Seems that most people see 4 to 5 therapists in the course of their
life while trying to find help and most will seek help long after they realized they had a problem.
This is a shame since therapies form a crucial part in treating OCD.
The hard parts are to find a capable Mental Health Care Professional who has both insight and understanding in OCD and to have the strength and motivation to keep going.
Seeking help may be difficult for a variety of reasons such as: a lack of money, inability to get there or just being too scared.
While it seems simple enough to go to see a psych for 1 hour once a week it can be really scary and hard on a person who might already being worn out by their problems.
Just remember that this time the efforts, unlike the 1's you make to survive the OCD, will be constructive.
So once you have found this person, now what?
Here are a few questions to some general concerns you might have concerning therapy for OCD.
You do to a certain extent. 1 could make the comparison between going to see a doctor for medications and seeing a psychologist for advice on how to fight the OCD.
Just like you have to trust your doctor into making the correct decisions when it comes to the medications you are prescribed you will at 1 point also have to trust your psych and let control go once you step inside their office.
But you as a patient have the right to voice your doubts, opinions and concerns.
If you have questions... ask them. Actually, your questions can help them understand your problems better. Therapy is all about communication and trust, the ability to tell your psych everything is important. But like in any other kind of relationship it might take some time to create this feeling of trust.
IMPORTANT: If you want your say in what you want and what you think is best for you, you really should inform yourself about all the possible OCD treatments which are available. Give founded input based on facts not on what you think might be best or what is based on your anxiety.
While you may not always know best, you also are the only person who is really knowing what the therapy is giving you.
You may have problems, you also still know what you want, need or what sounds right for you. Find a compromise and balance.
How Can They Understand My OCD?
People so often say that their psychs don't know what having OCD really means, that they seem unaware of how it can debilitate you and so how could they help you anyway. True, they most likely won't have OCD and so obviously wont ever be able to fully understand what it is like to have OCD.
The question is, Do they have to? Different people who have OCD might not even be able to fully understand what it's like to have OCD the way the other person does. Not because OCD is so different for everyone but because you are, as an individual.
So while empathy towards the patient is needed and helpful there is also a need for objectivity. They will be able to help you most by finding the right balance between empathy and objectivity, professionalism is just that.
Lines a Mental Health Care Professional Can't Cross.
In time you might start to consider your psych as a friend as well as someone who is helping you but there are obvious boundaries to how far this friendship can go before it will interfere with the professional relationship. This next point may sound evident to some, but under no circumstance is it okay for a psych to suggest sexual contact with their client. So if you feel they are talking or acting in a inappropriately intimate, flirtatious or sexual manner, you should stop seeing this person and preferably discuss this with agency authorities or professional governing boards. If this is something you can't handle, ask a person you can trust and Don't go back, you have no obligation in returning.
Respect your own needs and trust your own judgment.
What If You Feel You Are Weak For Needing This Help?
Once more we could compare asking for help with having to take medications for your OCD. There is nothing to be ashamed of and you are showing more courage into admitting you can't do this alone than by being too stubborn to ask for help.
If you feel declining the help that is out there shows more strength, I personally feel that you are wrong.
Look at it this way, accepting the help that is available to you is just to ensure that you have all the right tools to do the job correctly. They aren't the 1 fighting, they are just there to guide you and and to help you find which ways may work and tell you which probably won't.
They are teaching you techniques. You have accepted to learn new things to implement them for yourself afterwards so often before, so do so now also.
These professional have got all this experience to tap into, why wouldn't you do so if nothing prevents you from going but your pride? So just ask and accept their help and create a better life for yourself.
What If You Would Like To Stop Therapy?
Maybe you already are going to see someone and you are thinking of stopping.
Here it's important to not hide behind excuses because they will only cause you to get confused instead find the true reason why you are thinking of stopping. Be honest to and with yourself.
Maybe it's because you feel too tired to continue or because you decide it's not helping or simply because you are just fed up with going to see them on a weekly basis and prefer to go on by yourself. Or is it because you think your psych is worth nothing and doesn't understand you anyway or because you are scared?
So what do you do? You tell them you are thinking of stopping to see them and give them the real reason. Why? Because thinking about leaving is a sign that something changed, is changing or has to change.
Communicate with your psych. That's why they are there for, to talk to and be asked to help you. But they can't read your mind so you will have to give them the information to work with.
Saying you are too scared or tired to continue are understandable and genuine reasons and not an excuses. These same reasons will when addressed to the psych in question, get you further than allowing yourself to be fooled by a reason you find easier to admit to. There is no shame in being tired, in having doubts or in being scared, so talk to them about these doubts since they may find a way to help you with them.
Sometimes people are asked to completely stop therapy for 6 months up to a year. The reason for this is that if or when the patient sees no progress is being made in the right direction during that "time off", the willingness to continue or pick up therapy might be much more motivated.
IMPORTANT: Unless this is being suggested to you BY your psych, do NOT try this out for yourself.
Sometimes it's really hard to keep yourself motivated to stay in therapy, is not as easy as it may seem. But it is 1 of the few only ways of getting better. So instead of hiding behind reasons of wanting to quit, find the reasons to wanting to stay.
What If You Feel It's Strange To Pay Someone To Listen To You?
Start by stopping to think that the only way you can get someone to listen to you is by paying them. Wrong. Do you tell yourself that it's strange that you have to pay your hairdresser to cut your hair? No, probably not and still you could have your hair cut by any 1 person you know.
So the reason to why you pay them? YOu are seeing a professional because you prefferably want "the job" done correctly. They had to study to provide a specific kind of service to someone who needs it. So a psych is dealing with something incredible delicate, your mind and life. But although the service is much more delicate it is still something you can't take for granted and shouldn't feel silly to be paying for.
Agreed, some of these professionals are real idiots and should be paying you money but then this is true for any professional. You will also always be the "consumer" within this relation, meaning you have rights and can step out if you wanted to. But be honest with yourself and trust your own judgment.
If you have the means, you shouldn't let the money- issue get in between you and being able to create a better life for yourself.
What If You Feel Your Therapist Is Inadequate?
Once more start by asking yourself if this is the real reason or are you just getting too tired or scared to continue? If you can say this is the real reason and they simply do not show any understanding or expertise towards your OCD then yes, finding someone new might be what is best.
But don't mistake them trying to make you confront your obsessions with them being insensitive. If you are going through some type of Behavior Therapy you will get challenged.
The key however is for them to be doing this in a way that will remain achievable for the patient. A thin line there and hard to find for both psych and patient. But a skilled therapist should know that what they are asking of their patient is within the acceptable limits of what the patient can do. You will always be asked and supported to stretch your own limits, that's what it is about. Not easy, I know... But when they don't help you to progress in despite of your efforts, they are probably handling it incorrectly and a new approach or a new psych might be more helpful. So let them know so they may find a new and better approach for you.
Not being happy with your psych is a right you have as a patient, just don't misuse it to hide behind when it's all getting too tough for you since you are not doing yourself a favor with that.
What If You Dislike Your Therapist?
Since this is the person who you will talk to about the most intimate parts of your life it would help to have it click between the both of you. You aren't looking for a friend but it will allow you to feel more comfortable more free to talk openly.
All interaction is based upon how you sense the other person, if you feel the person is an idiot you will most likely not feel like opening up to them. BUT give also should give them the time to find the right feel within this new relation. You are as much of a stranger to them as they are to you. They have their way of doing things that can be altered to your needs but at a certain point you will have to decide to accept some less OCD/human- perfect parts for the overall quality.
So they may they look different than you had expected, their voice is too high or whatever may make you look at them strangely. Maybe that given a chance to let you help you without prejudices you might be amazed that looks really don't matter.
But of course you might dislike them for who they are and although giving them the benefit of the doubt would be best, there is a limit to the benefit your handing out here. If things don't change and you truly feel it doesn't click, find yourself and new psych.
If this is something that sounds familiar and you look back and have gone through several times, always seeking for perfection you might wanna lower your standards or wait until robots come into the picture.
NOTE: I have decided to not return to see someone because of the way their office looked. Shallow you say? You bet, although OCD-based it is also something that can do more harm than good.
Besides their color- scheme annoying me, I realized in retrospection that I used this as an excuse because I was too tired and scared to give this therapy a try.
You should always give it some time, because they might just be the psych for you, if you look besides all the superficial stuff and even some of the character stuff.
The psych needs to keep some distance, else they would become too involved and incapable to help you the best they can. As with everything the key lays into finding a compromise.
Which Therapy Should You Choose?
If your therapist knows something about OCD she/he will know what is best for you. Most likely they will suggest Behavior Therapy or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Here too, give it some time and be open to what they suggest. Not all will be easy and I feel that if it's going too smoothly all of the time you are not really facing your OCD.
The Different Types of Therapies for OCD.
You have several types of approaches to Mental Disorders, not all of these are suitable to treat a person's OCD. But still, different psychologists believe in these different approaches being helpful and so although certain types are not used as much for OCD they were still included in the list so you can read more about them.These links will open in a new window and will have an explanation and some useful links.