Treating the Severe OCD Client
by Reid Wilson, Ph.D.
Bob, a young, fit personal trainer exhibits pervasive “repeater” behaviors that lead him to tell Wilson, “I want my mind back.” Obsessed with the worry that his debilitating anxiety will remain with him until he takes corrective action, he spends much of his time repeating getting dressed or preparing for bed. Trying to avoid anything that triggers his fear of getting stuck in escalating anxiety, Bob is losing sleep, showing up late to the work he loves, and lacking the mental space he needs to build a successful life. What’s more, months of previous exposure-based therapy has barely helped him, leaving Bob without the tools to manage his daily life.
In two sessions with Bob, Wilson demonstrates the core concepts underlying his distinctive approach to treating anxiety disorders. With compassion, clarity, and aggressive analogies that leverage Bob’s courageous temperament, he passionately encourages him to rise above the content of his obsessive thoughts and practice moving towards that which he fears, supporting him in learning to tolerate uncertainty. Calling on Bob’s innate fighting spirit, he helps him “bring it on”-and dramatically alter his relationship to anxiety.
If you’re looking for a fresh understanding of OCD and effective ways to treat its most unyielding aspects, you’ll find it in Wilson’s engaging, lively approach.
Months of previous exposure-based therapy hasn’t given Bob much relief; he comes to Wilson claiming that now is his worst time with OCD, which he’s suffered from since age 10. Intelligent and physically fit yet consumed with “repeater” behavior that detracts from his life goals, Bob lacks real-world tools to manage his anxiety, and lacks much hope for change.
Wilson’s compassionate but firm approach takes the view that “If [clients] don’t risk the feared consequence, they can’t get better.” Over two sessions, Wilson leverages Bob’s innate fighting spirit to support him in “moving toward” the anxiety that drives his compulsive behaviors, helping him more fully engage with his discomfort and fundamentally change his circumstances.
By watching this video, you will:
- Learn the core concepts of Wilson’s approach to treating the severe OCD client.
- Understand how to conduct a highly focused assessment.
- Identify tools for helping clients increase their tolerance of uncertainty and discomfort.
Note: This DVD is licensed on for personal viewing. If you wish to use this video for teaching or training purposes, or you wish to view this video via Instant Streaming, you may order these formats at http://www.psychotherapy.net/learning-centers/expert/reid-wilson
About the Author
REID WILSON, Ph.D. is an international expert in the treatment of anxiety disorders, with books translated into nine languages. He is author of Don't Panic: Taking Control of Anxiety Attacks (Harper) and Facing Panic: Self-Help for People with Panic Attacks (ADAA), is co-author, with Dr. Edna Foa, of Stop Obsessing! How to Overcome Your Obsessions and Compulsions (Bantam), is co-author, with Lynn Lyons, LICSW, of Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents: 7 Ways to Stop the Worry Cycle and Raise Courageous & Independent Children (HCI Books) and of Playing with Anxiety: Casey’s Guide for Teens and Kids. He is co-author of Achieving Comfortable Flight, a self-help package for the fearful flier. He designed and served as lead psychologist for American Airlines' first national program for the fearful flier. He serves as the Expert for WebMD’s Anxiety and Panic Community. His free self-help website – www.anxieties.com – serves 500,000 visitors per year. Television appearances include The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Katie Show, Good Morning America, and CNN. He has served as psychologist in an episode of A&E’s Hoarders.