How do we Approach Treatment for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?
Effective obsessive-compulsive disorder treatment (OCD) begins with acknowledgement of unmanageability in a woman’s life related to obsessions and compulsions that interfere with major life activities. Even if she is not suffering with substance abuse or chemical dependency, a woman with OCD will benefit from the integration of recovery principles across our integrated treatment program.
At Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, each woman with OCD will receive ongoing emotional encouragement and reinforcement in her efforts to accept her disorder and begin exploring healthier ways to experience her emotions. Women whose obsessive-compulsive symptoms interfere with their relationship with food, body and eating may also require support from experts in eating disorders treatment.
Our treatment approach combines dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) with twelve-step recovery principles into an integrated, holistic treatment program well-suited to treat women with an eating disorder or addiction and co-occurring obsessive-compulsive disorder. Dialectic behavioral therapy is a form of treatment combining behavioral, cognitive, and supportive therapies. Developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan, DBT emphasizes teaching each woman skills to experience her emotions in healthy ways and to begin living free of obsessive-compulsive symptoms. DBT works to replace an “either/or” mentality (e.g. either experience emotional pain, or attempt to manage it through a using obsessions and compulsions) with options that allows the resident to develop a “both/and” perspective on life.
We Focus on the Accepting the Emotions Underlying Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Supported by leading anxiety disorder treatment experts, each resident suffering with OCD will explore ways to become more mindful of her feelings. Our anxiety disorder treatment program addresses the entirety of the woman’s being:
- Social relationships
Each resident also receives coaching and reinforcement in key areas of interpersonal skills, distress tolerance and management, reality acceptance skills, and emotional regulation skills.
One of the benefits of anxiety disorder treatment at holistic residential treatment centers like Timberline Knolls is that a woman will realize she is not alone, either in experiencing OCD symptoms or in addressing co-occurring conditions like anorexia or bulimia. We understand the importance of creating an environment where women are able to express their feelings without being judged. A woman with OCD will learn from staff and other residents who understand her struggle to make constructive choices when she feels overwhelmed and out of control.
How Do Treatment Plans Address OCD and Co-Occurring Addictions?
Treatment planning for obsessive-compulsive disorder, with or without other addictions and co-occurring conditions, considers all accumulated knowledge about a resident. We leverage the experience of our entire anxiety disorders and addiction treatment staff to customize her care. This collaborative approach is one of the distinguishing elements of treatment for anxiety disorders, eating disorders and addictive disorders at a leading rehab facility like Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center.
Consideration of each woman’s treatment needs begins during the admissions process. Both the woman and her family provide background about her challenges, symptoms and past behavior patterns. After obtaining consent, we speak to her prior treatment providers to gather additional information about her medical history, anxiety disorder treatment progress and obstacles to achieving or maintaining recovery from OCD and any other addictions or eating disorders.
In the case of school age women, we coordinate closely with her school to understand the academic roadblocks her anxiety disorder may have created. We do this to be able to best support her in progressing towards graduation during residential treatment.
Once she is admitted, each resident undergoes a comprehensive assessment by one of our psychiatrists. She is then assigned a treatment team with three core members, whom she will meet in the coming days:
- A Primary Therapist
- A Family Therapist
- A Psychiatrist
A woman who exhibits symptoms of an unaddressed eating disorder or other co-occurring psychiatric disorders will undergo additional testing to confirm that her residential treatment program is comprehensive. Each treatment team member also completes a thorough written assessment within the woman’s first days at Timberline Knolls. The findings from these assessments are shared with our entire clinical and medical staff, who agree on the components of treatment.
The primary therapist will discuss treatment recommendations with the woman, who will have input into the goals for her treatment and will choose several elective elements of her program. Each school-age resident will also have input on her academic coursework. She will be asked to sign off on her initial treatment objectives and her treatment plan progression at regular intervals, giving her input and ownership of her recovery from the outset.
The treatment team will meet weekly throughout the resident’s stay, and members consult each other informally as often as needed to remain abreast of her progress. If new symptoms appear, a resident may also undergo additional psychological to insure anxiety disorder treatment considers all relevant aspects of her mental health.
Additionally, women with medical symptoms or other complications may be referred to consulting healthcare providers such as a cardiologist, gynecologist, dentist or nephrologist.
What Will You Experience At Our Treatment Center?
A woman’s experience at Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center may differ dramatically from other anxiety disorder treatment programs, drug rehab facilities or eating disorder treatment centers she has attended in the past. That is our intent.
Comprehensive, Integrated Treatment and Recovery
Every woman recovering from anorexia, bulimia, addiction or alcoholism, and anxiety disorders must develop tools she can trust to help her live a day at a time free of her obsessions and compulsions. We work with our residents to help them identify the conscious choices they are making throughout their day when they may experience anxiety or fear. Our supportive team offers continuous feedback and reinforcement as women learn to employ new tools in situations where they would have previously turned to obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. As they gain confidence in their ability to make productive choices, women experience improved self-esteem, body acceptance, reduced stress and anxiety, healing of trauma, and increased self-awareness.
Our comprehensive and individualized treatment plans use approaches proven to help women learn to experience their emotions and develop the tools to recover from anxiety disorders. Specific examples include:
- one-on-one therapy sessions
- expressive and recreational therapy
- education about disease processes and recovery
- group sessions to teach and practice behavior modification and emotion management
- family therapy (including family participation, if appropriate)
- twelve-step facilitation, including onsite and offsite meetings of Emotions Anonymous and Al-anon
- weekly psychiatric consultation
- trauma awareness and recovery
- educational services for school-age women
Expressive Therapy Provides a Productive Outlet for Complex Emotions
Expressive therapy has been clinically proven to promote healing and recovery, in addition to providing a needed creative outlet for women during their treatment and beyond. For women who may have suffered setbacks in their schooling or career because of untreated anxiety symptoms, expressive therapy may be especially healing.
Our expressive therapy program includes a variety of outlets a woman can choose based on her personal interests:
- art therapy in a historical art studio that supports painting, sculpture and other media
- dance/movement therapy
- empowerment group (experiential trauma recovery)
- outdoor recreation such as volleyball, basketball, soccer, badminton or gardening on our 43 acre campus
Why do we focus on Co-Existing Conditions with OCD?
When treating women and girls for anxiety disorders, eating disorders or other addictions, our specialized treatment team at Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center never assumes we are treating an isolated disease. Frequently, OCD, drug addiction, alcoholism, or an eating disorder develops from attempts by a woman to either:
- Reduce feelings of self-hatred, shame, or anxiety worsened by underlying psychiatric conditions that we refer to as co-occurring disorders; or,
- Control intense emotions related to unresolved traumatic experiences in her past.
Women suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder and a co-occurring eating disorder or chemical dependency face unique challenges that require specialized treatment and recovery support. For these women, the holistic, integrated treatment and recovery approach at Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center can inspire hope for recovery from an anxiety disorder and confidence in a bright future.
Co-occurring eating disorders, substance abuse and mood disorders are recognized frequently in women with anxiety disorders. However, medical and behavioral health professionals, whose primary concern is addressing chemical dependency, anorexia or bulimia, do not always address the OCD appropriately. Medical researchers have found that a large percentage of those who have an anxiety disorder also have at least one other mental illness and/or eating disorder. Co-occurring disorders describe a situation when OCD persists along with at least one other psychiatric illness that is active and negatively impacts the recovery process. Women with co-occurring disorders tend to have more severe symptoms of each illness and higher potential for relapse.
Examples of other psychiatric conditions frequently co-exist with obsessive compulsive disorder are:
- eating disorders (anorexia nervosa, bulimia, binge eating disorder)
- substance abuse
- panic disorders
- trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- borderline personality disorder (BPD)
- various phobias
For patients with co-occurring disorders, attempts to treat only the anxiety disorder, substance abuse, or eating disorder in isolation is at best incomplete, and at worst counterproductive. Life-long recovery requires an understanding of each disease and the complexity of their interactions.
What Should Parents or Friends Say If They Are Concerned?
Call Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center today to learn more about how our mood disorder treatment specialists may help you or your loved one overcome OCD, anorexia, bulimia nervosa, overeating disorders, and other co-occurring disorders. We accept women and girls (ages 12 and up) for admission seven days a week.