Relapse Prevention for OCD: 4 Steps to Preserve Your Progress Going


In my work with individuals who undergo from OCD (obsessive compulsive dysfunction), I’m at all times thrilled to see progress of their therapy journeys. It’s trigger for celebration when a consumer can scale back remedy classes and begin to consider life after therapy. It turns into a beautiful alternative to debate questions like: is my OCD therapy full once I don’t have common remedy visits? Do I nonetheless have to make use of the methods I discovered after ending lively therapy? What’s the threat of my relapsing and are there methods to scale back this threat?

These are glorious questions and present in themselves the consumer’s enchancment, dedication and dedication. The flexibility to suppose ahead and plan accordingly for any potential relapses reveals the strides my purchasers have made. The solutions to those and different questions could be discovered via studying about relapse prevention planning for OCD.

The Significance of OCD Relapse Prevention Planning

Whereas the objective of relapse prevention is to assist people keep the beneficial properties and restoration that has occurred inside therapy, it’s most useful to begin serious about relapse prevention early within the therapy course of. Relapse prevention is vital to a well-planned cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) strategy for OCD.

Relapse prevention planning consists of three principal elements: 1) serving to folks study in regards to the frequent trajectory of OCD, 2) defining the time period “relapse” and the components that affect it and three) growing a structured and individualized plan to advertise relapse prevention.

Widespread Trajectory of OCD

Although OCD is taken into account a persistent situation, it may be effectively managed with efficient therapy, together with remedy and focused remedy. Publicity and Response Prevention (ERP), the important thing element of CBT for these with OCD, helps the person study to change their response to their obsessions and compulsions. This in flip helps to strengthen the administration of their signs and thus enhance their high quality of life.

Whereas the preliminary objective when searching for therapy could also be to scale back the rapid severity of 1’s signs, the precise mission is usually bigger. As a clinician, my purpose is to assist the particular person learn to make the methods a “lifestyle,” lengthy after we end formal therapy. Understanding relapse and stopping it requires planning forward, typically from the start of therapy.

Lapses and Relapses – Understanding the Distinction

Taken from substance use analysis, there’s a distinction between having a relapse and a lapse. Relapse means that there’s a important decline in progress or excessive diploma of slippage, almost returning to the identical severity as earlier than therapy started. In distinction, a lapse means having a rise of signs, a flare-up, or a sure diploma of slippage, however not a relapse. Lapses are seen as pure, even anticipated, whereas the danger of a relapse could be a lot decrease primarily based on an lively use of methods and a relapse prevention plan.

Lapses needs to be seen as alternatives, not frustrations or failures. They function useful warning indicators that may even reduce the chance of a relapse. With lapses, it is also necessary to follow self-compassion. Lapses supply the possibility to develop additional and to stay greater than the OCD!

4 Steps to Take

To maintain the momentum of the therapy progress, I prefer to refer to those 4 steps that may assist one to develop an individualized relapse prevention plan with their supplier:

Step 1: Make a listing of the instruments in your toolkit. What are the methods, ideas, and actions that you simply discovered to help your progress? Assume broadly! Embody instruments that aid you with common stress administration and self-care along with instruments that work particularly on the OCD.

Step 2: Think about a common construction for deliberate and proactive use of those methods, together with deliberate exposures, to maintain your OCD administration and self-care “muscular tissues” sturdy.

Step 3: Determine the warning indicators of a lapse for you. What begins taking place? Are there modifications in your sleep, behaviors, sensations, or urge for food? Is there a stronger urge or a better chance to have interaction in compulsions?

Step 4: What’s your motion plan if you discover this? Get particular! How will you incorporate your instruments in a extra lively or structured approach throughout this time? Who will you contact for help and what does this help appear like?

Both working together with your therapist or by yourself, these steps could be a useful useful resource as you end out a proper course of therapy. I additionally advocate sharing your plan together with your help system and reviewing it recurrently.


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