(1533 words – 7 1/2 minute read)
This therapy thing is not a complicated deal once you get the hang of it. It’s probably because over the years most of the ‘technique’ has become internalized, a natural thing – like knowing your name.
A client was referred to me by Dr. Thompson, our prescribing psychologist at the Behavioral Health Center at our local hospital.
He was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). I forget if he was taking meds for it or had refused the drugs. Clients who had refused medication therapy were often referred to me. I like to know what the real situation is. I have enough confidence in my ability to help them not to want what is going on with them obscured by dulling medications. Otherwise I’m only as skilled as the social workers in the clinic: checking on how the ‘meds’ are working, and dispensing encouraging advice.
I once had a client who had to hold onto the walls to stay upright and couldn’t form words easily. Time to ease up on the meds!
Anyway, let’s call our client John, in his 30’s and single. He couldn’t leave his house in the morning to go to work without checking the locks so many times he was frequently late for work and worried all day that the house was open or his dog would get out of the yard.
In the first session I addressed his situation as a memory problem. I figured that if John had a way of knowing he had locked his door, then he would be relieved of one aspect of his anxiety.