Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Uzi Ben-Ami, Ph.D.
Uzi Ben-Ami, Ph.D.

Child and adolescent psychologist, Dr. Uzi Ben-Ami provides an educational program, counseling and therapy services for all ages, children and young adults, parents, and groups. His training as a cognitive behaviorist using CBT, DBT, and Future Facing Trauma Therapy, lead Dr. Uzi Ben-Ami to practice Cognitive Behavior Therapy flexibly, treating generalized anxiety, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder and trauma reactions such as PTSD, which usually involves disruptive obsessive thoughts and fearful reactions.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a common presentation in therapy. OCD is usually considered a symptom of anxiety, a condition characterized by repetitive symptoms such as frequent disruptive thoughts or obsessions and/or compulsions. Sometimes, to control disruptive and disturbing thoughts, the individual reacts with repetitive behaviors that are known as compulsions. For example, with OCD, individuals may have an irrational fear that a loved one will be in an accident if they do not turn the light switch off and on four times. Occasional repetitions are considered a mild ‘superstitious behavior’ and may not necessitate intervention because they may not disrupt and disturb a person’s normal life activity or might even enhance it, such as becoming very neat and organized. However, when the behavior repeats itself in high frequency it may disturb normal life activity and may increase obsessive preoccupation which in turn may increase the frequency of compulsions or cause depression and additional anxiety. Life may become difficult to bear for the individual, and bring concerns to family, friends or colleagues. OCD may force someone who is dealing with the disorder into a stressful life. A person having fearful thoughts and compulsive rituals frequently tries unsuccessfully to ease disruptive thoughts and behaviors. It should be noted that compulsive behaviors may appear without obsessions but might become just as disruptive and difficult to bear.

Although there are different approaches to managing OCD, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is usually considered the preferred, evidence-based, research-supported intervention. With Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, disruptive thoughts and behavioral patterns will be altered through supportive guidance, educational explanations, habit-reversal efforts, and by teaching how to evoke parasympathetic tension-reducing reactions. Therapeutic interventions are never cold and clinical. Therapy must always involve friendliness, hope, and a strong rapport, which must be established first before a cooperative successful intervention starts.

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What to Expect With Anger Management

 

Anger Management pic
Anger Management
Image: apa.org

Located in Rockville, Maryland, Dr. Uzi Ben-Ami counsels his clients in a private suburban house rather than in an office building, individually or together with a partner. Dr. Ben-Ami uses his knowledge of Behavior Therapy, CBT, DBT and PTSD, to provide his clients with practical and realistic help with anger management.

One targeted goal with anger management is helping you recognize types of situations that make you angry and teaching you how to manage your anger, using new specific skills. Knowing what to do before anger takes over will help you overcome it faster or avoid it altogether.

Knowing common physical signs of anger helps you reduce rage and how to prevent escalation. One example: clenching your fists, grinding your teeth, pacing, rocking while sitting, shallow breathing, and an increased heart rate, are all physical signs that you can observe yourself. By keeping track of your physical signs of anger or writing them in a journal, you can look back and see what situations make you feel angriest, what triggers the anger and what skills you used. With the therapist, you can look back and see what situations you should avoid, what skills are missing, and plan on acquiring the skills through explanation and discussion, some role-play, and also by watching fun or funny relevant videos. Your therapist will teach you realistic relaxation tricks that are possible to apply in real life situations. When needed, you may learn which muscles to use and which to avoid during the confrontation, so you don’t overreact, all this without losing your pride or your opponent’s respect for you.