Types of OCD
There is no definitive list of the categories or subtypes of OCD. Some well respected sources suggest four groups (eg OCD-UK), whilst the OCD Inventory (one of the most widely used clinical diagnostic tools) suggests seven distinct categories. For our purposes we are going to suggest five main categories:
One of the most common set of questions we get asked prospective clients is whether we have ever worked with a specific type of OCD. Sometimes this is to check to see if a therapist has experience in a certain area. Sometimes it may be a covert attempt to seek reassurance, ("do I really have OCD or is this something else, something worse?”)
Whilst it is understandable that people will want to ensure their therapist has experience with the clients problem, there can also be a misleading appreciation of the subtypes that leads sufferers to believe there is something substantially different about their diagnosis, treatment and outcomes. This is to misunderstand the subtypes.
Sufferers often spend time researching forums for help and advice before seeking help. This is the case with many types of health issues and indeed mental health issues. But people with OCD, perhaps due to the nature of their condition, are particularly likely to spend a lo tof time on such searches. Often this is a type of reassurance seeking. Sometimes this can have a beneficial effect, but often it becomes a part of the problem in itself in terms of compulsive behaviour to avoid anxiety.
Forums are not usually moderated by professionals, and often split OCD threads as if the different types are in fact different problems entirely. That is not to be dismissive, simply a recognition that as professionals we know that the same fundamentals in treatment plan will be required for each subtype. There may be a difference in the actual exercises that are suggested, but of course, every client is unique, and no two treatments will ever be exactly the same. Even within the same “type” of OCD, there can be a large variance in presentation and exercises. In essence, we create a new therapy for every individual we work with. However, the basic principles remain the same, whatever the category or subtype.
We have worked with a huge range of different OCD presentations, and it is 99% likely we have heard a story like yours many, many times before, and successfully treated the sufferer. If you would like some more information on this please get in touch and we will endeavour to answer your questions