Not surprisingly, study after study has confirmed that the better the relationship between you and your OCD therapist, the more you’ll benefit from OCD therapy.
A good OCD therapist should posses the following skills and qualities:
- Empathy – your OCD therapist needs to understand what you are going through and how difficult it is at times to cope with the symptoms of OCD. If after numerous sessions you feel that your therapist just isn’t “getting it,” it may be wise to discuss this with him or to consider moving on.
- Good listening skills – an effective OCD therapist knows when to listen versus when to jump in to add some perspective or even challenge a particularly damaging pattern of thinking. If you are constantly feeling that your voice or opinion isn’t heard or that you are engaged in a one-way conversation, this could be a red flag.
- Good communication skills – a good OCD therapist should be able to clearly explain all aspects of a particular treatment. In addition, effective therapists are open, honest and transparent with clients, even when discussing difficult or sensitive issues. If your therapist is consistently not able to answer your questions in a way that you understand, make him aware of this or consider looking for a better match.
- Nonjudgmental – disclosing the nature of your obsessions and/or compulsions can be embarrassing and can put you in a vulnerable position. Good OCD therapists excel at creating a nonjudgmental, therapeutic environment that encourages the disclosure of information they need to know to help you. You should never feel blamed or that you are being made fun of for your symptoms.
- Advanced training in psychotherapy for OCD – psychotherapy for OCD usually requires advanced training in cognitive and/or behavioral methods. A variety of professionals such as psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses and social workers can undertake this training and provide psychotherapy for OCD. Ask your OCD therapist what kind of experience he has treating OCD.