Saturday, January 7, 2012

Non-Avoidance is Not Enough

I just discovered a great blog, linked from Lolly's blog. It's by Dr. Steven Seay, a therapist in Florida. He writes a lot about OCD, including this post about the fact that simply not avoiding feared events and ideas is not enough. You must actively do exposures, on a regular basis. Now, I don't think his example of being in the same room with a spider while wearing a hazmat suit is a good example at all (what is a hazmat suit but avoidance after all), but the theory is sound.

I often think that if I just go out and do my thing, I'll get better. But there are so many subtle ways to continue compulsions. Not to mention that some exposures just won't happen unless you try to find them. You've got get all up in the face of your fears. Scary.

And also, why are some therapists SO in tune with OCD treatment, yet most don't have the tiniest clue!


  1. I also thought that Dr. Seay's blog was brilliant! You're right - he most definitely is "in tune" with the disorder. I have to admit, I just try to do exposures as I come across them. For the most part, I find it a bit too hard to seek them out.

  2. You wouldn't believe it. I went to the ONLY OCD support group in Vancouver the other night - not for support but to get an idea of what it was like for the COCDN. The therapist that moderates isn't even a CBT therapist! Super nice lady and very empathetic and compassionate but no clue!!! As for this post - I completely agree. I'm going to look at this doctor's blog - thanks for the suggestion. These days - I'm back at ERP, but wow - it's amazing how I want to avoid. I know I'm progressing, but the feelings that come still feel the same - I suppose I'm moving up my hierarchy in a sense.

  3. I am definitely going to have to check out the blog.
    What you say about exposures scares me, but I need to hear it. I am hoping to start exposure therapy in the near future, and there are definitely things I don't want to be exposed to. But I need to face them and hopefully get the benefits that you and other bloggers have enjoyed.

  4. That's so ridiculous, Canuck. Vancouver is a big place, too!