Counseling For OCD

therapy for obsessive compulsive disorder In Grand Rapids, MI

At Health for Life Counseling in Grand Rapids, MI, we have licensed practitioners who are trained to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder. Due to a lack of information, many people are afraid or ashamed to seek treatment. We have a team of cognitive behavioral therapists who are highly qualified to help you overcome your OCD theme or subtype.

OCD Stereotypes Debunked At Health For Life Counseling, Grand Rapids​

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is more than just being a “neat freak” who organizes things and washes their hands more than most people. In fact, your OCD symptoms don’t even have to include cleaning, organizing, or hand washing, as there are so many different subtypes. People don’t engage in compulsions because they like to; they do it because they feel like they have to prevent bad things from happening.

Common Types Of “Fear Of” Obsessions

  • Contracting or transmitting a deadly disease.
  • Developing a different psychiatric condition, such as schizophrenia.
  • Being responsible for a bad event (e.g. a fire, home burglary, or food poisoning) due to inattentiveness.
  • Lying to yourself about your true sexual orientation (SO-OCD) or gender identity (TOCD).
  • “Not really loving” your partner, children, or other family members (ROCD).
  • Being evil, being possessed, or committing an unforgivable sin.
  • Doing something immoral, unethical, or illegal (Moral Scrupulosity OCD).
  • “Losing control” or “snapping” and acting on an unwanted intrusive thought.
  • Harming or killing yourself or someone else (Harm OCD).
  • Being a sexual deviant, or abusing a child (POCD).
  • Injuring your baby (Postpartum OCD).
  • Never being able to stop thinking about an autonomous bodily function, such as blinking (Somatic OCD).

The Obsessive-Compulsive Cycle

Obsessive-compulsive disorder can be difficult to manage without professional help because even illogical and unwarranted obsessions can feel overwhelming and serious. Almost always, this condition pushes you into giving into a compulsion by “lying to you”.

Additionally, whenever you perform a compulsion to relieve anxiety, uncertainty, guilt, or discomfort, you’re “feeding” the obsessions, which could make them stronger and more frequent in the future.

What OCD May Try To Convince You Of

  • “I know this is probably a compulsion, but shouldn’t I do it anyway, just in case?”
  • My fear has a 99% chance of not coming true, but aren’t the negative consequences if that 1% comes true too great to ignore?”
  • “What if I’m lying to myself about having this disorder, and I really am a bad person?”
  • “If I don’t do my compulsion, the anxiety will never go away.”
  • “If I can’t stop thinking about this obsession, I’ll go insane or lose control of myself.”

Common Compulsions

    • Compelled to confess perceived wrongdoings to a partner, parent, or religious leader.
    • Spending inordinate amounts of time Googling the symptoms of various physical or mental health conditions.
    • Frequently shower or wash your hands until your skin becomes raw or cracked.
    • Doubting a locked door or a turned-off stove after checking it multiple times.
    • Hiding or throwing away knives for fear of stabbing someone you love.
    • Checking your body for the “appropriate” emotional or physical response in everyday social situations.
    • Repeatedly “testing” yourself for feelings of love and attraction towards your partner.
    • Avoiding people, locations, situations, numbers, colors, or media that trigger your obsession.

Types Of OCD Therapy

If you listen to your compulsions instead of seeking treatment, the condition won’t just go away—and it might even get worse over time! No matter what lies obsessive-compulsive disorder tries to tell you, the truth is that with therapy and medication, you can overcome this debilitating condition and regain control of your life.

ERP: The “Gold Standard” OCD Treatment

An effective type of cognitive-behavioral therapy called exposure and response prevention (ERP) is widely used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder. ERP involves your therapist helping you rank your obsessions according to their distress factor, and then slowly walking you through exercises intended to temporarily trigger these fears. By experiencing the anxiety and resisting the compulsion, your anxiety can gradually diminish all by itself, thus breaking the vicious obsessive-compulsive cycle.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Treatment In Michigan

At Health for Life Counseling, our licensed mental health experts specialize in a number of debilitating mental health conditions, including OCD. We offer both in-person and online therapy, and we can also help with other conditions on the obsessive-compulsive spectrum, such as hair pulling, skin picking, and hoarding. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment and take back control of your life.

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