e.g. I’m going to die because I touched something dirty).
The thoughts and behaviors in diagnosed cases of OCD rise to a level of severity that is disruptive to the daily life of the sufferer and those around them. Treatment should be considered when OCD results in more than 1 hour/day of having unwanted obsessions or partaking in compulsions or rituals to try and prevent perceived calamities (e.g. washing hands for 10 minutes, 6 times a day).
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the front-line treatment and can be used with or without medications (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, SSRIs). CBT is a form of treatment that has been shown to have lasting changes in the brain. CBT focuses on skillfully changing thoughts and actions which will improve how they feel. Changing thought patterns and unhealthy behaviors can have a lasting impact and dramatically improve the sufferers life. While CBT with medication is most effective, the standard is to only incorporate medications if it is necessary.
Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP)
It is possible to avoid taking medications with a specific CBT using Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). While ERP calls for a patient with OCD to face their fears, patients can rest assured that they will NOT be forced to do things they are not ready for or comfortable with. Dr. Specht’s process is gentle, gradual and patients are encouraged to proceed at their own pace.
Learn More About Co-Occurring Disorders
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