NOCD therapy and finding a therapist

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    • #14517
      Sarah F

        Hi there,

        I hope I am posting in the right spot. I have a 9 year old son who has been seeing a therapist throug the NOCD ( organization. His OCD showed up in January right before back to school – he kept asking if he had touched things, or hurt someone, and kept repeating himself at school to the point where the teachers contacted me.  He also was washing his hands consistently.

        While the therapist was great with helping him identify his OCD monster and do some exposures, and he improved over 4 months , our son was starting to feel like he was OCD – as his therapist was incredibly clinicial and didn’t have much of a relationship with him. When OCD reassurfaced again in May, we contacted the same therapist and she wanted to spent multiple sessions talking about his triggers and when we think he’s anxious etc and speculated that it’s probably socially related at school.

        We are frustrated because it seemed like she wanted to do a lot of navel gazing and identifying reasons and triggers for the OCD, when really, she already knew the symptoms. She has not come up with an effective plan to treat him because she always says we have to go back to the triggers. It’s getting really frustrating because there is no tangible plan and it’s a lot of talking and we are frustrated.

        I’m wondering if I’m being unfair, and this is a part of the therapy process, or if my irritation is legitimate. It seems like every session we are told to observe and record our son’s every action – which was ok at the start- but it seems to be the common recommendation, and we’re done. We know his OCD behaviours and we just want to know how to get practical help.

        We live in Ontario, Canada. Any help is appreciated. For example, should we be doing prescriptive exposures on a daily basis, or is it OK to do them as the OCD behaviour arises? We try to embed exposures into the day but our therapist seems to think we should be sitting our son down daily and reading scripts to him about his fears ? We will do whatever helps our son, but we just feel like she isn’t a good fit for us, but we have no one, so someone is better than nothing.

        Thanks for your consideration.



      • #14520

          Hi Sarah,
          Do you think she is trying to find the core fear or theme related to OCD? I know that is helpful in developing effective exposures. Triggers related to stress or situations typically aren’t too helpful when it comes to OCD.

          Ideally it is good to do what I call “offense and defense” with OCD. That includes defense: how I react when OCD wants me to do a compulsion and offense: poking back at OCD when it isn’t bothering me (ERP). I think both are equally important. Here is a video explaining this:

          I wonder if you can ask NOCD for a different therapist if you are unhappy?

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