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Editor's Note

July/August 2016
Today, with all the presumed advances therapists have made in reducing mental suffering from previously untreatable conditions, is there a solution, a cure, a fix for OCD? As with so many difficult emotional conditions, the answer is far from simple, not least because OCD appears to bear a strong genetic component. Still, we have more knowledge about how to recognize it, and how to distinguish it from other conditions that it often mimics, including PTSD, depression, and even psychosis. More importantly, many specialists working with OCD employ some variation on what two authors for this issue, Martin Seif and Sally Winston, call “upside-down therapy,” an approach that seems to break, or at least bend, the rules of what many of us have been taught is good clinical practice.
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Upside-Down Psychotherapy

Breaking the Rules with Our OCD Clients

July/August 2016
It’s now clear that much of what therapists do for people suffering from OCD actually worsens the problem. Providing empathic reassurance, rational disputation, and coping skills to manage anxiety only serves to refuel the obsession. So how do you avoid the dead end of co-compulsing with your clients?
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Learning to Manage the OCD Bully

A Therapeutic Odyssey

July/August 2016
An OCD sufferer describes the frustrating stops and starts and misdirections of her circuitous search for help in escaping the maze of her family of origin and the deep-seated tropes in her own brain.
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OCD and Children

It’s a Family Affair

July/August 2016
OCD in children can operate like a kind of cult leader, demanding acceptance of an extreme view of a perilous reality and offering solutions that can’t be resisted, no matter how absurd they may sound. Given the overwhelming fear and worry the condition generates, falling in line with the cult leader can seem like the best strategy—except that it doesn’t work.

Bookmarks

Lost in the Maze: Finding the exit from OCD

March/April 2015
Review: The Man Who Couldn’t Stop: OCD and the True Story of a Life Lost in Thought

Finding an exit from the bewildering maze of a disorder that confounds many clinicians.

In Consultation

The Many Guises of OCD

November/December 2014

Enduring recovery from obsessive compulsive disorder means riding out the demands of an inner bully.

Living With The Devil We Know

We May be Anxious, but Not to Change

January/February 2013
As therapists, we typically assume that a person suffering from severe anxiety is eager and motivated to receive the help we offer. But we should never naively underestimate clients’ hidden antipathy to change, despite their discomfort.
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Case Studies

The Worry Hill - A Child-friendly Approach to OCD

May/June 2008
Therapists helping children confront OCD face a formidable obstacle: helping their young clients get beyond their immediate terror in the hope of reaping long-term benefits.

Discoveries from the Black Box

How the Neuroscience Revolution Can Change Your Practice

September/October 2002
Increasingly, therapists are trying to make sense of the cavalcade of neuroscientific discoveries regularly trumpeted in the research literature and the popular press. What will the rapidly expanding understanding of the brain mean for our traditionally low-tech profession?
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