Welcome to our iRebel program!
You may have tried everything.
- You read endless OCD forums online.
- You spent tons of time trying to determine whether what you have is truly OCD, or maybe the danger is real and you should take your thoughts seriously.
- You asked for endless reassurance (and you did feel better… if only for a few moments).
- You went to therapy and your therapist did everything possible to convince you that your fears will not come true.
- You went to another therapist and practiced breathing and progressive muscle relaxation, and learned to meditate.
- You learned that OCD is treated by CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and found a CBT therapist with whom you created numerous Thought Records to check the evidence for and against your thoughts.
But the truth is, to really rebel against OCD, you need a complete overhaul of your attitude before you start actively practicing ERP (the evidence-based OCD treatment).
The iRebel program is a combination of , Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Metacognitive Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), and Mindfulness.
The program will also incorporate recent neuroplasticity findings. Your brain has created a fear pathway as the result of frequently associating your thoughts and urges with high anxiety. You will learn strategies to build an alternative neural pathway that does not evoke fear and anxiety. This new pathway needs to be cultivated and practiced in various settings, situations, and under various conditions. As the result, it will become increasingly stronger. Even though you can not completely erase the initial fear pathway, if you put your mind to it, the new healthy pathway will overtake the old one most of the time.
At your first sessions, you will learn a lot about OCD. Yes, you may have read OCD books and attended therapy. But if you still feel that OCD controls you, you need to get to the very bottom of how it operates. You need to learn OCD’s anatomy, physiology, evolution, and behavioral patterns in its natural habitat.
In fact, you will learn so much about OCD that you will be able to write a book about it yourself. And the thing is – this is not some kind of a preamble or introduction to treatment that you can skip or zip through. This part will determine 50% of the treatment success.
You will not just learn about OCD in general. You will also learn about your own specific OCD and its sneaky ways. After all, you need to know exactly what you are rebelling against.
If you did this part successfully, you will probably be:
1. Very angry at OCD
2. Very knowledgeable about OCD and ERP
5. Super hyped to start rebelling!
…Ok, you may be a little fearful too. Or quite a bit fearful. But this will actually be a good thing. Why? – you may ask. Because if you are very fearful and rebel anyway, the progress will work even faster. Isn’t that cool?
The next part of the treatment is the actual Rebelling. If you are cringing reading this, it means that your OCD is trying to convince you that this is dangerous. But of course, your OCD would try to do that! It feels that you are starting to gather up courage to face it and to reclaim your turf! It is threatened even by you reading those lines. It means that you are on the right track.
Rebelling is sometimes scary. And also exciting. It includes getting out of your comfort zone and taking steps toward a better life. Think of any fear that you overcame in your life. Was it changing schools? Changing jobs? Trying zip lining? Applying for an advanced educational program? If you look back at your life, you’ll see that most times when you had overcome your initial fear, your life became better in some way.
Obviously, you’ll have your therapist’s support every step of the way. You will work together to create your specific individual iRebel plan. You will also talk about the ways to support yourself in the process and to become your own cheerleader.
If you saw a therapist for the treatment of OCD in the past, you may be surprised to learn that we won’t be rating your anxiety levels. No SUDS (Subjective Units of Distress). No waiting until anxiety subsides to a certain level. No habituation is required before going to the next exposure. We will not be concentrating on anxiety levels at all. You have already tried everything to monitor and reduce anxiety with no long-term success.
Instead of zooming in on anxiety, we will focus on helping you taking steps toward the life you want to live and on your willingness to do that regardless of how you feel emotionally. The anxiety and obsessions will most likely subside, but we consider it a good, positive side effect - not a goal.
And when you are finally able to live your life without paying much attention to the OCD’s pathetic attempts to spook you, then you are ready for the final part of the treatment: creating a relapse-prevention plan.
You will learn about OCD’s devious tricks that may confuse you.
You will be able to identify new triggers and prepared to identify Compulsions that masquerade as helpful acts.
You will learn how to deal with little lapses and not let them turn into a relapse (or, worse, a collapse).
Please don’t give up. OCD is a treatable disorder. You can learn to live your life without listening to it. You can watch its grip on you shrink with each successful little exposure practice.