From Yeshiva University – An Online Survey of Beliefs about OCD Treatment

Originally posted on ocdtalk:

by stuart miles by stuart miles

Hi Everyone!

Jenna Feldman, a graduate student working toward her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Yeshiva University, is collaborating on a research project about OCD. She is looking for participants with OCD (adults age >18) who are interested in completing an online survey pertaining to beliefs about treatments that exist for OCD.  The survey should take around 40 minutes to complete.  If you elect to participate you will be entered into a raffle for one of four $50 gift cards.  To learn more about the study please follow the link below:

If you decide to participate, good luck with the raffle!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

by vectorolie

by vectorolie

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. In addition to spending time with my family, I’ve just always loved the idea of a day set aside to be thankful for all that we have. Mindfulness at its best!

I’m so thankful that my son Dan continues to do well, six years after severe OCD completely debilitated him. This year I am especially thankful that Overcoming OCD: A Journey to Recovery was published, as I’ve heard from so many people who have found Dan’s story inspirational, and Seth Gillihan’s commentary helpful and informative. There truly is hope for all those who suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder.

But we have so much work left to do. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is still widely misrepresented and misunderstood. Many people are not even aware of exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy, the first line psychological treatment for OCD as recommended by the American Psychological Association. We still have a shortage of qualified treatment providers and a lack of adequate healthcare coverage. The list goes on.

There is hope however. In last year’s Thanksgiving post, I announced that Rogers Behavioral Health System planned to open new OCD and anxiety treatment centers in Chicago and Nashville. Not only are both of these clinics now open, there are now plans for another facility in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As in Chicago and Nashville, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs for children, teens and adults will be offered there.

I am thankful for the creation of these top-notch programs throughout the country. I am thankful for all the dedicated professionals who work so hard to help those who are suffering from OCD. I am thankful to you, all of my readers, who in many very different ways, advocate for OCD awareness, education, and understanding. Whether you have OCD, love someone with the disorder, are a professional who treats OCD, or are just someone who cares – THANK YOU!

Together we can continue to make a difference.

Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, surrounded by those you love.


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Sale on Overcoming OCD: A Journey to Recovery

Overcoming OCD: A Journey to RecoveryFor those who might be interested, I’ve just been informed that my publisher, Rowman & Littlefield, is discounting many of their books by 35% until December 31, 2015.

Overcoming OCD: A Journey to Recovery is included in this sale, and you can get more information, as well as order your discounted copy, here.

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OCD and Paris

by dan

by dan

Over the last few days we have seen the world caught up in terror over the tragic events in France. The way I feel is reminiscent of 9/11, though not as intense. Still, at times I find myself walking around in a bit of a daze, with that feeling of anxiety churning away in my stomach. My heart goes out to all those who have been directly affected by these horrific actions.

I watched the news reports as they came in. I heard survivors interviewed. I heard detail upon detail. I saw pictures. And then I did what I should have done earlier. I shut off the television.

For me, the current media is too much. It’s too graphic, with far more information than is necessary for most people. Of course, this is just my opinion. This is not a criticism of news reporters. I realize many of them risk their lives to make sure the world has accurate information. I’m just saying, for me, it’s too much to handle.

Which of course makes me think of those with obsessive-compulsive disorder or anxiety disorders. How are they affected? How do they maintain their well-being during times such as these? Do they, like me, avoid the news as much as possible?

Anyone who has had treatment for OCD has likely heard the phrase “avoidance is never the answer.” I even wrote an article about avoidance as a compulsion four years ago.

This is different. I don’t think avoiding potentially triggering news reports is the same as avoidance as a compulsion in OCD, where those with the disorder avoid people (such as friends, loved ones, or acquaintances), places (such as malls, certain buildings, public restrooms), and things (flying, driving, certain clothing –  anything!) that might provoke anxiety. Maybe I’m wrong, but  I feel that avoidance as a compulsions limits your world and strengthens your OCD, while avoidance of these news reports I’m talking about allows you to keep your world going; to continue on with your life.

Even without following the specifics, events such as those of the past days can obviously cause many of us, not just those with OCD or anxiety disorders, to become rattled. What do we do? What can we do?

I don’t have the answers. I try to continue to see the universe as friendly and not focus on the negative.  I try to accept the uncertainty of life, not get caught up in the “what-ifs” of the past and future, and just focus on what matters most – the present. Neither of these is easy to do when we are surrounded by so much turmoil and suffering.

So I continue on the best I can, as we all do. And I hope for peace. I’d love to hear how those of you with and without OCD deal with these times of crisis.

Maybe we can help each other.


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Book Review of Overcoming OCD: A Journey to Recovery

Overcoming OCD: A Journey to Recovery

I hope you’ll take a moment to check out our most recent book review on this great web site, The Compulsive Reader.


Have a nice weekend, everyone!


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OCD Thoughts or Just Thoughts?

salvatore vuono

salvatore vuono

Obsessions, in relation to OCD, are defined on the IOCDF website as “thoughts, images or impulses that occur over and over again and feel outside of the person’s control.” Those with OCD are often so tormented by their obsessions that they feel intense fear and anxiety which might even result in panic attacks.

So what are these obsessions? Certainly they must be so horrible that we shouldn’t even speak of them? To elicit such an intense response from someone, these thoughts must be ones we’d all find shocking and deeply disturbing, right?

Well, no. Turns out the obsessions of those with OCD typically arise from the same types of thoughts most of us routinely have. As a new mom over thirty years ago, I’d have fleeting thoughts of dropping my baby down the stairs, or letting her roll off the changing table. I remember being somewhat puzzled by these thoughts, because I of course loved my daughter and wanted nothing more than to care for her and keep her safe. So I shrugged them off and went about my life. I could come up with more of my own examples, but my guess is most of you can likely relate to having these types of thoughts; the kind that just pop into your head, or float by, and make you think, “Where did THAT come from?” Thoughts that might be momentarily upsetting because they represent the exact opposite of who you are and what you believe in.

So why do these thoughts affect those with OCD more deeply? Are they just being drama queens?

No, that’s not it at all. They affect those with OCD more deeply because, well, they have OCD. Even though those with obsessive-compulsive disorder typically realize their intrusive thoughts don’t make any sense, it doesn’t matter. The obsessions are usually frequent and exceptionally vivid, and can seem very real in the moment. The result is those with untreated OCD get caught up in extreme anxiety that impedes day-to-day functioning.

Does it make sense? Of course not. But that’s OCD. Add some thought-action fusion and a heaping scoop of uncertainty to that intense anxiety, and you will likely end up with someone who is performing compulsions to get a feeling of completeness, reduce anxiety, and/or make sure everything will be “all right.” The vicious cycle of OCD has begun.

If you have OCD and you’ve been putting off getting help because you’re too afraid or embarrassed to tell a therapist about your obsessions, that’s really not a good excuse. Chances are your therapist, like the rest of us, has those same thoughts, or similar ones, every now and then. Maybe not as intensely as you’ve had them, but with similar content. Because when you get right down to it, there’s OCD, and there are thoughts, but there are no OCD thoughts.







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NAMI NJ’s 2015 Annual Conference – Healing Ourselves, Healing Others


The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)/New Jersey will be holding their annual conference on Saturday, December 5, 2015.

I am honored to be one of the keynote speakers, along with my co-author Seth Gillihan, PhD, and Steven Silverstein, PhD:

NAMINJ Slideshows-48

Please join us if you can! For more information, visit NAMI New Jersey.


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