How does OCD work

Treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder

There are different types of psychotherapy. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is primarily treated with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). It is offered in Germany by behavioral therapists and combines parts of cognitive and.

A cognitive one is about recognizing and questioning one's own thought patterns. The goal is to identify thoughts that underlie compulsive behavior and then to change them. You deal with questions like: What use is it to me if I check ten times to see whether the door is locked? Can my actions actually protect me from something?

It starts directly with the compulsive acts. An important technique for obsessive-compulsive disorder is the "stimulus confrontation with reaction prevention": Here one is gradually confronted with the triggers of his compulsive behavior (stimulus confrontation). For example, if a person is compulsive to wash, their therapist may ask them to touch something that they find dirty. Then she tries not to wash her hands immediately as usual (preventing reactions). Through the confrontation, she learns over time that fear and restlessness disappear again even without the compulsive act. The therapeutic support is very important, especially at the beginning of the treatment or when the difficulty of the exercises increases.

One is possible as group or individual therapy. It usually consists of a series of weekly sessions lasting around an hour. Some people feel much better after just ten sessions, others require treatment over several months. A trusting relationship with the psychotherapist is an important prerequisite for the success of the treatment. Sometimes it takes a while to find the right therapist.

Having the family involved in treatment can also help. Relatives can, for example, help those affected to cope with the constraints at home. This can be important to maintain success, especially after the treatment is complete.