What is Cognitive-Behavior Therapy (CBT)?
Cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) is based upon the idea that OCD and anxiety symptoms represent unhealthy and unworkable beliefs about possible dangers that result in habitual responses that can, with proper effort, be unlearned. Exposure and response prevention (ERP) is the specific method of helping patients confront obsessively feared situations, and at the same learn new, more appropriate responses in those situations. ERP conducted by a skilled and experienced therapist is a powerful tool for helping sufferers overcome their fears and live normal, productive lives.
Who Can Benefit from Cognitive-Behavior Therapy?
Clients with a wide range of mental disorders, including OCD, OCD spectrum disorders (such as Trichotillomania and body-dysmorphic disorder, as well as anxiety disorders such as panic disorder, agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder, phobias and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), both in adults and children, can benefit from cognitive-behavior therapy. Research studies consistently confirm that cognitive-behavior therapy is, for many clients, an essential component for recovery from OCD and anxiety disorders. While not a cure all, CBT offers the client tools necessary to successfully manage the disorder and live a fuller, more productive life. To be effective, the patient benefits most when he/she chooses to be an active participant in treatment, during which time he/she will be actively mastering previously feared situations, and learning more appropriate ways of handling them rather than using repetitive, compulsive behaviors.
What is Involved in CBT Treatment for OCD and Anxiety?
After the initial evaluation, the patient, with the guidance of the therapist, becomes engaged in a process of gaining awareness of how his/her automatic, beliefs and habitual actions perpetuate the situation he/she so desperately wishes to gain relief from. An individually tailored cognitive-behavioral treatment regimen geared to helping control his/her obsessions by gradual exposure and habituation to feared situations. During this time, the patient is helped to resist engaging in compulsive rituals. Considerable home practice is often needed. Not infrequently, a home visit may be required to assist the client to carry out the cognitive-behavioral procedures at home. Gradually, the patient learns to master formerly feared situations without the need to ritualize, avoid or escape.
How successful is Cognitive-Behavior Therapy (CBT)? Does it Really Work?
Studies conducted with thousands of OCD patients at leading research centers nationwide indicate that patients who undergo exposure and response prevention treatment have demonstrated success rates as high as 90%. It is widely considered the most effective treatment method for OCD available. However, many factors may affect ones individual progress, including motivation, compliance to treatment procedures, general health, the presence of other psychological conditions (such as substance abuse), and the social/familial environment in which the client lives. All can have an impact upon the rate and degree of any individual’s progress with CBT for OCD or anxiety disorder.
How Much Does Treatment Cost?
Less than you may think. Being an active, symptom-focused treatment approach, cognitive-behavior therapy often brings about more rapid results in much shorter time than more traditional “talk” therapy, which could drag on for years with little improvement. Many health insurance plans will reimburse for “out of network” providers. We can assist you to obtain reimbursement. Check your individual insurance plan for details.