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Medizinische Zentren Geissberg

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) manifests in various ways. Initially, the individual’s meticulous attention to order, cleanliness, and flawless work is often appreciated by those around them. However, over time, it becomes apparent that the affected individual is unable to function otherwise, experiences stress when unable to perform their rituals, and faces increasing social disadvantages (e.g., being late to work or school, not completing tasks).

Individuals with OCD often fail to recognize their condition until later in life. The average latency period without proper therapy is a staggering 18 years!

Medical Treatment

The outpatient day clinic therapy program of the 8-week program includes:

  • On average, 6 therapeutic hours per week (group and individual psychotherapy, occupational therapy)
  • Physio- and sports therapy individually and in a group for 4 hours per week
  • Relaxation training according to Jacobson
  • Confidence training according to Ullrich (learning to express wishes and needs, setting boundaries) 1 hour per week
  • Computer training methods 1 hour per week to objectify cognitive deficits

We particularly emphasize

  • Observation of social behavior in the group
  • Maintaining compulsion protocols
  • Exposure exercises (preventing compulsive behavior) and attempting to limit compulsive behavior through protocols
  • Learning how to manage compulsive behavior (relaxation exercises, sports, etc.)
  • Learning alternative behaviors and compensation strategies
  • Normalizing and structuring daily life
  • Initiating social-medical measures (career counseling, assistance with career, training, financial, and housing issues, etc.)

If indicated, medication therapies are also used, in consultation with the pre- and post-treating doctors.

Individual therapeutic offerings

Outpatient withdrawals

MZG Patients

As a patient in the partial or outpatient program, you are entitled to interdisciplinary consultations in your personal area of concern.

You can receive the following information:

  • Facts about the illness (epidemiology)
  • Physiological causes/effects
  • Effectiveness
  • Anxiety curve/conditioning (how anxiety works)
  • PMR (relaxation curve)
  • Treatment methods
  • Addresses of self-help groups
  • Information about anxiety disorders on the internet

If you are interested in such additional consultation, please contact your primary therapist. They will arrange an appointment for you with one of the specialists.

Therapy Goals

  • Long-term reduction of compulsive behaviors
  • Strengthening coping mechanisms
  • Learning relaxation techniques and alternative strategies
  • Preventing negative consequences like social isolation, medication misuse, physical problems from compulsions, and suicidal thoughts

To achieve these goals, we initially focus on the following during the first phase of treatment:

  • Motivating you to participate in therapy
  • Ensuring you follow the treatment plan (keeping track of compulsions, finding healthy rewards)
  • Helping you gain a deeper understanding of your OCD and its causes
  • Improving your body awareness through exercise and physical therapy

This initial phase may take some time, sometimes even lasting the entire 8 weeks. This doesn’t necessarily mean complete symptom elimination, but it builds the foundation for further treatment steps.

Depending on your personality and cognitive abilities, we can also work on introspection (self-reflection), confronting anxieties, and conflict resolution skills.

Expected Success Rates Based on Research

Follow-up studies on outpatient cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety disorders show promising results:

  • Preventing rituals and exposure therapy lead to a 75% improvement (Foa et al., 1984).
  • Exposure therapy combined with medications like Anafranil or Fluctine is more effective than non-specific therapies and thought-stopping techniques (Christensen et al., 1987; Cox et al., 1993). However, relapse is likely if medication is discontinued (Franklin & Foa, 1998).
  • Relapse prevention programs are crucial: 75% of participants can maintain progress compared to 33% without them (Hiss et al., 1994). While self-help groups can be supportive, they don’t seem to significantly improve outcomes (Emmelkam & van Oppen, 2000).
  • Group therapy is generally more effective than individual therapy, with intensive programs yielding even better results (Foa et al, 1984).
  • For most OCD patients, intensive outpatient treatment is just as effective as inpatient treatment (Emmelkamp & van Oppen (2000).

Literature on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Christensen, H., Hadzi, D., Andrews, G. & Mattick, R. (1987). Behavior therapy and tricyclic medication in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder: A quantitative review. Journal of Consulting and Clinical  Psychology, 55(5), 701-711.

Cox, B.J., Swinson, R.P., Morrison, B., & Lee, P.S. (1993). Clomipramine, fluoxetine, and behavior therapy in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder: A meta-analysis. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 24(2), 149-153.

Emmelkamp, M.G. & van Oppen, P. (2000). Zwangsstörungen. Göttingen: Hogrefe.

Foa, E.B., Steketee, G., Grayson, J.B., Turner, R.M., & Latimer, P. (1984). Delibarate exposure and blocking of obsessive-compulsive rituals: Immediate and long-term effects. Behavior Therapy, 15(5) 450-472.

Franklin, M.E., & Foa, E.B. (1998). Cognitive-behavioral treatments for obsessive compulsive disorder. In In P.E. Nathan, & J.M. Gorman (1998). A guide to treatments that work (S. 339-357). New York: Oxford University Press.

Hiss, H., Foa, E.B., & Kozak, M.J. (1994). Relapse prevention program for treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 62(4), 801-808. 

Managing Director
Hr. Dr. phil. Jürg Siegfried



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