WHAT IS RELATIONSHIP OCD (ROCD)?
ROCD is a type of OCD that fixates on the “rightness” of one’s relationship or partner. Those with Relationship Obsessions are consumed with the fear that they might not be with “the one” and that their choice in partner might ruin their lives.t
RELATIONSHIP OCD (ROCD) SYMPTOMS
How do you know if you have OCD? Only a licensed practitioner can perform an official assessment and provide a diagnosis. That said, the symptoms of OCD include the presence of obsessions and compulsions that take up a significant amount of time, cause distress and impair social, occupational and other important areas of functioning.
Obsessions are intrusive, unwanted, upsetting, repetitive, distressing thoughts, images and urges. In ROCD, obsessions can include thoughts like:
- It’s possible that I’m settling in my relationship and that I’ll never be happy.
- My partner isn’t perfect in their faith. What if my partner isn’t Christian enough for me?
- Am I really even attracted to my partner?
You can learn more about obsessions and OCD in general here.
Compulsions are behaviors that individuals do in order to get rid of the anxiety, doubt, distress, disgust and discomfort that often result from obsessions. These actions can be overt or covert. A person might do any number of things compulsively. They might wash, check, avoid, seek reassurance, analyze thoughts and more. In ROCD, compulsions can look like:
- Checking emotional connectedness to make sure that your partner is right for you
- Taking relationship quizzes online
- Asking for reassurance from loved ones about the rightness of your relationship
You can learn more about compulsions here.
THERAPY FOR ROCD
EXPOSURE AND RESPONSE PREVENTION (ERP)
We approach the treatment of every subtype of OCD in the same way, with Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). This involves facing the things that trigger thoughts and feelings without capitulating to compulsions. For instance, someone who is afraid that they aren’t sure about their level of attraction to their partner might put up a post-it with the phrase “It was love at first sight” written on it. In response to this, the goal would be to drop compulsions, that is to notice and disengage from rumination, checking arousal, reassurance seeking, avoidance, etc.
The ultimate goals of ERP for ROCD are to:
- allow for the presence of doubt thoughts about the “rightness” of one’s relationship or partner
- make space for distress
- accept that one cannot know whether or not their partner is “right” for them with absolute certainty.
While the subtypes can help people to identify OCD in themselves, someone with ROCD or any theme is still diagnosed with OCD. Even so, there are some common challenges and roadblocks that people with this subtype face. If you’re interested in support for this subtype, Lauren has extensive experience supporting those with ROCD. You can learn more about the treatment and services she provides here, or email Lauren here to find out more about working with Lauren.
ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) & MINDFULNESS
While ERP is considered the gold-standard treatment for OCD, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is also an evidence-based treatment for OCD that can be used in conjunction with ERP. ACT draws upon mindfulness principles in order to support people in non-judgmentally witnessing and accepting their thoughts and feelings. By supporting this objective view of these internal experiences, ACT helps people to accept thoughts and feelings while they take actions based on what matters most to them. You can learn more about ACT here.
General Mindfulness as well as Meditation are also helpful approaches that support recovery from ROCD. Given that ROCD is a type of Pure Obsessional OCD, learning how to deal with mental compulsions is key to treatment. Meditation can support people in identifying and disengaging from mental compulsions. Mindfulness can support individuals in peacefully coexisting with thoughts and feelings.
INTERESTED IN THERAPY FOR RELATIONSHIP OCD (ROCD)?
Are you or a loved one struggling with symptoms of Relationship OCD or ROCD? Therapists at the Center for the Obsessive Mind use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Exposure and Response Prevention and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to support those with ROCD. You can learn more about the treatments and services we provide here.
The Center for the Obsessive Mind offers
therapy in several states and internationally.
Learn more about where the staff practices, below.
The Center for the Obsessive Mind’s staff therapists offer online treatment for Relationship OCD (ROCD) throughout California. Our Clients span from San Francisco down to Southern Orange County and San Diego. Whether you’re in Silicon Valley, Santa Barbara, Beverly Hills or Dana Point, the Center’s staff can support you in your recovery.
Staff members at the Center for the Obsessive Mind offer therapy for Relationship OCD (ROCD) in the state of Utah. Since we provide online treatment, we work with people who live all across the Beehive State – from Salt Lake City and its suburbs, like West Jordan, Syracuse, Highland and Riverton, to Park City and St. George.
Therapists at the Center for the Obsessive Mind also offer therapy for Relationship OCD (ROCD) online in Florida. We see people from all corners of the Sunshine state. Whether you’re from Naples, Orlando, Miami, or Boca Raton, we can provide specialized counseling remotely in your area.
Therapists at the Center for the Obsessive Mind also practice online therapy in Arizona. If you’re seeking help in Phoenix, Sedona, Scottsdale or Tucson, we offer specialized treatment for Pure O across the Grand Canyon State.
In addition to all of the locations previously listed, the staff at the Center for the Obsessive Mind offer teletherapy for Pure O to a number of countries internationally.
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Disclaimer: The information contained on this website is intended for informational and education purposes only and is not meant to be a replacement for therapy. If you are interested in treatment, you can email us and we will happily provide you with more information.