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Friday, December 25, 2009

Common OCD and Anxiety Disorder Thinking Patterns Treated During CBT

by Dr. Craig April, Director of The April Center for Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles
www.KickFear.com




OCD treatment is more than Behavior Therapy. It also includes a cognitive focus. This is the "C" in CBT (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy).

When someone comes to my center for help, the cognitive side of OCD is often shared first. For example, although OCD comes with a host of behaviors that are ritualistic and compulsive, it is the thoughts that are often most disconcerting to sufferers.

These thoughts are generally "Obsessions" - One of the hallmarks of OCD, as I've discussed in several of my posts.

The most effective behavioral CBT treatment strategy (and a large part of treatment at The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles) for obsessions and compulsions is called Exposure and Response Prevention.

However, outside of obsesions are the beliefs, perspectives and attitudes that maintain anxiety. This is where the cognitive focus of CBT lends a hand towards anxiety relief.

A FEW COMMON THINKING PATTERNS OF OCD AND ANXIETY DISORDER SUFFERERS:

With OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) and many other anxiety disorders comes a tendency to engage in repeated patterns of thinking, beliefs and attitudes that serve to create more anxiety. Here are a few types:

1.) All or Nothing Thinking:

This type of thinking allows no gray area. It is either all this or all that - black or white, right or wrong. For example, "I was a bit anxious, so I am a total failure".

2.) Mind Reading:

This is most common for those with social phobia, but strikes those with other forms of anxiety, as well. This pattern views assumptions about what others are thinking as fact. For example, "Everyone thinks I ruined the party because I had a panic attack" or "They think I'm weak for being afraid".

3.) Fortune Telling:

This pattern of thinking focuses on predicting the future. For example, "I know I'm gong to freak out on the plane"


These 3 patterns of thinking, of which their are many more, are called cognitive distortions. They are not based on fact. They are based on assumption and habitual thinking that require restructuring with CBT in order to reduce anxiety.

Do you have any of these patterns of thinking?

Specialized OCD and anxiety treatment goes beyond behavior therapy by applying cognitive therapy focused on modifying false beliefs and anxiety producing thinking patterns. Just remember, changing the way you think helps you change the way you behave and respond.
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You can contact Dr. Craig April at 310-429-1024 or email him at drapril@kickfear.com

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The April Center for Anxiety Attack Management is committed to helping you remove the destructive barriers of anxiety, so that you may lead a calmer, healthier, happier life.

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