How is cognitive behavioral therapy used to treat OCD?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is used to treat obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) by changing the way people think and act.

"Cognitive" means how people think, and "behavioral" means what they do. A CBT therapist will explain OCD and help people with OCD make a list of all their worries, from the smallest to the largest. The therapist will then show them how to fight back against OCD, one worry at a time, by letting them feel anxious without doing their compulsion. The worry goes up—and then comes down. This is repeated until that thing no longer causes the person to worry. Once people start fighting back against OCD, they feel stronger and in charge of their lives again.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.