I tried therapy but it didn’t work. Now what?

Therapy is like exercise. And exercise works. However, there might be multiple factors that led to your particular experience with a therapist not being beneficial–the therapist might not be very proficient, environmental factors might have interfered with therapy, you might not have implemented the homework exercises properly, the type of therapy practiced by the therapist might be out-dated, etc.

As you try to figure out where to make changes, try to remember that your experience with therapy doesn’t mean therapy doesn’t work. That’s like saying: “I went to the gym but it didn’t work so exercising is pointless. Give me a better way to¬†get into shape!”

If you’re doing an evidence-based therapy for recovery from OCD, like ERP or ACT, you’re going to be cutting out compulsions. So it should be working very quickly. If you’re not cutting out compulsions, that can help point you to the issue that’s getting in the way of therapy. Why aren’t you eliminating compulsions? Is it because that’s not something your therapist does? Are there challenges you need to overcome at home so you can do the homework exercises? Are you not getting homework exercises from your therapist? What changes need to happen beyond OCD to support the process of recovery?

If exercises isn’t “working”, ask: why?

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