While we may be aware that obsessive-compulsive disorder can have debilitating consequences for the adults who suffer from it, OCD in children and teens presents a unique set of challenges. Today’s guest is Joy Ryan, Licensed Professional Counselor and Registered Play Therapist who specializes in Pediatric OCD. She often treats children and teens who suffer from OCD at her practice Connect Psychology Services. In this episode, she sheds light on exactly what OCD is, how to differentiate it from anxiety, and what the obsessions and compulsions are that define it. She also goes through the five most common forms of OCD and provides tips on how to identify it, particularly in children, as well as the steps that she takes to help a child learn to cope with OCD, from measuring it on the Yale-Brown OCD scale to compiling a fear hierarchy and creating exposures. She emphasizes the importance of involving parents in the process and provides some helpful resources for anyone wanting to find out more information. As always, the episode ends with a story of hope, as Joy shares her experience with one family who would not have survived the pandemic without her help, so make sure to tune in today!
Key Points From This Episode:
“It’s a two-part thing – they have these unwanted thoughts, urges, and then they have a compulsion to try to rid the anxiety or the inner turmoil that they’re feeling related to those obsessions.” — Joy Ryan [0:05:42]
“My job, and what I do with your child related to OCD or anxiety, is not to eliminate it. It is to help you tolerate it. To be able to live in that space of uncertainty and to be okay, because life is uncertain!” — Joy Ryan [0:32:26]
“You have OCD. You’re always going to have OCD, but you can learn to live with it in a way that you’re the boss, it’s not the boss.” — Joy Ryan [0:32:45]
“I get such joy from that, to say, ‘How is this affecting you? Where is your distress coming from? How impactful is it on your life? Let’s see what we can do about it.’” — Joy Ryan [0:32:59]
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
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