anxiety disorders and ocd

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is classified as an anxiety disorder, though has shared features with impulse control disorders.

Individuals may complete compulsive behaviors, sometimes referred to as “rituals”, to neutralize a feeling of anxiety and/or unwanted thoughts or obsessions. Other individuals may experience a form of OCD, sometimes colloquially referred to as “Pure O”, where the individual does not perform visible compulsions/rituals, but engages in mental rituals, essentially neutralizing anxiety or distressing thoughts with mental tasks, for example, recalling the multiplication table several times mentally.

OCD has been thought to be best treated with behavioral therapies, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), though I frequently see patients who have had this or a similar type of treatment in the past with symptoms returning within two years following completion. My approach to treating OCD is a combination of CBT and verbal therapy using psychodynamic and ego psychology techniques, in addition to psychoeducation to learn to utilize health, adaptive coping strategies for anxiety.

I am happy to discuss this in further detail. Please feel free to contact me if you would like additional information.

Keeley Teemsma, MA, MSW, LCSW