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Specialized Therapy in Atlanta for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

What is OCD?

Most of us experience unwanted, intrusive thoughts, images, or urges that trigger unpleasant feelings like anxiety or disgust. They may be about being contaminated, hurting ourselves or others, or things just not feeling right. And we may - understandably - do things to escape these unpleasant feelings. We may, for example, wash our hands, rearrange things, or reassure ourselves. And for some of us that's sufficient.

 

However, people with OCD, which affects roughly 1 or 2 of every 100 people, can get stuck in a vicious cycle of trying to control, prevent, or escape these unwanted, unpleasant thoughts and feelings. 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.

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Torn pieces of paper with the words Obsessive compuls
Break the cycle of OCD with Exposure and Response Prevention

Exposure and Response Prevention 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 in Atlanta

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.

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) helps you learn to stop the tug-of-war with your thoughts and feelings

Resources for OCD

Here's a YouTube video where a therapist explains how ERP works by describing an example.

The International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) provides helpful information about OCD. They also have a searchable database of OCD specialist therapists (see the "find help" section of their homepage).

 

Psychology Today provides a searchable directory of therapists, and you can filter your results for therapists who provide exposure and response prevention.

 

I'd be happy to speak with you, too, as I provide evidence-based therapy for OCD.

Contact Dr. Kennedy

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