I have some very exciting news to share with you all! We have just launched a new therapeutic in-home service specifically designed to help children who struggle with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): In-Home Exposure and Response Prevention.

Exposure and Response Prevention, or ERP has been recognized as one of the most effective treatments for OCD. However many children and youth show only modest improvements when they receive interventions during office visits alone.

Home-based visits with our specialists allow us to implement these effective therapeutic strategies in more realistic environments that can often speed up the progress and initiate the path to healing. In addition,it allows children to practice strategies and tools in the comfort of their own home, with the support of parents and/or caregivers.

What is OCD?

OCD symptoms in children often manifest differently from those in adults, and recognizing these signs is crucial for timely intervention. Here’s how OCD symptoms may present in children and when to seek professional help:

Obsessions: Children with OCD may experience intrusive thoughts, images, or urges that cause significant distress. These obsessions may revolve around separation from a parent or caregiver, difficulties with feeling “safe” at home or in a safe environment, or worrying about a love one’s safety. In youth, obsessions /intrusive thoughts about getting sick, dirty, or in more significant cases, thoughts about harming oneself or others are also sometimes seen.

Compulsions: To alleviate the distress caused by obsessions, children may engage in compulsive behaviors or rituals. These rituals are repetitive actions or mental acts performed according to strict rules or patterns. Common compulsions in children with OCD include checking doors are locked, etc. repetitive hand-washing, counting, arranging objects symmetrically, or seeking continuous reassurance from parents and/or caregivers.

Impact on Daily Functioning: OCD symptoms can significantly interfere with a child’s daily life, academic performance, social relationships, and overall well-being. Children may spend a considerable amount of time performing rituals or avoiding triggers, leading to difficulties concentrating in school, disruptions in family routines, and withdrawal from social activities. In some severe cases, it may become difficult to leave the home, or go to school.

Anxiety and Distress: Children with OCD often experience high levels of anxiety, fear or discomfort related to their obsessions and compulsions. They may express these feelings through verbalizations, emotional outbursts, or physical symptoms such as stomach aches or headaches. It may also come to affect their mood, self-confidence and self-esteem.

When to Seek Help: It’s essential to seek professional intervention if you notice persistent and distressing OCD symptoms in your child that significantly impact their functioning and quality of life. Early intervention can prevent symptoms from worsening and help children learn effective coping strategies to manage their OCD.

What to expect with In-Home ERP?

Anna Williams, LMFT, Co-Director of San Diego Behavior Solutions, and Lauryn Hall, RBT, will deliver treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) directly within your child’s home environment. In-home intervention allows clinicians to observe and address OCD symptoms within the context of the child’s daily life. Therapists can gain insight into specific triggers, rituals, and avoidance behaviors that may be present in the child’s home environment, enabling them to tailor treatment strategies accordingly. This facilitates the generalization of skills learned in therapy to real-life situations, increasing the likelihood of sustained improvement beyond the therapy sessions.

Anna Williams is certified through the International OCD Foundation BTTI to specialize in pediatric OCD. She has been trained in cutting-edge treatment modalities, including Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) and Cognitive Therapy. In ERP therapy, individuals are gradually exposed to situations, objects, or thoughts that trigger their anxiety or obsessions. These exposures are done in a controlled and systematic way, starting with less distressing triggers and gradually progressing to more anxiety-inducing ones. The exposure aspect of ERP therapy allows individuals to confront their fears in a safe environment, helping them learn that they can tolerate and manage their anxiety without resorting to compulsive behaviors.

Working side by side with Anna Williams LMFT, Lauryn will broaden her practice to provide families with in-home Exposure Response Prevention, which is the leading empirically validated treatment for OCD. ERP is shown to significantly reduce debilitating and impairing symptoms of OCD, and Lauryn is excited to make this treatment modality available to families in-home, where the most dramatic gains can be realized. Bringing hope, independence, and restoration of relationships between loved ones, she is excited to bring individuals a sense of empowerment and mastery over their anxiety.

Due to an overwhelming response to our previous programs, appointments are open immediately and will be filling very quickly. If you are interested, PLEASE call our office as soon as possible to reserve a spot for your child. You can reach the office at (858-692-4187) // contact@sdbehaviorsolutions.com