What We Treat
Below is a list of the disorders that we most commonly treat at the NOATC. Our approach is evidence-based, meaning that we only implement treatments that have been proven effective by research.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
OCD is marked by the presence of unwanted and distressing thoughts, images and impulses (obsessions) and repetitive physical or mental acts that alleviate discomfort (compulsions). Individuals with OCD often experience anxiety associated with their symptoms but may also experience disgust or a subjective “not-quite-right” feeling. Some people experience frequent overt compulsions, such as cleaning, arranging, checking, or reassurance seeking, while others experience mental compulsions or rely on avoidance to reduce distress. In sum, OCD is a widely variable disorder that causes impairment across areas of functioning. For more information about OCD, visit the International OCD Foundation’s website.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)
Body dysmorphic disorder is marked by a preoccupation with a perceived physical defect, such as excessive concerns about the appearance of one's skin, hairline, or a specific body part. Individuals with BDD engage in time-consuming behaviors to address their concerns (e.g., grooming, mirror checking, skin picking, attempts to conceal perceived flaws). It is often associated with shame and depressive symptoms and can lead to isolation. Estimates show that BDD is more common than once thought, with 1 in 50 people suffering with symptoms. More information about BDD and its treatment is available here.
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder is characterized by discomfort with social situations in which an individual feels noticed, observed, or scrutinized. Affected individuals often have a fear of embarrassment, humiliation or criticism by others. This leads them to either avoid social situations or endure them with distress. In children and adolescents, social anxiety disorder can lead to school refusal or avoidance. In adults, it can affect social and occupational functioning. Individuals with social anxiety disorder may also demonstrate symptoms of perfectionism or “people-pleasing” behavior. Treatment consists of CBT with exposure techniques, coupled with assertiveness training. Selective Mutism
Considered an extreme form of social anxiety, selective mutism is a condition marked by individuals’ failure to speak or socially interact in certain social situations. Most commonly, selective mutism manifests as children failing to speak in the school setting while maintaining social interaction in the home environment or with friends. Because individuals in the child’s environment may adapt their interactions to allow for communication by non-verbal means, the treatment of selective mutism requires the inclusion of family members and other significant adults (e.g., teachers) to be successful.
Many people report fears of specific objects or situations, such as spiders, heights, or flying. When these fears are significant enough to impact one’s daily living or lead to considerable avoidance, a diagnosis of specific phobia may be warranted. Individuals with specific phobia may experience physical symptoms of anxiety, such as increased heart rate, rapid breathing, sweating, trembling, and nausea, when they encounter their fear. Treatment of phobias relies on exposure techniques to reduce discomfort with the feared stimulus.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (under construction)
Separation Anxiety Disorder (under construction)
Some of the services offered at NOAC include:
- Comprehensive psychological evaluations to determine the presence and severity of OCD, OC spectrum disorders, and anxiety disorders. These evaluations include a combination of quantitative measures and qualitative information from interviews.
- Individual therapy for OCD, OC spectrum disorders, and anxiety disorders. These include evidence-based methods such as Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and other cognitive-behavioral modalities (CBT).
- Family therapy for families affected by OCD, OC spectrum disorders, and anxiety disorders. We know that these disorders do not only affect the diagnosed individual but can involve the whole family. This treatment will help to reduce symptom accommodation and increase harmony within the family.
- Couples counseling for couples affected by OCD, OC spectrum disorders, and anxiety disorders. Often these disorders can disrupt relationships and cause strain.
- Group therapy for individuals with OCD and OC spectrum disorders, such as excoriation disorder (skin picking) and trichotillomania (hair pulling).