OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER
Effective treatment of OCD involves exposure with response prevention therapy, cognitive therapy, and pharmacotherapy, especially when the symptoms are more severe. Exposure and response prevention (ERP) is a technique wherein children face their obsessions in incremental steps in a safe and motivating environment. Children are taught how to face their fears without resorting to compulsions. By encountering the obsessive thoughts in this manner, children learn to tolerate their distress, and discover that it will lead to overall reduction is symptoms over time. The Child Anxiety Center specializes in offering intensive rapid treatment of OCD by meeting daily in the places where OCD disrupts your child's life. Staff will train your child to gradually face the situations and thoughts that provoke their OCD while learning how not to respond with rituals, compulsions, reassurance seeking or avoidance. We will accompany them into the situations that OCD makes difficult and help them learn how to get used to it without giving in to the OCD. If your child's OCD hinders much of their daily life, then we will intensify the treatment to to match their level of need. Research shows that this will promote the best chance at overcoming OCD.
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is one of the more common mental disorders in youth. It is characterized by obsessions which are intrusive thoughts, impulses, or images that cause anxiety. The child then engage in behaviors used to reduce or prevent the feared outcome called compulsions. Children have varying levels of insight, however they usually recognize that obsessions are irrational but still feel compelled to neutralize them anyways. The severity of the disorder is determined by assessing the level of time, distress, and functional impairment that the children is incurring from the obsessions and compulsions. OCD can be devastating if left untreated and tends to progress over time. Parents will often become aware of the disorder as the child continually engages in repetitive or ritualistic behaviors. Many times parents can inadvertently take part in the rituals through the provision of various forms of reassurance and through accommodations of the compulsive behaviors.