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Childhood OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)

The LodeStone Center provides a variety of types of therapy for treating Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in children. Many of our clinicians specialize in treating children and OCD. It is our goal to match you with a therapist that will best fit your needs and provide you with the best care possible. If you would like more information, or would like to request a first visit with a therapist, you can either fill out the contact form on this page and we will get in touch with you or you can also call us directly at 847-802-4058.

What is OCD?

In children OCD frequently presents as worries and fears that are so severe they can compel them to act in a certain manner. Very similar to adults, these worries or obsessions can occur as upsetting or scary thoughts and images, needing things to be in order or perfect, fears of embarrassment or not being able to control their behavior, religious obsessions, lucky or unlucky numbers, preoccupation with bodily functions, intrusive words or thoughts, or even fears of becoming sick. These thoughts lead to actions or compulsions that children use to calm and control the thoughts, but frequently do not understand why they are doing them. They will frequently need to repeat these compulsions over and over again in order to reduce the anxiety caused by the obsessions and fears. Some common compulsions that will appear in children are grooming rituals such as hand washing, repeating tasks such as going in and out of doors over and over, checking rituals such as rechecking homework assignments, touching rituals, counting, hoarding, ordering or organizing, and cleaning.

How is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Treated?

The most successful treatment for OCD in children is behavioral therapy. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can benefit children greatly and significantly decrease anxiety and compulsions by changing the thoughts and feelings that cause the behavior. Therapy involves a variety of techniques ranging from expressive to relaxation, to exposure and thought stopping. Gradually exposing kids to the fears in a safe environment, without allowing them to complete their rituals can help them to understand and believe that the anxiety will decrease without the actions. This will be combined with teaching them healthy and effective coping skills to decrease anxiety without interfering with their ability to function and live fulfilling lives. Other forms of treatment involve self-talk where the children learn to “talk” to their OCD thoughts in order to control them and regain control of their thoughts, which can be assisted by visualizing the OCD as something that they do have control over, such as a bully.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding therapy for OCD in children, please don’t hesitate to call and speak with one of our therapists. We are happy to answer questions, help look into your insurance benefits or explain how counseling might be beneficial to you. If you have questions, and would like to speak to one of our mental health professionals, contact us today.

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