The Need For a Tribe: OCD Treatment Approach for Clinicians

As we approach the International OCD Foundation’s conference in Washington D.C., July of 2018, our week is buzzing with packing for travel, preparation for our panel discussions and presentations, a list of seminars that we would like to attend, and an entire group of colleagues that we are excited to see. Even as professionals who provide treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), we look forward to the conference. We spend so much of the year being advocates and explaining the Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) methods we use to our other colleagues, who inadvertently, treat OCD the same as generalized anxiety. The disorders are not one in the same. As clinicians who treat OCD, we are advocates for our field and take on the role of educating other clinicians about the ways that OCD is different from anxiety. We hope that those who are not specialists in OCD are also advocates for themselves in learning more, for not only their clients, but the communities that await a need for treatment.

OCD is often a trivialized disorder in that our entire culture prides themselves in being organized and strategic. OCD is often such a lonely disorder. Those who struggle find the disparity of having to explain themselves over and over, that it is more than just an anxiety disorder. Re-explaining to their partners and family that the desire to stop does not override the desire to seek certainty in their world.

As clinicians, we get excited to be amongst other colleagues who understand our treatment methods and approach. Whether a colleague performs treatment or has been through ERP treatment, we all bring something to the table.  Being in the same room with those who treat, struggle with, and have recovered from OCD, and truly care about recovery for those who struggle with OCD, is an amazing experience. The conference is a time for all of us to find our tribe. We have set out to embark on a journey, not only to help educate clinicians on the needed trainings for OCD but, to find the highest level of clinicians in training around the nation, peer support specialists, and other advocates.

OCD treatment is a vastly expanding field that requires well-trained clinicians. No one in this world wants to feel alone. At REAL Recovery, we do not want you to feel alone as clinicians. Just as we want our clients to not be alone in the fight against OCD.  We are working hard to cater the experience at REAL Recovery to capture to client experience and clinician needs. Often in realm of OCD, you do not receive training in the complexity of OCD.  In the moments of the OCD conference, it is an opportunity for researchers, clients clinicians, board members, parents, family, partners, and the institutions who fund that cause to come together in understanding and for a united purpose. To see different perspectives, to understand the daily fight, to see the pitfalls in treatment, and where the system is failing. It’s such an inspiring time to tailor your treatment to those clients who really have a once a year conference to attend to be understood.

This is the entire purpose of this blog and website — to reach out and support clinicians who are involved in the treatment of OCD. At REAL Recovery, we aim to bring hope to clinicians in rural areas or areas where there are no experts for OCD treatment. The online trainings and clinical consultation we offer can be accessed from your office through virtual means. We are placing a new concept on the table — accessible, affordable training — and also bring an element of unity and connection when working as a system amongst the leading treatment providers but also continuing to educate the population of the need for treatment of OCD and ancillary options. We get it. We are clinicians ourselves who have found a way to create customizable treatment. In fact, we have successfully treated those waiting to go into high levels of care. We understand the needs of the client and the needs of the clinician.

If you are interested in finding out more of what REAL Recovery has to offer your practice, institution, or agency, we would be happy to consult with you.

We are Jayme Valdez of and Lori Johnson of We are clinicians who are experienced in treating OCD and other co-occuring disorders. We would be happy to see if additional training is part of finding your tribe.

Want to hear more about our trainings? Email us OR leave a comment below with your thoughts.