The mental health professionals on the Resource directory have expressed an interest in treating individuals with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). The International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) has not investigated these individuals nor does it have the facilities to evaluate their competence in treating OCD. This list is a compilation of treatment providers who have requested that their names appear on this referral list. The IOCDF does not recommend nor endorse the competence or expertise of anyone listed. The listing of treatment providers is not an endorsement but merely a source listing of individuals who have indicated they treat OCD.
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Below are descriptions of the various types of listings in the directory, all of which you can use to narrow your search.
Definitions/Explanations of Search Terms
Searching by "Listing Type"
- Therapists: This is a broad term that covers a variety of mental health professionals who typically provide traditional outpatient therapy, in one-on-one settings in their office or virtually (see "teletherapy" below).
- Psychologists: This mental health professional holds a doctoral degree in clinical or counseling psychology. A psychologist will have PhD (training in both research and therapy), PsyD (training mostly in therapy), or EdD (training in therapy through a school of education).
- Psychiatrists: This mental health professional has completed a doctoral degree in medicine (MD) and has specialized in psychiatry and mental illness. S/he can prescribe medicine and also do therapy.
- Psychiatric Nurse: This mental health professional has a degree in nursing (typically a registered nurse, or an RN) with a special emphasis on psychiatry and working with people with mental illness. Nurse practitioners (with a Master-level nursing degree), may also be able to prescribe medication.
- Social Workers: This mental health professional has a Master’s degree in social work (MSW), and has training in therapy. Once they are independently licensed — meaning they are able to provide therapy without any supervision — they will have an LMSW, LCSW, or LICSW after their name. The exact title of a licensed social worker varies by state, but each means they are qualified to provide you therapy.
- Counselors: This mental health professional has a Master’s degree in counseling psychology (MA or MS), and has training in therapy. Once they are independently licensed, meaning they are able to provide therapy without any supervision, they will have an LMHC or LPC after their name, depending on their specific degree and focus. They may also have an MFT, or Master’s degree in family therapy, and have an LMFT once they are independently licensed. The exact title of a licensed counselor varies by state and by degree, but each mean they are qualified to provide you therapy.
- Clinics & Programs:
- Specialty Outpatient Clinic: These are clinics where several outpatient therapists work together in a treatment center that primarily focuses on treating OCD and related disorders, and as a result may have more experience and training in the OCD and related disorders field. They typically offer traditional outpatient therapy (usually 45–60 minute sessions, 1–2 times per week), but may also offer additional programs, such as support groups and group therapy.
- Intensive Treatment Program: For individuals with severe OCD or who have not responded to traditional outpatient treatment, intensive treatment (up to 90 minutes per session, and meeting more frequently than 1–2 times per week) may be helpful. When intensive treatment is offered as part of a structured program, several days a week, for a specific period of time (4–6 weeks, for example) this is called an Intensive Outpatient Program, or IOP. IOPs may also have additional services associated with them, including group therapy, family therapy, and/or support groups.
- Residential Program: Individuals who do not have access to an intensive outpatient treatment program in their area may choose to travel to a residential program. Residential programs may also be helpful for individuals who have not responded to traditional or intensive outpatient treatment. At these programs, clients live at the treatment center with care available around the clock. Residential programs are very structured, offering Cognitive Behavior Therapy (including a heavy emphasis on Exposure and Response Prevention) in group and individual treatment formats, medication treatment, and family therapy, which all form the core components of the program’s treatment services. Unlike “inpatient” programs, patients are able to leave the facility or hospital grounds for additional therapy opportunities or for recreation. As a result, residential programs are sometimes referred to as “unlocked” units.
- Support Groups: OCD can be a very isolating disorder, not only for those with OCD, but also for their family members and loved ones. Support groups offer a supportive place to discuss finding treatment and challenges while in treatment, provide education about the disorder, and offer mutual encouragement. They are typically free of charge to attend and usually meet somewhere in the community, such as at a coffee shop or library. They might be run by an individual in recovery, a professional, or a combination of the two.
- Treatment Groups: Unlike support groups, which are great additions to treatment (like individual therapy), treatment groups are the treatment in and of themselves! Treatment groups are evidence-based treatment (like ERP) delivered in a group setting, instead of an individual setting.
- Organizations: This listing type includes Affiliates and Global Partners. Affiliates are local and regional volunteer groups who come together to offer programs in their community and have a formal relationship with the IOCDF. They are all located in the United States and territories. Global Partners are organizations in other countries around the world who have a similar mission as the IOCDF and have a formal partnership with the IOCDF.
Searching by "Ages Served"
- Adults: 18 years old and older
- Children: Around 12 years old and younger
- Adolescents: Around 13-17 years old
Searching by "Treatment Strategies"
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): The focus of ACT for OCD is to help clients experience obsessions and anxiety, but still continue to move in directions in life that are meaningful. The focus of ACT is learning to behave with flexibility rather than resort to compulsive behavior.
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT): This is a therapy approach that focuses on changing problematic thoughts and behaviors as a way to decrease symptoms. CBT is effective for all of the anxiety disorders, including OCD and related disorders.
- Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP): ERP is a CBT strategy in which a person is asked to repeatedly confront situations which trigger anxiety, not engage in the compulsive behaviors to manage the anxiety, and see that anxiety decreases on its own. ERP is the first line treatment for OCD.
- Medication: Medication for OCD and related disorders can be used on its own, or in conjunction with CBT and ERP. Medication can only be prescribed by a psychiatrist or nurse practitioner. To learn more about medications used to treat OCD and related disorders, click here. (link to medication page)
- Habit Reversal: This CBT strategy is used for individuals with skin picking and hair pulling. It involves having the individual use a “competing response” (for example, squeezing a ball) when having the urge to pick or pull hair.
- Family Therapy: OCD and related disorders typically affect the entire family system, not just the individual. Family therapy is used to help reduce accommodating behaviors, which can interfere with treatment. In family therapy, the family meets as a group with a therapist, usually once a week.
- Group Therapy: Usually used as a supplement to individual treatment, group therapy allows patients to encourage each other through the treatment process. These groups can offer cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and/or exposure and response prevention (ERP) in a group setting, and are usually run by a licensed mental health professional.
- Home Visits: In cases where individuals may not be able to leave the home, or may not be able to travel to a therapist’s office, some therapists may offer treatment in the individual’s home. For some with OCD, home visits may also be part of their ERP treatment.
- Teletherapy: Therapists meet with clients on video-conferencing tools (such as Skype) or over the phone, rather than in person. In most cases, however, therapists must live in the same state as the client to provide teletherapy services, due to licensing restrictions.
Searching by "Provider Credentials"
- IOCDF Training Institute
- BTTI: Has completed a 3-day intensive training program in the assessment and treatment of OCD and related disorders, primarily using Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP).
- Hoarding BTTI: Has completed a 3-day intensive training program in the assessment and treatment of hoarding disorder, primarily using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
- Pediatric BTTI: Has completed a 3-day intensive training program in the assessment and treatment of OCD in children and adolescents, primarily using Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP).
- BTTI Faculty: A nationally-recognized expert in OCD and related disorders, and typically also a member of the IOCDF’s Scientific and Clinical Advisory Board. These therapists serve as instructors for the Behavior Therapy Training Institute programs.
Searching by "Payment Type"
- Self pay: Paying out of pocket.
- Sliding fee: May offer lower fees for lower income clients.
- Private insurance: Accepts insurance for services. Please verify with your insurance provider about the type of coverage offered for behavioral/mental health services.
- Medicare/Medicaid: Accepts Medicare/Medicaid.