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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is characterized by thought and/or behaviour patterns that often involve preoccupations and rituals that feels compelling to act on. Individuals are often aware of the challenges and nature of the thoughts, but often aren't aware of how much time they are spending with it as it often becomes normalized in the daily routine. OCD can also go under an individual's level of awareness - especially if they have lived with it for sometime. Often individuals experience intrusive thoughts with OCD which can be difficult to manage. 


There are several subtypes of OCD that can impact an individual. Individuals with OCD or OCD thoughts may experience challenges with thoughts around areas related to: contamination and germs, symmetry, moral or religious thoughts, intrusive thoughts, preventing harm, superstitions, and fear of harming self or others. Compulsive behaviours may follow and can look like counting, tapping, repeating words, double checking things, washing and cleaning, and other ritualized actions. 

NU Psychology supports individuals with OCD and creates tailored treatment plans depending on an individual's challenges and goals. We work with individuals in a safe and non-judgemental manner to increase awareness, manage thoughts, and create challenges that feel personally doable and meaningful. 

Common Characteristics of OCD

Some common characteristics of OCD include: 

  • Excessive cleaning due to fear of contamination 

  • Repeating phrases or counting to reduce anxiety 

  • Repeated checking of electrical devices to reduce harm 

  • Obsessions with symmetry and constant correction to reduce discomfort 

  • Forbidden thoughts followed by mental compulsions like prayers to prevent something negative from occurring 

OCD Treatment and NU Psychology

NU Psychology supports individuals who are impacted by the effects of OCD. We have a dedicated treatment program for individuals with OCD or symptoms related to OCD. 

OCD Treatment

One of the most effective ways to treat OCD is through Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. Exposure-response prevention (ERP) is also a helpful methodology in the treatment of OCD and OCD related disorders. ERP involves exposing the patient to thoughts and/or situations that cause anxiety and trigger compulsive behaviour. Once triggered, the treatment involves making a choice not to engage in the unhealthy coping mechanisms and repetitive patterns. ERP supports individuals to tolerate the anxiety and learn to deal with it in healthier and more confident ways. It is helpful to have an individualized ERP plan to support the treatment of OCD and to move in slow progressive steps. 

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