• July 23, 2016
  • OCD

Suggested Questions for Selecting an OCD Therapist for Yourself or Your Child

questions to ask an ocd therapist, orlando ocd treatment, ocd specialist At The Center for Anxiety & OCD at GroundWork Counseling in Orlando, we feel it is important for clients to be educated when selecting a therapist to treat their OCD.

Not every therapist who claims to treat OCD actually knows how to treat it. It is important for those with OCD to become educated regarding effective treatment so that they can become their own advocate, and make an educated decision of where to receive treatment for their OCD.

Many people seeking treatment for OCD are not aware of the many different viewpoints, theoretical approaches and levels of training that influence a therapist’s treatment method and effectiveness.  Many individuals who suffer with OCD become frustrated because despite many hours of therapy, their OCD is not improving. Studies have shown that it takes an average of 14-17 years for an individual with OCD to find effective treatment.

Numerous studies have shown that while CBT/ERP is the best treatment for OCD, yet many therapists have never received in-depth training in CBT/ERP for OCD, even though some therapists have been practicing for decades and claim to treat OCD. This has created a severe shortage of professionals adequately trained in the most effective treatment for OCD through ERP.

At The Center for Anxiety and OCD at GroundWork Counseling, our two OCD therapists have received highly specialized training for the treatment of OCD from the International OCD Foundation’s renowned Behavior Therapy Training Institute (BTTI), a level of training for the treatment in OCD that is obtained by less than 1% of practicing mental health providers, which includes psychiatrists, doctors, psychologists, mental health counselors and therapists.

It is important to interview your prospective therapist to find out if they are trained to do Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), and where they received their training. Some therapists are better at treating OCD than others. Their answers to your questions will be a good guide for you. These questions can also be used with clinicians in order to get your insurance to pay for an out-of-network OCD specialist.

Basic Questions To Ask: 

  • “What techniques do you use to treat OCD?”
    If the therapist is vague or does not mention cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) or Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) use caution.
  • “Do you use Exposure and Response Prevention to treat OCD?”
    Be cautious of therapists who say they use CBT but won’t be more specific.
  • “What is your training and background in treating OCD?”

    (Look for therapists who say they have attended specialized workshops or trainings offered by the IOCDF like the Behavior Therapy Training Institute (BTTI) or Annual OCD Conference.)
  • “How much of your practice currently involves anxiety disorders?”

  • “Do you feel that you have been effective in your treatment of OCD?”

    This should be an unqualified “Yes.”
  • “What is your attitude towards medication in the treatment of OCD?”
  • If they are negative about medication this is a bad sign. While not for everyone, medication can be a very effective treatment for OCD.
  • “Are you willing to leave your office if needed to do behavior therapy?”
    It is sometimes necessary to go out of the office to do effective ERP.

Above Questions Adapted From “How To Find The Right Therapist” from  The International OCD Foundation 


Questions For OCD Therapists: For Adults with OCD

  • Do you use Exposure and Ritual Prevention to treat OCD? If so, please explain how ERP works and what it might involve.
  • How many individuals have you treated with ERP? What is your rate of success?
  • What is your approach for getting someone ready for treatment?
  • How frequent are the treatment sessions and how long is each session?
  • How long can I expect treatment to be, and what affects the length of the treatment?
  • When can I expect to see results?
  • What signs do you look for to know if treatment is working?
  • What do you suggest if no improvement is seen at that point?
  • What is your approach to working with spouses and families of individuals with OCD?
  • Are you available to me if I have a question or crisis in between sessions?
  • What is your opinion on medication?
  • If you do not prescribe medication, can you refer me to a psychiatrist with whom you would work closely?

Questions For OCD Therapists: For Children with OCD

  • Do you use Exposure and Ritual Prevention to treat OCD? If so, please explain how ERP works and what it might involve.
  • How many children have you treated with ERP? What is your rate of success?
  • What is your approach for getting a child ready for treatment?
  • How frequent are the treatment sessions and how long is each session?
  • How long can we expect treatment to be, and what affects the length of the treatment?
  • When can we expect to see results?
  • What signs do you look for to know if treatment is working?
  • What do you suggest if no improvement is seen at that point?
  • What is your approach to working with parents and families of individuals with OCD?
  • Can we meet with you privately, without our child present, if necessary?
  • How do you involve parents in making treatment decisions?
  • Will you be able to help us with day-to-day parenting issues?
  • Are you available to us if I have a question or crisis in between sessions?
  • What is your opinion on medication for children with OCD?
  • If you do not prescribe medication, can you refer us to a child psychiatrist with whom you would work closely in treating our child?
  • Would you consult or meet with my child’s school staff if required?
    (Suggested Questions adapted with exclusive permission from Dr. Aureen Wagner.)

At GroundWork Counseling, we understand the importance of selecting effective OCD treatment for yourself or your child. Our OCD specialists (Marion Rodrigue – Adult OCD Treatment) (Courtney Rodrigue Hubscher – Child OCD Treatment) would be happy to speak with you via phone prior to setting up the initial appointment to answer your questions, and further discuss their treatment methods and training in ERP/CBT, so that you are confident you will be receiving effective treatment for your OCD.

Speak With An Orlando OCD Therapist
407-378-3000

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