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“Just Right” OCD & CBT Treatment

At The Center For Anxiety & OCD at GroundWork Counseling in Orlando our counselors specialize in the treatment of OCD & Anxiety disorders, provided empirically based treatment to our clients.

arranging bed - just right ocd “Just Right” or “Symmetry/Exactness” OCD is a sub-type of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder that involves obsessive thoughts about perfection and symmetry and compulsions that consist of trying to arrange or fix things to reduce anxiety that is brought on by the obsessive thoughts.

What Is Just Right OCD?

Just Right” OCD symptoms typically consist of a feeling of “incompleteness” or a sense that something is just not quite right rather than a need to “avoid harm” that is typically found in other sub-types of OCD. People with “Just Right” OCD tend to have a need to repeat, realign, rearrange and reorder things. These rituals are often the “classic” symptoms people think of when they think about someone having OCD. The rituals actually serve as a way to reduce anxiety that is caused by distress over an unending sense of incompleteness and discomfort or a fear of causing something terrible to happen (magical thinking), so there are actually two types of “Just Right” OCD.  With magical thinking, the individual links the perceived asymmetry with terrible events that can only be averted by reordering or rearranging rituals. For example, “if the things are not arranged on my desk in a ‘balanced’ way, someone in my family will die” or “if the books on the shelf aren’t arranged perfectly, something bad will happen”.   For individuals with “Just Right” OCD without magical thinking, arranging and ordering rituals are done simply for a feeling of “correctness” or “completeness” in the person’s surroundings, not to prevent any harm from occurring but merely to reduce their discomfort.

The most common triggers of feelings of incompleteness are feelings, objects, situations or numbers (e.g., even numbers) that the person with “Just Right” OCD connects with a sense of disorder, unevenness or irregularity.

Some common symptoms include:

  • More objects on the right than on the left
  • Touching something with the right hand but not the left hand
  • Books arranged out of order
  • Certain numbers
  • Handwriting or wording isn’t “just right”
  • Picture hanging crookedly
  • Presence of dirt on an otherwise clean surface

“Just Right” OCD, as well as other types of OCD, include an overpowering sense of doubt that leads to doing compulsions. Although individuals with “Just Right” OCD know that their intrusive thoughts and ideas about exactness and the need for perfection are unwarranted, they cannot get rid of the distressing feeling that ‘maybe they are wrong’. Doing the compulsion reduces anxiety in “Just Right” OCD and other types of OCD, which negatively reinforces the compulsion, making the individual with “Just Right” OCD repeat the compulsive behavior the next time the person feels that things are ‘not just right’.

Therapy for Just Right OCD

OCD is a treatable condition. At The Center for Anxiety & OCD at GroundWork Counseling, we offer cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with a focus on exposure and response prevention (ERP) for people with “Just Right” OCD and other types of OCD. Although “just right” symptoms are more difficult to treat than other types of OCD, therapists at GroundWork Counseling can help you to face your anxiety and distress about things not being “just right” and teach you new ways of responding to anxiety. Our approach is compassionate, goal-oriented and scientifically based and focuses on your individual needs.

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GroundWork Counseling, LLC
400 S Orlando Ave #206
Maitland, FL 32751

Virtual therapy options available for individuals residing in Florida.

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