Our clinicians specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of OCD and related disorders. We offer comprehensive assessments to help plan effective treatment.
What is OCD?
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder. People with OCD experience intrusive, disturbing thoughts known as obsessions. They engage in repetitive, ritualistic behaviors known as compulsions.
Some examples of obsessions include: fear of harming one's self or other people, fear of contamination, religious fears, and the need for symmetry.
Some examples of compulsions include: excessive washing, repetition of routines, reassurance seeking, and ordering and arranging. In OCD, compulsions usually are performed in order to reduce the anxiety brought on by obsessions.
Without treatment, OCD can interfere with many areas of daily living, school function and social interactions.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is a psychological treatment that has proved to be very effective with a wide variety of psychiatric problems, including OCD, other anxiety disorders and depression. We provide CBT that combines exposure and response prevention with cognitive therapy for OCD, body dysmorphic disorder and other anxiety disorders.
We also provide Habit Reversal Training, a very effective form of behavioral therapy, for treatment of trichotillomania, tic disorders and skin picking.
CBT can be provided in either a weekly or intensive (daily) format. Intensive CBT generally involves 90-minute therapy sessions held daily for approximately 2 to 4 weeks and is particularly suitable for severe OCD cases or for those who do not have access to local CBT providers.
There is a comfortable Ronald McDonald House on the Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital campus that can provide low-cost accommodations for families during intensive CBT.
Because the symptoms of OCD may resemble other medical or psychiatric conditions, including Tourette's Syndrome, we provide expertise in the medical assessment of OCD and related disorders. Medication can be helpful in managing these conditions. The first-line medications are usually serotonin reuptake inhibitors-drugs that selectively affect neurotransmitter mechanisms in the central nervous system. We can offer additional treatment options for patients with resistant or complex presentations of OCD and related disorders.