Treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) involves the recurrence of distressing thoughts (the obsessions) accompanied by repeated attempts to suppress the thoughts (the compulsions.) Both children and adults are affected by the disorder.

Dr. Sherry Henig has received advanced training in the behavioral therapy treatment of OCD from professionals affiliated with the International OCD Foundation. The behavioral therapy involves cognitive behavior therapy (CBT,) often with the use of exposure and response prevention (ERP.)

Dr. Henig addresses OCD in both children and adults. The following are some of the types of OCD and OCD-related disorders that she treats:

Perfectionism OCD

Examples of presentations in adults:

  • Obsession about whether or not a job-related performance is, or was perfect (associated compulsions may include excessive requests for reassurance from spouse or colleagues or boss, or excessive writing and rewriting, or rehearsing a job-related task)
  • Obsession (for someone with a cluttering or hoarding problem) about not getting rid of anything or discarding anything that might be needed in the future (associated compulsions may include such severe indecisiveness about what can be discarded that the individual is not able to discard anything, or the individual puts off the task of de-cluttering because the thought of having to deal with perfectionistic attempts to figure out what to discard is too daunting)

Examples of presentations in children:

  • Obsession about having homework and schoolwork be perfect (associated compulsions may include spending excessive amounts of time doing homework, or excessive worry that the schoolwork has not been done sufficiently well, prompting the child to not want to go to school)
  • Obsession about doing activities in perfect order (associated compulsions may include needing to use certain cups or utensils at each meal, or needing stuffed animals lined up on the bed in perfect order)

Contamination OCD

Examples of presentations in adults and children:

  • Obsession about getting oneself sick, or others sick, from touching something that is presumably germy (like money) or something that is presumably poisonous (like household cleansers) (associated compulsions might include taking excessively long showers, needing to turn faucets off with a paper towel, excessive hand-washing, unwillingness to clean the home with typically-used cleaning products)

Morality (Scrupulosity) OCD

Examples of presentations in adults and children:

  • Obsession that something has been said or done that has hurt someone else’s feelings or body (associated compulsions might include socially awkward confessing to the presumed offended party, excessive requests for reassurance from significant others, excessively praying for forgiveness)

'Bad thoughts' and Superstition OCD

Examples of presentations in adults and children:

  • Obsession about having thought about or wished for something negative to happen (in general) or, specifically, to someone in particular (associated compulsions might include checking or counting rituals that the individual thinks might undue the harm that they might have caused with their “bad thoughts,” or seeming distracted or preoccupied because the individual is trying to fill their minds with other thoughts so as to avoid thinking about what they think they’ve done wrong or to avoid having the “bad thoughts” altogether)

Illness Anxiety OCD

Examples of presentations in adults and children:

  • Obsession about having a certain illness (associated compulsions may include excessive doctor visits, excessive internet research on the presumed illness, and/or excessive requests for reassurance from significant others)

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Examples of presentations in adults and children:

  • Obsession about one or more perceived flaws in one’s own personal appearance such that the individual might ask, too frequently, if they look okay; or the individual might spend a great deal of time looking in the mirror, scrutinizing perceived flaw(s), or, instead, might avoid looking in the mirror altogether, for fear of becoming too upset when confronted with their appearance, and their perception of flaw(s).