How To Do Exposures For OCD and Anxiety
I often hear individuals tell me that they "did an exposure". When we start talking about it I find that they put themselves into a stressful situation but didn't really do an "exposure" with it. I shed light on how to use exposure and response prevention with purpose and meaning instead of just going through the motions.
Virtual Reality For OCD and Anxiety
Did you know that Virtual Reality can help someone reduce symptoms of OCD and Anxiety? VR can be helpful for so many types of anxiety. I've used it for:
- Social Anxiety
- Fear of snakes
- Fear of spiders
- Fear of heights
- Fear of flying
- Pedophile OCD (POCD)
- Homosexual OCD (HOCD)
- Germophobia (COCD)
and many other OCD types and anxiety.
How To Stop Reassuring Someone With OCD
Reassurance and Accommodation is very common within OCD. The individual may feel extreme anxiety until someone can reassure them that they are okay regarding their perceived fear.
Knowing your role as a loved one or parent can be super helpful. I give you the tools and tips necessary of how to be helpful and how to not be helpful when it comes to OCD.
Do I Have OCD? What A Specialist Looks For!
As one of the few specialists that works with OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), I thought it would be helpful to go through what I look for when diagnosing OCD. Typically, I'm looking for:
►Anxiety or Distress
If you believe you have OCD, you are encouraged to seek assistance from a therapist for a proper diagnosis and start working on exposure and response prevention.
Walk For OCD In Texas
I recently attended the 1 million steps for OCD walk. This is an annual walk that helps support those who struggle with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. This walk was located in Dallas, Texas.
A man named Denis Asselin walked from his home in Cheyney, PA, to Boston, MA, in memory of his son Nathaniel. Nathaniel took his own life at just 24, after a long struggle with severe body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) and OCD.
For more information about OCD and how to help and support visit: IOCDF.org
OCD specialist in Allen Texas
Therapist For OCD in Allen Texas
Reassurance seeking is very common within OCD. I have created what I call the "dice of uncertainty". This is helpful for someone who is using reassurance as a compulsion. Each side represents an answer that is uncertain. When you feel the need to ask for reassurance, the goal is to roll the dice and learn to live and even use the answer as an exposure.
Watch the video to learn more!
Exposure Therapy For OCD In Allen Texas
Most things I have read online try to explain exposure and response prevention therapy for OCD in a confusing way. My hope is to help as many individuals as I can with my videos.
I have created this video to help those struggling with OCD understand what they can do to help with their obsessions and compulsions.
How to do an exposure in Allen Texas
Therapist for OCD in Allen Texas
Raw transcription of the video
hi my name is Nathan Peterson and today I wanted to give you an example of how to use exposure and response prevention as you can see here I am standing next to a bridge I thought it would be helpful to show you guys that exposures and OCD is not only about washing hands and organizing things but instead it can actually be so much more I find that many individuals that I work with have very intrusive thoughts that are sometimes completely random that they might be enjoying the time out here with their family and see a bridge and their thought their brain might say hey you know what if you cross that bridge something bad might happen and sometimes they don't know what that bad thing might be they just know that they had that intrusive thought and so the options are find another way around don't cross the bridge avoid these are all the compulsions that they might do if we were using exposure and response prevention what it might look like is hey REE actually maybe we don't even across the whole bridge just yet but we could we might sit there at the bridge and say I might stand there on the bridge and say hey you know what not something bad may or may not happen I'm not going to come up with a conclusion about it I'm not going to say it's not going to happen not gonna say it is gonna happen I could I'm more actually just looking at maybe maybe nots and my goal is to actually feel uncomfortable I want to feel anxiety on purpose and allow that anxious feeling to go down without trying to figure it out I'm not trying to convince myself that it's gonna be alright instead I you know how an explosion might be is I might just be standing next to this bridge and possibly touching it and saying yep something bad may or may not happen we'll see I guess I'll never know for sure something bad may you know that happened and I'm gonna sit there and I'm gonna pay attention to my distress or anxiety level and I'm gonna say you know I'm gonna sit here and tell that feeling has been reduced to a number or a level where I can actually handle a little a little bit better some people go to you know halfway points people just go until they are not really feeling much to stress and once that is good you can see hey can I go any further with this maybe I can actually cross the bridge at this point each person is so different in the way that they might do these exposures but that's a simple way to kind of explain exposure and response prevention you think about do some type of action allow yourself to sit there with that uncomfortableness without trying to fix it make sure you're not doing any compulsions during these moments don't fix it don't try to reason with yourself how nothing bad is ever gonna happen you're not trying to figure any of this out instead you're actually just saying you know I'm gonna live uncertain not gonna figure this out and just let it be and yes it's uncomfortable and yes it sounds weird sometimes and it doesn't sound natural and normal to do but that's the nature of exposure and response prevention that's why I love this treatment so much because it is different and when people use it we're actually teaching our brains that maybe we're not really in danger our brains say we're in danger but maybe we're not and that's the good part about exposure and response prevention is that you are essentially changing this alarm system in your head that says you are to say you know what I'm gonna test test my theory out and find out that most of the time the bad things might not actually happen but we're always willing to take that risk so thank you very much you
TV and Movies Are Correct About OCD..........NOT!
I am sure you seen obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD in movies or TV shows. Whenever OCD is portrayed the individual tends to have struggles or issues with contamination of some kind or the need to put things in order. This is something that I see often as an issue. It puts in the world's mind that OCD is all about arranging, making things neat, or washing your hands. Not only is OCD commonly not like this but it gives many individuals the thought to say “I am so OCD about [fill in the blank]”
I have run into many posts on social media regarding OCD. There will be lines of brown M&Ms with one green one in there. The tagline will say, “if you cannot handle these pictures you probably have OCD”. This actually makes me very sad, especially when I read all of the comments that people have to say about it. In unison individuals are discussing and talking about how they must have OCD when in reality they most likely do not. You know, we can dislike seeing an image or not like seeing something out of place but this does not mean you have OCD. Someone with OCD could feel high amounts of intense anxiety seeing something out of place. Their thoughts getting hijacked, making it almost unbearable to leave it untouched or unfixed.
So when somebody comes to me and says “we all have a little OCD and us”, my response usually is. “Wow you feel intense anxiety throughout the entire day, almost to the point where you are incapacitated at home and work?” Or I will say “you have intense intrusive thoughts that you are going to harm somebody else or even your own children.”
Okay, So Then What Is OCD?
When I say OCD is not what you think it is I mean it. Yes, we see the relentless portrayal of OCD of cleanliness and orderliness but this is actually a rarity. Most of the time when somebody is struggling with OCD it is intense intrusive thoughts followed by sometimes hundreds of compulsions or ways for somebody to feel better from anxiety. These intrusive thoughts can be questions of moral right and wrong, the fear of sinning, the fear of harming someone else, the fear of harming yourself, the fear of being gay, having sexual intrusive thoughts and so many more.
These individuals not only feel these intrusive thoughts but have the need to ask for reassurance from others that they are okay. That they really will not harm that person. That they really are not sinning. There really are not gay. This is only one type of compulsion or neutralizer than individual with OCD might do.
The next time you think to say “wow I am so OCD about this because I like my room to be clean.” Think about what you are saying. Feel compassion for those who are struggling. OCD often is not seen on the outside because it is there on the inside. It is not something to be joked about and is really serious.
Can Therapy Really Work For OCD?
If you are struggling with OCD yourself, I want you to know that there is hope. There is a way for you to control your intrusive thoughts and for you to fill a reduction of anxiety. There is freedom. This takes some work but it definitely is doable. A therapist for OCD in McKinney can help you. Give me a call and we can talk about some of your options.
Counselor For OCD In McKinney
Therapist For OCD In McKinney
Therapy For OCD In McKinney