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OCD Therapy in San Francisco

Struggling with obsessive thoughts? We’re here to help.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, commonly referred to as OCD, is a mental health condition marked by intrusive thoughts, images, or urges known as obsessions. These obsessions often generate significant distress and anxiety. As a coping mechanism, individuals may develop repetitive behaviors or mental actions termed compulsions. The aim of these compulsions is to counteract or alleviate the distress stemming from the obsessions.

Prevalence of OCD

In the United States, it’s estimated that slightly over 1% of adults currently deal with OCD, with a little over 2% experiencing it at some point in their lives. Among children and adolescents, prevalence rates are a bit varied, with estimates between .25% and 4%. This data emphasizes the essential need for effective OCD therapy interventions and societal awareness.

Symptoms of OCD

  • Intrusive Thoughts: Unwanted, recurring thoughts or images causing distress.
  • Compulsive Behaviors: Repetitive actions or rituals aimed at mitigating the anxiety from obsessions.
  • Mental Acts: Such as counting or praying, performed in response to obsessions.
  • Impact on Daily Life: The obsessions and compulsions can interfere with daily activities, even when the individual recognizes their irrational nature.
  • Sense of Shame: It’s not unusual for individuals with OCD to feel embarrassed or ashamed of their symptoms.

Common OCD Concerns

Understanding the diverse manifestations of OCD is crucial in recognizing and addressing this complex disorder. Here’s a deeper look into the various forms OCD can take, each with its own set of obsessions and compulsions that significantly impact individuals’ lives.

  1. Contamination: Fear of germs, dirt, or becoming ill; excessive washing and cleaning.
  2. Symmetry and Order: A need to have items arranged in a particular way or to perform actions in a certain order; distress when things are not symmetrical or orderly.
  3. Harm: Fears of harming oneself or others accidentally or deliberately; checking locks, appliances, and often seeking reassurance.
  4. Hoarding: Difficulty discarding items regardless of their actual value; fear that getting rid of items will result in harm or distress.
  5. Forbidden Thoughts: Intrusive and unwanted thoughts involving aggression, sexual content, or religious blasphemy; these thoughts are often distressing to the individual.
  6. Health Concerns: Excessive worry about having a serious illness despite medical reassurance; compulsively checking for signs of illness.
  7. Seeking Reassurance: Constantly seeking reassurance from others that one’s fears are unfounded; this can include excessive confessions or asking for validation about actions and thoughts.
  8. Perfectionism: Excessive concern with perfection, fear of making mistakes, and excessive checking of work for errors.
  9. Rituals: Engaging in rituals to reduce anxiety about an obsession (e.g., touching objects a certain number of times, repeating specific words or phrases, or performing tasks a certain number of times).

Our Approach to OCD

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is highly effective form of therapy for OCD. Success is due in large part to a strong emphasis on a specialized CBT technique: Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP).

  • ERP: A cornerstone in treating OCD, ERP helps individuals face and endure their obsessive thoughts without resorting to compulsive behaviors for relief. Over time, this leads to a reduction in the intensity and frequency of obsessions and the urge to perform compulsions.
  • Understanding & Compassion: We recognize the profound distress OCD can cause and approach treatment with sensitivity and empathy.
  • Skill Building: Apart from ERP, our therapeutic process also includes tools and strategies to manage anxiety and build resilience.

Our ultimate goal is to equip those battling OCD with the skills, understanding, and support needed to reclaim control over their thoughts and actions.

Who We Are

Our team of therapists is specialized and experienced in navigating the complexities of OCD therapy. Discover more about our expertise.