The term “ocd” is used casually in lay language, yet many people—even many trained mental health professionals—don’t fully understand obsessive-compulsive disorder. The lay term is often synonymous with being overly clean or orderly. Although many people with OCD struggle with fears related to cleanliness and order, the range of obsessions in OCD is much broader than that.
People with OCD may spend years wondering what’s wrong with them before they learn that there’s a name for their struggles. They fear people will think they are “crazy” or a danger to others if they talk openly about their obsessions. Some have had invalidating experiences with health professionals who mistake their intense fears about harming themselves or others as evidence of suicidal or homicidal ideation.
Do you find yourself struggling with…
- Going to excessive lengths to keep your fears at bay
- Having frequent intrusive thoughts and worry about germs/contamination, disease, or the safety of yourself or others
- Needing to get things “just right” before you can move on to other things
- Frequently find yourself getting caught up in behaviors such as excessive cleaning, hand washing or checking
- Avoiding being around people, social gatherings, conversations, or public presentations for fear of doing something wrong or unforgivable
- Excessive worry about catching a disease or already having one
About 1 in 100 adults struggle with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). This means that 23 million people have OCD in the US alone. You are not alone. OCD is treatable but is less responsive to general talk therapies and requires a therapist who is specifically trained in working with OCD.
I’m Dr. Brian Thompson, licensed psychologist, and I specialize in anxiety-related treatment for adults. I particularly enjoy working with people with OCD, as I’ve found the experience incredibly rewarding. I’ve developed this site to not only offer my services but also to provide resources for individuals with OCD, loved ones, and professionals who would like to learn more.
I work to remain current with cutting edge research on OCD, and I have developed my own research for understanding OCD treatment as part of the Portland Psychotherapy Clinic, Research, & Training Center. I use this knowledge to create tailored, flexible approaches for people with OCD. I combine proven OCD interventions such as Exposure and Response Prevention with a newer evidence-based treatment called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (“ACT” for short, said as one word), and I’m constantly tweaking my approach based on newer research.