When choosing OCD treatments it is important to understand that Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is your unconscious mind’s way of coping with intense fear and anxiety. Unfortunately, the very method that has helped you cope, will eventually no longer be under your control. You cannot choose to stop the repetitive behavior or thinking.
There are many effective treatments for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which are offered by our integrative team of Brain Health Experts.
Before using any medication, prescribed or over the counter, please think about whether you are a hearty, reactive, and/or sensitive person. Consider how medications usually affect you and what the side effects may be. Does the treatment outweigh the possible side effects? Before taking any medication, discuss your medical history with your PCP or licensed provider. This also goes for homeopathic, herbal remedies, and aroma therapies. Dr. Sharon Barrett, M.D. is our Psychopharmacologist as a part of the Brain Health Team.
- Support groups
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Aversion Therapy
- Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy
- Exposure and Response Prevention
- Psychotherapy (individual or group)
Cognitive Behavior Therapy
Dr. Diane® offers Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), which is a type of psychotherapy that helps people change how they think, feel, or act. This can improve their mood, reduce stress, and/or achieve other important health and life goals. Some goals may be specific, such as reducing worry or procrastination, while others can be more general, such as figuring out why one’s life seems to lack meaning or direction, and figuring out what to do about it.
There are three parts to CBT:
- How you think (cognitive) affects your behavior.
- The way you think is monitored and altered.
- Changes in behavior may be affected by changing the way you think.
This type of therapy is very helpful with trauma, chronic illness, pain management, sports, and performing arts.
“Cognitive Behavior Therapy is focused on the present rather than the past,” said Deanna Barch, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University and supervisor of the social anxieties group therapy project. “It’s focused on the kinds of thoughts, beliefs, ideas that people have currently and how that influences their emotions and behaviors. It also focuses on what behaviors you are actually engaging in and not engaging in at the moment, in the here-and-now.”
Biofeedback & Neurofeedback for OCD
Together with other forms of treatment, clinical studies have shown that with Biofeedback or EEG Neurofeedback therapy, symptoms of OCD can be improved notably.
Biofeedback is like looking in a mirror and seeing your inner responses instead of your outer self. Ordinarily, you cannot impact your brainwave activity because you can’t see it. However, when you see real time information about your brain function on a computer screen, you can then guide that function in a positive way.
Below are four types of Biofeedback and all of them use some type of monitoring device and electronic sensors to give information about what is going on in the body:
- Heart Rate Variability (HRV)
- Muscular (EMG)
- Neurological (EEG)
A learning method that uses a computer to show a person his or her own brainwave pattern in the form of EEG activity. First sensors are put on the patient, then the brainwave information is turned up and shown back to the trainee in the form of a computer game. When the brain is not working properly, proof of this will show up in EEG activity. When this happens, the brain will notice it and can make changes based on what it “sees” through computer images and sounds. This challenges the brain to learn to reorganize itself and therefore function better. Both Dr. Diane® and Paul Soper are Neurofeedback specialists and are part of the Brain Health Expert Team.
The use of Neurofeedback with talk therapy, along with many of the other internal and external methods presented, can help ease your OCD symptoms.
SCENAR (Self-Controlled Energy Neuro Adaptive Regulation)
SCENAR, which was developed for use in the Russian space program, uses signals that are modified based on what happened in the past—a technology that is viewed as reorganizing. The newer Cosmodic technology looks ahead to the body’s desired (target) state of response, so it is more regenerative in nature. In Russia, SCENAR is considered a conventional, rather than complementary, approach and is currently used as a main treatment method.
Cranial Electro Stimulation (CES)
Another Biofeedback method that was developed in Russia during the 1950s is Cranial Electro Stimulation (CES). Through double blind clinical trials this method has proven effective in treating stress, anxiety, and depression. It is a registered FDA medical device for easing the symptoms of these conditions, and it is an effective OCD treatment.