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A 38-year-old member asked:

Is a good mental health therapist as good as a psychiatrist for ocd?

3 doctor answers14 doctors weighed in
Dr. Linda Chuang
Psychiatry 25 years experience
They are different: A psychiatrist is an md that has gone through medical school. He/she will evaluate your symptoms, rule out possible medical reasons for your symptoms and prescribe treatment which may involve both medications and psychotherapy. A good therapist does not have medical training but is experienced in psychotherapy. They can recommend therapy but may end up referring you to a psychiatrist for evaluatio.
Dr. Caroline Cribari
Psychiatry 24 years experience
OCD treatment: Effective ocd treatment includes both ocd-specific exposure and response prevention, a specific cognitive behavioral therapy for ocd and medication management. Some psychiatrists are trained to provide both aspects of treatment. Otherwise, you will need a therapist who has been specifically trained to treat ocd as well as a psychiatrist. Good resource: www.Ocfoundation.Org.
Dr. Ana Adelstein
Clinical Psychology 28 years experience
ERP Expert, Meds: Obsessions=unwanted thoughts, get stuck in head. Can spook u/trick so that we come 2believe they're real or they mean something. See http://www.Ocfoundation.Org or http://bit.Ly/ykpajd. Exposure & response prevention=treatment of choice. Impt 2find someone experienced in erp - usu psychologists (some) r the ones who train in erp. But see a psychiatrist 4 meds 2 help if erp alone is too hard.

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Last updated May 8, 2016

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