The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has exacerbated the symptoms of many people with OCD, especially those already suffering from obsessions related to contamination or other forms of health anxiety. In order to provide effective evidence-based OCD treatment for a greater amount of people, CBT SoCal’s Dr. Jason von Stietz is now offering online group therapy (telehealth). During each group session, group members will engage in therapeutic exercises derived from the gold standards of OCD treatment: cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and exposure and response prevention (ERP). When appropriate, the members will also engage in exercises derived from other effective treatment approaches such as acceptance commitment therapy (ACT), mindfulness-based approaches, and metacognitive therapy.
Why engage in group therapy?
According to an article by PsychCentral, there are 5 main benefits to group therapy, which will be listed below:
- Group therapy teaches you that you are not alone. Mental health issues such as OCD can feel very isolating. People often enter group therapy feeling uniquely inadequate as a person. However, in group therapy individuals learn that “we’re in this together.”
- Group therapy helps people to give and receive support. A common misconception about group therapy is that group members wait to receive help while the therapist helps one individual at a time. In truth, each individual benefits from the empathy, connect, support, and feedback, from not only the therapist but each group member.
- Group therapy can help you to find your voice. Often times, it can be hard for people to be aware of their thoughts and feelings while interacting with others. Engaging in group therapy helps people to remain connected to themselves while connecting with others.
- Group therapy helps you to form healthier relationships. People are often unsure of why their relationships with others are not working as they planned. Group therapy provides people with a safe and empathic environment where they can learn how to interact with others in a healthier way.
- Group therapy provides an emotional safety net. It is easier for group members to use skills in their everyday lives if they first practice them in a group meeting. It is also easier to practice important skills in the “real world” if you know that you have the support of the group waiting for you at the next session.
Group therapy combined with evidence based treatments such as CBT and ERP can be a very effective treatment for OCD at a lower cost than individual therapy.
Dr. Jason von Stietz specializes in Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Sport/Performance Psychology in Torrance, CA. He provides online therapy (telehealth) by way of the Torrance office and is available for a free initial phone consultation. Dr. von Stietz works with individuals from Long Beach, the greater Los Angeles area, and the South Bay including Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, El Segundo and all over California.