Specialized Therapy for OCD in Atlanta
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) affects roughly 1 or 2 of every 100 people, and it occurs when you get stuck in a vicious cycle of obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions refer to unpleasant, intrusive thoughts, images, and/or urges, and they can take countless forms - including fears of becoming contaminated, hurting others, doing things incorrectly, acting in a sexually inappropriate way, and doing something immoral. Compulsions refer to behaviors that you - understandably - do to try to escape or control the obsessions and the unpleasant feelings they create. This cycle - while understandable - can become habitual and consume so much time and energy that it interferes with your life. Fortunately, evidence-based therapies exists for OCD, and most people who participate in treatment improve.
"The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning. Uncertainty is the very condition to impel us to unfold our powers."
ERP for OCD in Atlanta
Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is the most effective psychotherapy for OCD. It involves choosing to approach whatever triggers your unwanted, unpleasant thoughts, images, and/or urges (i.e., obsessions) while refraining from doing any behaviors (i.e., compulsions) aimed at decreasing or escaping the unwanted, unpleasant stuff. In short, ERP breaks the OCD cycle.
Participating in ERP is challenging AND you will learn meaningful things, including: that your obsessions likely won't come true, that your can cope with more than you expect you can, and that unpleasant feelings ultimately pass.
ERP + ACT for OCD
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a form of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy that helps us learn to drop the struggle with unpleasant thoughts, feelings, and urges. This struggle tends to add to our emotional pain and consume our time and energy.
ACT compliments ERP by using mindfulness and acceptance techniques to help you gain psychological distance from unpleasant thoughts and feelings - including obsessions - which empowers you to do what matters most to you instead of what OCD says you HAVE to do - compulsions.