Counseling & Psychotherapy - Southampton, NJ 08088
Counseling & Psychotherapy - Southampton, NJ 08088
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Treating Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - OCD

Completion of a course of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is an important part in treating obsessive-compulsive disorder. Recent research studies conducted at UCLA have demonstrated that behavior therapy results in positive changes in brain activity similar to those changes brought about by successful drug treatment. For some people with OCD, the combination of medication, cognitive (e.g., cognitive-restructuring) and behavior (e.g., exposure and response prevention) therapies give the best results.

Research studies show that approximately 85% of people who complete cognitive-behavioral treatment by itself show "moderate to great" improvement. In addition, approximately 75% of people show long-term improvements in their OCD symptoms.

The medications that work best for obsessive-compulsive disorder are those that increase levels of the "chemical" serotonin in the brain. Your physician or a psychiatrist can recommend the medication that would be best for you. Studies show that approximately 60% of patients who receive medication alone show "moderate" improvement in symptoms. However, most of those treated with medication alone relapse within a few weeks after discontinuing use of the drug.

For this reason, cognitive-behavioral therapy should always be used if you are taking medication for OCD. Medication alters the level of serotonin, while cognitive-behavioral therapy teaches you the necessary skills to resist compulsions and obsessions, coping strategies to reduce anxious arousal, and ways to change distorted automatic thoughts and maladaptive assumptions.

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