Group Treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Now Offered by Yale Psychological Services

Treatment for obsessive thinking and compulsive behavior is now available in a group setting at Yale psychological services.

Treatment for obsessive thinking and compulsive behavior is now available in a group setting at Yale psychological services.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) involves excessive worry about being harmed in some way. People with the disorder may fear being contaminated or getting sick from dirt and germs. This worry results in compulsive behavior like excessive hand washing and taking showers. Other kinds of obsessive-compulsive behavior include checking, counting, hoarding and other repetitive behaviors that are performed to reduce anxiety and worry.

“People feel such terrible shame about their obsessive behavior,” said Sheila Woody, assistant professor of psychology and director of the Yale Psychological Services Clinic. “The group setting helps to normalize the obsessive thoughts by providing social support from others with OCD.”

Everyone has some of the same thoughts, but obsessive-compulsives have these thoughts more often and they are afraid of them. The group treatment is a unique, cost-effective approach consisting of state-of-the-art cognitive-behavioral treatment strategies designed to help individuals overcome the fears and avoidance associated with obsessive thoughts and compulsive behavior.

“We’ve seen an increase in the number of people coming in for treatment,” said Woody. “As more people come forward and recognize the behavior for what it is, we will begin to see improvements. People tend to live with their behavior for years before seeking treatment. I hope programs like this one will encourage more OCD sufferers to seek help.”

Potential participants will undergo a comprehensive evaluation to determine whether the treatment program is appropriate for them. Individuals selected for the treatment participate in group sessions over a 12-20 week period. Fees range from $40-$55 per group session (based on a sliding fee scale). Many insurance carriers may reimburse these services.

The Yale Psychological Services Clinic is a clinical, training, and research facility affiliated with the Yale University Department of Psychology and also offers treatment for people with depression, anxiety, social phobia and relationship problems. For more information, call 203/432-4520.

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