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How Is OCD Treated?

Obsessive compulsive disorder is closely related to anxiety. To cope with feelings of anxiety or panic, people with OCD turn toward obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions have to do with certain thoughts they cannot shake; for example, “If I don’t do X, Y will happen.” Compulsions are rituals of behavior to ease the burden of the obsessions, which would be the “X” part of the conditional formula. In extreme cases, the obsession to practice these compulsive rituals can disrupt an entire day. If a ritual isn’t performed to perfection, it will be repeated until it is. Most characterizations of OCD in mainstream media depict this rare and extreme form. What the obsessive thoughts are about and what the rituals of compulsive behavior are vary. One case of OCD is immensely different from another.

Treating Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Unfortunately, treatment for OCD specifically is rare. Harmony Place is an exception in the treatment industry, providing treatment for OCD as a co-occurring disorder with alcoholism. Anti-anxiety and other kinds of medication are often prescribed to treat OCD. Therapy methods can include cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and mindfulness based therapy practices.

Exposure Response Prevention therapy is a popular and effective way to treat OCD. Traditional talk therapy investigates underlying issues for a problem. ERP, on the other hand, approaches the OCD directly. ERP is a form of CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy, which means it is a process of reprogramming thought and behavior. At the core of the practice, is confronting the obsessive thoughts in a way that no longer inspires the need for compulsive behaviors. Importantly, ERP helps to separate the person from the OCD.

Like all mental illness, OCD comes with its own share of shame and stigma. People with OCD have reported feeling afraid of their thoughts, as if the compulsive and obsessive thoughts define who they are. Some people experience thoughts which are considerably taboo and out of the norm. ERP and OCD-focused therapy instead looks at the thoughts as only thoughts, which can be changed and ignored. Creating a sense of empowerment and self-assurance, ERP encourages the belief in oneself necessary to make a great change.


Harmony Place is a dual-diagnosis treatment center, providing quality compassionate care to those experiencing substance use disorders in addition to co-occurring mental health disorders. Our private and luxurious residential home is the perfect setting for healing. We encourage a highly individualized treatment program so each client’s needs are specifically met. For more information, call  1-855-627-1417.