LONG ISLAND OCD Treatment Center and OCD SUPPORT NETWORK Since 1991 - Treatment by Professional who HIMSELF recovered from OCD & UNDERSTANDS YOU. OCDHelpline: (631) 486-4818. NEW: OCD Therapy NOW AVAILABLE by Telephone as well as in-person. (Website Updated Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016) - Nassau & Suffolk OCD support groups - Advocacy - Fighting Stigma - People in the News about OCD and Anxiety, Information on recovering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (all that washing, checking, questioning...& the constant thoughts of 'Pure-O')***,
[If you find this page helpful, share it with others who are seeking help. Share it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and any other social media you use.]
NEW SECTION: "The Reading Room": OCD-Related Arts, Culture, Research... and NEW special 'diagrams' to help YOU to explain OCD to others so they can better understand it....and Dental Phobia Therapy, for Adults, Children & Teens; Natural OCD Recovery without drugs* & OCDHelpLine: call 631-486-4818 & ask for the OCDHelpLine. (please note NEW numbers; old numbers were 516-681-7861; & (516) 813-5909; both now out of service.) My apologies for this confusing website - I'm competent at helping people, but not at creating great websites!
How to Use the COLORS on this page:
IMPORTANT items are RED;
NEWEST items are GREEN;
LINKS are BLUE;
OLDER items are BLACK.
Check this site weekly for new OCD info! [Editor's note: Save this page under www.ocd.hereweb.com, too. That name is a 're-direct' that will always take you here, regardless of where this page is someday moved to.] This website offers free local support groups, telephone support, listings of lectures, special events, TV shows & therapy to people on Long Island, New York, with OCD, including but not limited to Bethpage, Hicksville, Plainview, Syosset, Westbury, Levittown, Woodbury, Carle Place, Garden City, Hempstead, New Hyde Park, Great Neck, Sands Point, Manhasset, Port Washington, Muttontown, Plandome, Franklin Square, Malverne, Hewlett, Woodmere, Cedarhurst, Oyster Bay, Glen Cove, Roslyn, Mineola, Wantagh, Bellmore, Merrick, Seaford, Massapequa, Farmingdale, Island Trees, Melville, Huntington ,Cold Spring Harbor, Northport & East Northport, Centerport, Dix Hills, Deer Park, Commack, Islip, Smithtown, Hauppauge, Amityville, Lindenhurst, Babylon, Bayshore & all other Nassau & Suffolk towns) and Williamsburg / Greenpoint; & online resources to OCD sufferers worldwide. (for people who check, wash, save, with obsessions & compulsions or 'pure-o' pure obsessions without visible compulsions.)
NEW ARTICLE: Should your OCD therapist participate in your Exposure-and-Response-Prevention "exposures"? (I do.)
December 1, 2016 - Here in NY it's getting cold. It's the end of autumn. The holiday decorations are up. I hope you're doing well in this chilly weather. ("Or is it too cold? How can I be SURE??? Today it was.. YES, but then again, yesterday...." Yes, I obsessed about yesterday's cold, but then I went out & felt it - it wasn't so bad!)
My name is Warren Barlowe. And I have OCD, also! Just like YOU. So I can UNDERSTAND. I GET IT!
I am the editor of this LI OCD site.
It has been a wonderful autumn for many of us.
But maybe not for you. It may have been torture. Seeing all those others enjoying life. And YOU were stuck. Literally 'stuck'. Thinking, worrying, checking, re-washing, watching weather forecasts; thinking about the election results, making SURE it would all end up OK (and missing out on a LOT of life in the meantime).
Yes. ('Yes, BUT......'And then, damn it, checking or asking AGAIN!)
It doesn't have to be this way. I am here for you. Recovery from OCD is a CIVIL RIGHT. Not just a dream.
In 1996 Congress declared Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day day a national day of service - and the struggle for
equality and freedom to live a normal life with a disability such as OCD is actually a human rights/
civil rights effort. I am proud to lead the Long Island effort for freedom in this public health issue.
Winter is almost HERE! And it's 'holiday shopping' time for many. ("But which gift would be the BEST or the RIGHT ONE?")
Decisions. UGH, decisions...how we struggle with them! Maybe a time for a new start?
If you now find the energy or the strength to create positive change in your life with OCD,
Let's meet and plan your OCD success story.
Or you can call me at (631) 486-4818 and just talk about OCD. It's free.
And when you feel ready to continue to work on your recovery from OCD,
there is a lot of OCD help here on this page, (below the 'thank you' cards)
waiting patiently for you.
When you are ready.
Remember - I have it TOO...so I WON'T SAY 'that's crazy'! I am here for you. I "GET" you! You can call me as soon as right now at (631) 486-4818.
[By the way... did you notice the repeated 'yes, buts' above? These are one clue that the OCD is doubting what YOU WANT to say. Call me and I'll help you recognize other classic OCD 'signatures'. -Warren]
ARE YOU SUDDENLY FEELING DEPRESSED? Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) alert: Daily sunlight in the NY area is now NOT STRONG ENOUGH to maintain the anti-depression chemistry of the brain in those of us who have SAD (myself included). It's NOT just the 'holiday blues' for some of us. It's now that time of the year again (August through next May) when you will feel better by using your SAD full-spectrum lamp foe 30 minutes every day, or by talking to your doctor about Welbutrin. (NOTE: I do not sell these special lamps or the medication Welbutrin - I just find them effective for my own SAD.)
* Warren Barlowe is a Long Island, NY Behavioral Therapist, serving all of Long Island & NYC. Based in western Suffolk County, L.I., helping people with lived experience with OCD in the NY area.
Barlowe specializes in short-term, non-threatening Exposure-and-Response-Prevention behavioral therapy for all forms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, including the much-misunderstood 'Pure-O' or 'pure obsessions'. Barlowe prefers to call this "obsessions without visible compulsions". Using special Exposure-and-Response-Prevention CBT, the symptom pattern of 'Pure-O' is easily understood,
and its torture is quickly eliminated. Click here for a good description of what used to be called 'Pure-O', to read this article.
Therapy can be done in person, or by phone, or by Skype Video calling if you are far from western Suffolk County, Long Island, NY. Call (631) 486-4818. *
...and here are some congratulations to people I have helped:
June 25, 2013
Great work, "S"! Yes, even an 11-year-old can learn and understand how to use Rational-Emotive Therapy, to avoid getting upset about
bad things that happen. And congratulations on learning how to be able to play alone, without Mom and Dad being in the same room!
June 25, 2013
CONGRATULATIONS to "B" on your successful recovery therapy outcome, and your new-found freedom and confidence!
Aug. 27, 2012
CONGRATULATIONS! I recently heard that one of my past clients, (who 'graduated' and is doing well in successful recovery from "Pure-O" OCD involving severe doubts about
personal straight sexual identity and preference), met the dream opposite-sex sweetheart, got engaged, and invited me to the wedding! After which, this very happy person and elated
parents & siblings all thanked me for 'saving <client>'s life!' , and assured me 'this happy day would never have happened without your help!!'
Aug. 22, 2012
CONGRATULATIONS to "M" on your recovery from 'Pure-O' OCD with therapy with Warren Barlowe! And best wishes in your chosen career and your new anxiety-free life!
...and here are some 'thank you' cards from people I've helped:
Dec. 1, 2016
Much improvement lately [in my son]!
Thanks so much! -T (parent)
Aug. 9, 2015
<Name> is doing so well! Thanks! -
Jun 28 2015
You have given me so many tools and they're working so well! I
don't know how to thank you. It's amazing. I really always thought medication
was the only option but exposure and response therapy is a miracle. Thank you
from the bottom of my heart. -
This person wrote to me from this website, saying:
"Looking for a therapist who understands."
We are now working together on this person's OCD issues, and today I get this note, intended to encourage others:
"Warren has provided me with the tools to
fight OCD. I have learned so much and have come so far in such a short time! I am forever grateful!"
[The following May and June notes were both from another client's mom.]
Hi Warren –
I want to share this with you – because my son is a little “gun shy” of new
couselors, people, etc due to his ocd (I think)
when I asked him this morning how his visit went with you, he replied “Good”.
Let me just say that is a 'ringing endorsement' for sure.
I am so happy and now I do believe the right person/counselor has come into
his life finally.
Talk to you soon
- (his mom)
[note - the large letters above were actually her own; I didn't change them.] - Warren
Hi Mr. Barlowe-
I am confirming my son’s apt with you next Tuesday at your office in e.
northport – he looks forward to meeting with you. I also thank you for our
conversation today – it made me feel so much better and with a lot of hope…
Thank you so very much for the apt – <my son> is so thankful
someone REALLY understands, finally, his thought process. He will be there
Thanks, - [Parent]
I'm excited to work with you, and make real progress in overcoming my OCD!
Thank you. -M
July 14, 2011
"John" 's Mom gave me your name and told me you were her son's salvation, I hope you will also be my son's. As a parent I feel helpless. Can you help my son?.
Nov. 9, 2009
I just wanted to thank you for the time you spent on the phone with me today regarding my son's OCD.
I have read about OCD a million times, looking for help, and trying to understand it Thank you for taking the time
to explain to me in "regular people" terms, how it works! Finally, after listening to you for a few minutes today.....I GET IT !
You were a world of information.
Thank you so much
Feb.8, 2011 Warren, Evan and I are doing great, we use our [RET practice] sheets and talk each day. We are fabulous and happy. Although we were always happy, we just needed to better
understand each other! Thank you! We will call you if need be and you can always use us as a reference!
You have been great! Thanks for everything.
...and from her mom:
Oct. 25, 2006
You have been wonderful.
Your words of wisdom have done wonders for us as a family as well. Words cannot express how much you mean to Brianna and I. You have been a blessing.. Thank you, thank you!
Brianna feels great about herself after this evenings' session by the way!
Have a nice nite.
Sincerely, Nicole M. =) Long Island, NY
I was just reading your member directory information...And wanted to tell You, that I Admire you very much in the work you are doing to help people...My daughter had this problem
at one time, but I had no idea what she was suffering from...I am sending You My Deepest Compassion !!! If there is anything I can do, please e-mail me back and let me know...
This world needs so many more people like yourself that gives with such wamness....God has given us so much and most all other people seem never to care...
Have a Great Day !! -Mary"
On 'Pure-O', or Obsessions without visible compulsions:
"Oh my God! You may have hit the nail on the head. Thank you so much..... I just looked at it after an obsession was in my head not to finish my dinner. These mental obsessions
stick with me ALL day and there is no [visible] compulsion to rid them, now I think you just told me how! [this is a person struggling with 'Pure-O', or Obsessions without visible
Thank you so much."
...and this, also on Obsessions without visible compulsions:
"You are so right! Once I found a therapist who understood that my thoughts were, in essence, my ritual, we began to work on me resisting those thoughts or redirecting or ignoring my
thoughts. Once that "light bulb" went off in my head, I began to get better, very quickly. I can relate to that WHAMMO experience you had."
"I believe the key is having a therapist who really understands OCD and all of its subtle nuances. It can take many different forms and a good therapist will get creative and tailor a
program to fit the client."
Thanks for thinking of me. You haven't heard from me b/c I have been doing very well OCD wise. Am enjoying the fruits of the work we have done. Have been doing my best to
catch any "slips". Was telling my family how amazing it is to be able to enjoy things, appreciate them as they happen and not have to run to the bathroom all the time to wash my
hands. I told them you have no idea how much simpler life gets when you are able to use a public washroom without feeling totally contaminated all day.
They asked what happened to cause all this "recovery". I told them it was working with you.
I said I had read all about the things to do to get better but your telephone therapy coaching really made it happen. Thanks for that.
I still think they have a hard time truly appreciating how far I have come but I guess that is partly my fault b/c I hid so much from them. Truly I don't think they could have handled
any more. You are the only one, along with me, who can truly appreciate the progress.
Have noticed that my brain seems to be freeing up a little more as I am able to listen to people in a conversation. Feel more like I am there during it if you know what I mean.
Still working on that.
I do try to keep up on the tools I have learned by reading, once in a while so as not to research it to death, the internet. I am at the end of my to-do list. Only two things items left.
Have broken them into steps and working on them."
-Deb B., Saskatchewan Province, Canada [I worked with this client living in Canada by phone.]
Dear Warren - I have been blessed with you in my life. Thank you for all your guidance & support & strength that you have brought to my life.
I know that this is something that doesn't go away, but it doesn't mean life with misery, fear and burden anymore.
I can be happy & I am greatful for that & for you.
Keep faith - God bless you -Nikki in N. Carolina
Dear Warren - We're so glad we met you. You're a wonderful person and we want to thank you for all
you have done so far.
Sincerely, Joanne, John and our daughter Jessica
An article about stigma surrounding mental illness and the Oct. 2015 Oregon school shootings.
and to try one in your home, call me at 631-486-4818 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . (Note: I do not sell these lamps; this is NOT an advertisement for them.) Some people with SAD find relief from it by using the medication Welbutrin.
If you find yourself feeling more depressed after mid-August, that is when you need to resume using your lamp. This is a yearly cycle.
I've also added some diagrams , to help you show people how your OCD scares you ... things that only WE can understand . .
Welcome to the Reading Room! I am in the process of re-arranging the articles in our website so you can easily find what you need, based on how OCD affects your life. Look for the blue squares on this site: they are the topic headings. Topics include:
Helping loved ones who struggle with OCD
What is OCD?
Feeling OK about yourself living with OCD
How can I recover from OCD? Therapy
How OCD Makes me Suffer - Articles grouped by 'symptom'
Social and Lifestyle with OCD
OCD & School
OCD & Work
OCD & Family
OCD & Children
Advocacy for People with OCD
Project Space (OCD Research, new OCD medications, related Art & Culture, Creating the Future of OCD, etc.)
Subscribe to alerts when site is updated: Scroll to bottom; click Recent Site Activity & click Subscribe to changes in upper left corner.
If you find this page helpful, please click the "g+1" button, and other people concerned about OCD will find the page even more easily.
NEW Long Island OCD Support Group!
Open discussion group about all forms of OCD, run by a person successfully recovering from "Pure-O" (Obsessions without visible compulsions); part of the LI OCD Support Network. Meets Tuesday evenings in Suffolk County; Sound Beach. Contact Dan, 516-860-5166. Endorsed and under supervision by OCD Behavioral Therapist Warren Barlowe.
From our group facilitator: "Does your mind race with unwanted thoughts? Do you 'review' your thoughts? Do you worry too much about what you have said or what someone has said to you? Do you check things too much? Do you wash your hands too much? Do you worry about contamination? Do people tell you 'you're not focused"? If you feel things like these, call me at (516) 860-5166 and we'll talk. Please feel free to join an open-discussion group (not 12-step) about OCD. And YES - we've heard it ALL!"
Support Program for "Worriers"
http://events.longisland.com/doubters-anonymous.htmlhttp://events.longisland.com/doubters-anonymous.htmlDoubter's Anonymous - [note: this is NOT OCA Anon]. Faith-based group meets at a church. Join us for this 4 part series to help people struggling with doubt, meets consecutive Sundays, each session has a different theme. Themes are bout with doubt, doubting God's goodness, I doubt God will do it for me, and I doubt God can use me, respectively.
South Bay Bible Church 578 Montauk Hwy. East Moriches - 11940
Tel: 631-909-8241 Times: 9 & 11 AM
Helping loved ones who struggle with OCD
YOU may be the KEY to someone's NEW LIFE.
Many people with OCD live in a silent prison in their mind. He or she may live at home, with friends, on the street or even in the prison of jail or a mental "treatment" facility.
Many of these places have no idea how to "help" people with OCD.
There IS help and hope. YOU may be the person who gives him our OCDHelpline phone number: (631) 486-4818. Over the phone, she can learn of effective self-help treatment. He can discover he's not 'crazy' and certainly not alone. Our volunteer can give her emotional support, strength, and hope. Imagine... you can help someone change his life. And she will remember forever the day you gave her this number.
(PS - SOME people do NOT want help or are not ready. Be careful not to try to 'save' or 'rescue' this person. Many times family members drag their UNWILLING kids/parents/spouse in for me to 'cure' them. This is almost always useless. This only creates anger between people. Bring someone help IF and WHEN THEY ASK FOR IT. This often takes YEARS.This will ONLY work if and when THEY are ready and REALLY WANT HELP.)
* HAVE AN OCD QUESTION? CALL WARREN at the LI OCD HelpLine 631-486-4818.
What is OCD?
What is OCD? Here's a good quick intro.. (and read what happened to "Bob" and "Sue"!)
OCD cannot be "cured" yet*, but thanks to recent developments in medicine and psychology, you can now learn to live without the agonizing worry, anxiety and compulsive "rituals" that paralyze us. The World Health Organization classifies OCD as one of the top ten most debilitating illnesses, yet it is often considered a mild, quirky or even amusing affliction. OCD sufferers worry that people will think they are "crazy" and so do not always seek help. This has led to a lack of public awareness. You are not "crazy", and you're not alone. *Research on curing OCD is made possible by funding raised by groups like the people at the OCFoundation. Your continued support will someday eliminate this torture.
'The World Health Organization classifies OCD as one of the top ten most debilitating illnesses, yet it is often considered a mild, quirky or even amusing affliction. OCD sufferers worry that people will think they are 'mad'; (British slang for 'crazy') and so do not always seek help. This has led to a lack of public awareness.The devastating effects of the widely misunderstood mental illness, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) are being exposed by the charity, OCD Action.' --Epoch Times, Feb. 18, 2013
ARTICLE: Anorexia? No... this is how it's so easy to misdiagnose OCD:
AFTER spending more than four hours cleaning the kitchen before she would allow herself to eat, a Carmarthen woman has spoken out about her battle with anorexia and OCD.
Manon Haf Lewis, of Johnstown, is using her experiences with mental health to encourage others not to be ashamed to talk about what they are going through.
The 24-year-old has spent the past 10 years battling with both anorexia and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
She said: "I have suffered with anorexia for 10 years and for a long time I found it very difficult to admit that I had a problem.
"I was ashamed of it and of the stigma that surrounds mental health."
Manon said her battle with anorexia goes back to when she was at school.
"It started in school. I was diagnosed when I was 14."
Manon said she would go to the library to do work during her lunch break instead of having dinner. "If I failed my exams I would not be allowed to eat. I felt like I had to punish myself," she said.
Manon battled all the way through school and through two attempts to study at university — the first being a dental technician course at Kings College London in 2007.
Manon's anorexia and OCD has led to her spending up to 18 months in hospital — at an eating disorder hospital in England and at a hospital in Carmarthen.
Talking about her OCD Manon said: "Before I would eat everything had to be clean. I would spend about four hours cleaning the kitchen before I would even start thinking about eating food.
"It got so bad that I would only have half hour in the day because all my time was spent cleaning."
Barlowe says "This is NOT an 'eating disorder'. Manon had an obsession that if she failed her exams, she could not let herself eat. So she would skip lunch in order to study very hard so she could avoid failing. Of course she lost weight in the process. But the 'professionals' misdiagnosed the weight loss in her problem as Anorexia. But Manon was NOT trying to lose weight, to be thin, to like her body image. She was compulsively studying to an extreme, and she was willing to forgo eating to have more study time. And she also felt that if she failed, she had to compulsively 'punish' herself by not eating. Her OCD was telling her "What if you fail your exam?" See those two words 'what if'? That's the signature of OCD. And as we all know, OCD frequently changes obsessions - then it became cleaning. Before eating everything had to be clean. The 4 hours she spent cleaning was her compulsive behavior".
"I worked with a young Long Island woman preparing to start college* who had essentially the same kind of pattern", says Barlowe: "if she didn't do something perfectly, she couldn't eat. She had to count the peas or beans or cereal on her plate and it absolutely had to add up to a certain 'safe' number, before she could allow herself to eat. She WASN'T on a diet to lose weight. She had to do things perfectly or she couldn't eat. Misdiagnosed with Anorexia, 'professionals' tried to help her address her diet to change her behavior and gain some weight, and it didn't work. It was only after I recognized the perfection pattern, and helped her to use Exposure-and-Response-Prevention behavioral therapy to break it and allow imperfections in her life, that she began to gain back her normal weight. *Update; May 31, 2014: she has graduated college now, with honors, is working in another state and doing quite well. We are continuing to talk by phone. See above article (June 6, 2014); "Why it doesn't pay to be a Perfectionist".
On the surface, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) appear very similar, with impaired attention, memory, or behavioral control. But Prof. Reuven Dar of Tel Aviv University's School of Psychological Sciences argues that these two neuropsychological disorders have very different roots — and there are enormous consequences if they are mistaken for each other.
Prof. Dar and fellow researcher Dr. Amitai Abramovitch, who completed his PhD under Prof. Dar's supervision, have determined that despite appearances, OCD and ACHD are far more different than alike. While groups of both OCD and ADHD patients were found to have difficulty controlling their abnormal impulses in a laboratory setting, only the ADHD group had significant problems with these impulses in the real world.
According to Prof. Dar, this shows that while OCD and ADHD may appear similar on a behavioral level, the mechanism behind the two disorders differs greatly. People with ADHD are impulsive risk-takers, rarely reflecting on the consequences of their actions. In contrast, people with OCD are all too concerned with consequences, causing hesitancy, difficulty in decision-making, and the tendency to over-control and over-plan.
Their findings, published in the Journal of Neuropsychology, draw a clear distinction between OCD and ADHD and provide more accurate guidelines for correct diagnosis. Confusing the two threatens successful patient care, warns Prof. Dar, noting that treatment plans for the two disorders can differ dramatically. Ritalin, a psychostimulant commonly prescribed to ADHD patients, can actually exacerbate OCD behaviors, for example. Prescribed to an OCD patient, it will only worsen symptoms.
Separating cause from effect
To determine the relationship between OCD and ADHD, the researchers studied three groups of subjects: 30 diagnosed with OCD, 30 diagnosed with ADHD, and 30 with no psychiatric diagnosis. All subjects were male with a mean age of 30. Comprehensive neuropsychological tests and questionnaires were used to study cognitive functions that control memory, attention, and problem-solving, as well as those that inhibit the arbitrary impulses that OCD and ADHD patients seem to have difficulty controlling.
As Prof. Dar and Dr. Abramovitch predicted, both the OCD and ADHD groups performed less than a comparison group in terms of memory, reaction time, attention and other cognitive tests. Both groups were also found to have abnormalities in their ability to inhibit or control impulses, but in very different ways. In real-world situations, the ADHD group had far more difficulty controlling their impulses, while the OCD group was better able to control these impulses than even the control group.
When people with OCD describe themselves as being impulsive, this is a subjective description and can mean that they haven't planned to the usual high degree, explains Prof. Dar.
Offering the right treatment
It's understandable why OCD symptoms can be mistaken for ADHD, Prof. Dar says. For example, a student in a classroom could be inattentive and restless, and assumed to have ADHD. In reality, the student could be distracted by obsessive thoughts or acting out compulsive behaviors that look like fidgeting.
"It's more likely that a young student will be diagnosed with ADHD instead of OCD because teachers see so many people with attention problems and not many with OCD. If you don't look carefully enough, you could make a mistake," cautions Prof. Dar. Currently, 5.2 million children in the US between the ages of 3 and 17 are diagnosed with ADHD, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, making it one of the most commonly diagnosed neuro-developmental disorders in children.
The correct diagnosis is crucial for the well-being and future trajectory of the patient, not just for the choice of medication, but also for psychological and behavioral treatment, and awareness and education for families and teachers.
Feeling OK about yourself living with OCD
NEWS: The Mental Health Community, in its ongoing efforts to fight the stigma of mental illness, has replaced the 1990's old word 'CONSUMERS' with the wording 'PERSONS WITH LIVED MENTAL HEALTH EXPERIENCE' . The word "Consumers" implies you are using the services of a provider. This is a disrespectful invasion of personal privacy. The LI OCD website has been updated to reflect this change in attitude.
Warren's Therapy Tip of the Week - Anxiety over what is happening here and in other parts of the world (vacations, politics, wars, natural disasters, extreme weather) can exacerbate OCD. So can success in your career. OCD reacts badly to stress from any changes in life; good or bad. Use your RET (Rational-Emotive Therapy) techniques to stop upsetting yourself over things you have no control over. This should be discussed in OCD Support Group meetings and in effective therapy sessions.
| How can I recover from OCD? Therapy:|
['may'? There is nothing new about this - it's been the gold standard for OCD therapy for over 20 years.]
How to find a competent, effective OCD therapist
NEW: How to Evaluate your ERP Therapy - Excellent, 'right-on-target' advice to help you know you're getting the right help! -Warren
Posted on June 7, 2015 by Janet (ocdtalk)
photo by stuart miles freedigitalphotos.net
I believe one of the most difficult aspects of obsessive-compulsive
disorder is finding the right treatment. Evidence-based exposure and
response prevention (ERP) therapy, a type of Cognitive Behavioral
Therapy (CBT) is the first-line treatment for the disorder, and it
works. Yet so many people, including therapists, have never even heard
of ERP. I am doing my best, along with other advocates for OCD
awareness, to spread the word.
But knowing that ERP therapy is what you need is only half the
battle. The other half is finding a good therapist who is properly
trained in ERP and really knows how to utilize it correctly. Imagine
thinking you are getting good ERP therapy when in actuality you’re not.
You wonder why you’re not getting better; after all,
ERP is supposed to work. Maybe you’re even feeling worse. You worry that your OCD is not treatable, or 'treatment resistant'. After all, ERP is the gold
standard for treating OCD.
You lose hope.
So how do you know if you are getting good ERP therapy?
In this wonderful article, Finding the Right OCD Therapist, we are given some great suggestions on how to find a good OCD therapist, including questions to ask
and things to look for in a health-care provider. What I think is particularly helpful is the last section of the article which lists some ways to evaluate the effectiveness
of your ERP therapy. We are told that good OCD therapists:
- Collaboratively create hierarchy items.
- Collaboratively choose exposures and agree on specifics. A therapist should not force you to complete an exposure.
- Individually tailor treatment for you. Even standardized treatment is not a one size fits all.
- Do not provide reassurance that will temporarily reduce anxiety and interfere with natural habituation and learning.
- Identify covert rituals that get in the way of progress, such as mentally reassuring yourself, mentally undoing/neutralizing the exposure, distracting, or
- counting silently.
- Get at the core fear. Choose exposures at the top of the hierarchy that go “above and beyond” to fully target core fear, without being truly unsafe, harmful,
or outside of what is accepted in your culture or religion.
- Help you grow into the role of becoming your own therapist. [Learning relapse-prevention. -Warren]
When my son left his intensive residential treatment program we connected with a therapist who told us he specialized in treating OCD with ERP therapy.
Once we heard that, my husband and I didn’t ask any questions or request any specifics about his approach. I realize now how incredibly lucky we were,
as this psychologist turned out to be an excellent therapist with extensive experience using ERP. Of course, not everyone is so fortunate.
If you are in the process of looking for a therapist, or things aren’t going well with your current health-care provider, please take a few minutes to look
at the above-mentioned article. It could help steer you in the right direction – toward the road to recovery from OCD.
"I've been in therapy for a long time, but I'm STILL not getting better. Why?"
Call me and I'll help you figure out why it's not working as well as it should. For no charge. (631) 486-4818
Watch the film "The King's Speech" and see how effective
a para-professional therapist can be, even without an advanced degree or license.
Raeanne Dumont is another effective behavioral para-professional therapist, located in
Staten Island, N.Y., and the author of "The Sky Is Falling".
(Call Warren at the OCDHotline: 631-486-4818 to learn how to choose a therapist
for the proper short-term therapy for OCD that will result in recovery).
Can you find the errors in the treatments descibed here? "Rituals define OCD" How OCD Makes me Suffer - Articles grouped by OCD 'symptoms' (in red)
OK...here it is...what everyone thinks OCD is: HANDWASHING
Video on Handwashing
"FOMO" - reading friends' Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. & obsessing about "what am I missing out on?" (as WCBS TV reported;
May 12, 2015)
"I'm sorry....(did they hear me?)... I'M SORRY! ..... (I still feel bad)..I'M REALLY SORRY!! " All about compulsive apologizing.
BOOK ON HIV OBSESSION: Why OCD Is 'Miserable': A Science Reporter's Obsession With Contracting HIV
Read story: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2015/01/12/376438311/why-ocd-is-miserable-a-science-reporters-obsession-with-contracting-hiv?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=books
Or you can listen to the story: there is a link on the page. You can even read an excerpt from his book:
PICKY EATING or AVOIDANCE of certain foods
Recent Article as of July 21, 2015: http://www.childmind.org/en/posts/articles/2013-1-29-more-picky-eating
Recent article (Nov. 17, 2014) "When Healthy Eating Calls For Treatment: A desire to eat ‘Clean’
[or refusal to eat specific] Food Can Become an Obsession (in the Nov. 17 Wall St. Journal)
June 6, 2014 "Why it Doesn't Pay to be a Perfectionist" with comment by Warren Barlowe.
(or "imagined ugliness"...how do I look?)
With Co-occurring Disorders; (OCD) 15 to 20 Percent of Exercise Addicted Individuals Are Also Dependent on Nicotine, Alcohol, or Illicit Drugs
Article: Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013: Anorexia? No... this is how it's so easy to misdiagnose OCD. (See below)
But 'what if' I don't just 'check' or 'wash my hands too much'? ("Pure-O") What if it's all in my head - obsessing and worrying? What if I DON'T wash my hands a lot?
This is still OCD. This used to be called 'Pure-O' - meaning purely obsessions but no obvious physical compulsions. It is now known that compulsions can be in the form of
thoughts, too, like continuous repeated worrying, reviewing past events over and over, rehearsing future events, or thinking special secret 'magical' words, numbers, songs
or pictures. These thoughts are NOT OBSESSIONS. They are COMPULSIONS.
A therapist who is not confused by this, but who understands it, and who understands how to use Exposure-and-Response Prevention (ERP) behavioral therapy in gradual,
non-threatening ways, can help treat it easily, and recovery doesn't take long. And a new support group is starting now especially for people with "Pure-O", run by a person
successfully recovering from it. Call Dan, (516) 860-5166.
An article I read recently tried to sum up OCD, but completely missed the 'Pure-O' concept:
It mentioned that "A critical feature in this disorder is an overinflated sense of responsibility, in which the patient's thoughts center on possible dangers and an urgent need
to do something about them. Over half of patients with OCD have obsessive thoughts without the ritualistic compulsive behavior. "
I disagree with the statement that some patients with OCD have obsessive thoughts without the ritualistic compulsive behavior. 'Obsessions' are intrusive, unwanted scary
thoughts that generate anxiety, and the sufferer feels an urgent need to invent a 'compulsion'; an action or internal thought that seems to 'neutralize' the obsessive thought
in a desperate attempt to end the anxiety. Every obsession is paired with a compulsion; what used to be called "pure o" (obsessions only) is a misnomer; the compulsions
can be invisible internal compulsive thoughts like worrying or reviewing past events, excessive praying, thinking special magical statements, words or numbers.
(If a person had obsessions without compulsions to attempt to reduce the pain and fear, they would believe they will never get relief and would suffer a lot more anxiety).
I prefer to call this expression of OCD "obsessive thoughts without visible compulsions".
[I'm glad to see that the media is beginning to recognize this 'hidden' expression of OCD. Epoch Times, Feb. 18, 2013 features an article by Rosemary Byfield, explaining that
"OCD has two parts: Obsessional thoughts and the compulsion to dampen those thoughts. The compulsion becomes a ritual like hand washing or checking the front door.
It can also be a mental routine used to stifle a feeling of anxiety or stop a particular thought."]
"Exposure-and-response-prevention" (ERP) behavioral therapy is the only effective technique for "obsessive thoughts without visible compulsions". It's the same technique
used to successfully help people with visible compulsions. It can be accomplished successfully with a competent therapist, who knows how to make it non-threatening. A skilled
therapist can separate the obsessive thoughts from the compulsive thoughts. Planning the non-threatening way to do this therapy process starts with having the sensitivity to,
and empathy for, the client's pain. (This does not mean telling you to 'stop worrying' or 'that will never happen to you'. That's NOT understanding.) A therapist with experience
will work with you and understand your different obsessive thoughts. This will enable them to chose the precise level of exposure that you can handle in reasonable comfort,
for each week's step in the process.
To talk about this struggle and the therapy for it, call Warren Barlowe at 631-486-4818 or email him at email@example.com .
Warren Barlowe is a Long Island, NY Behavioral Therapist,
specializing in short-term, non-threatening therapy
for all forms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and the much-misunderstood
'Pure-O' or 'pure obsessions'. Barlowe prefers to call this "obsessions without visible compulsions".
Using special Exposure-and-Response-Prevention CBT, the symptom pattern of 'Pure-O' is easily understood, and its torture is quickly eliminated.
Therapy can be done in person, or by phone if you are far from NY. Call (631) 486-4818. For a good description of what used to be
called 'Pure-O', click here to read this article.
People often ask me "You have OCD, and you became a therapist? How did that happen?" Here's my story... -Warren Barlowe
I have had OCD behaviors for many years before my self-recovery work. My parents were totally confused by my strange behaviors, and I knew nothing
about OCD, just that I had these very scary thoughts and I HAD to think or do something to feel better. I felt totally out of control. I went to therapists for
many years to talk about this, but no one had any help for me. Some therapists even insisted there was no such thing as 'OCD' - "...you're just very
insecure - get a hobby or some volunteer work and you'll feel better!" I did those and nothing helped.
Then one day in the mid-1980's my father saw a talk show on OCD. He called me and said that it looked so much like what I have, and that he recorded
the show on a VHS cassette and he wants me to watch it. I watched the tape and it was incredible! Other people talking PUBLICLY about these secrets!
At the end of the show there was a phone number on the screen for help from an "OCD Foundation". I called and learned about support groups in my area.
I went to one for several years, learning a lot about OCD, but never really believing the people who raved about their doctors. Eventually I decided to try
and see one of these specialists. We worked out a therapy plan, and I followed it daily. After just one week of practicing the therapy exercises, I was able to
do some things that I had not been able to do for many years! I returned to the support group and told my story and they all fell all over me with
I participated in that group for several years, listening and learning a LOT. I found the mechanics behind OCD actually fascinating, and I read a lot
and went to lectures and conferences about it. Soon I found myself answering new group members' questions about the condition, and how therapy and
medication, used properly, can each make positive changes. Over time, the original founders of the group moved on with their lives, and I took over
facillitating the group that had helped me years ago. After about a year or so of talking to people and encouraging them to try therapy, several people asked
me to help them do therapy. I said I couldn't; I'm a sufferer myself with no formal training in this. They told me 'I don't want to hear that - you know your stuff.
Please come to my home.' So I visited a few people and taught them the 'exposure-and-response-prevention' techniques, and they started getting better!
They offered to pay me for this, but I wouldn't accept it - 'I'm not a therapist', I said. They didn't want to hear that - and they insisted on paying me even if it
was just for the cost of gas to drive to them. The local Mental Health Association offered us a nice room for our group, and we met there for over 15 years.
Word somehow got around on the internet, and people from California, Canada and Brazil were asking me to work with them over the phone, and they
succeeded in recovering! I came up with new ways to make the therapy non-threatening. Over time, many people asked me to work with them, and I began
to believe in my ability to help. I began to see this as a possible new way to earn a living someday. The Long Island Press interviewed me for a cover story
on OCD in 2006, and Sally Jesse Raphael's TV show producers called me to discuss doing a show on OCD. Stony Brook University's radio station
interviewed me on my work, and people calling me started telling me that their therapists referred them to me.
I have helped at least 375 people learn to use the right therapy to recover from their OCD for over 20 years now. I feel that my own personal experience
with OCD helps me to really understand our pain in ways few other therapists can, and my work on developing less threatening therapy techniques may be
one reason why I get so many successes.
Social and Lifestyle with OCD
STRESS ALERT: OUR OCD MAY TEMPORARILY INCREASE due to our personal emotional excitement about the autumn, & responses to what's
happening in the news, politics, medical/dental appointments, and any new changes in your own life. We should discuss how to deal with these concerns
in support groups and in therapy.
Co-occurring Disorders; (OCD) 15 to 20 Percent of Exercise Addicted Individuals Are Also Dependent on Nicotine, Alcohol, or Illicit Drugs
-Dealing with Current Difficult Events in our lives-
In light of the conversations around the Oregon school shootings and mental illness, we at LI OCD felt it would be
OCD & School
2 New Articles as of Sept. 24:
Not All Attention Problems Are ADHD
It's a common assumption, but there are other causes that are easily overlooked, such as OCD
What Does OCD Look Like in the Classroom?
How to recognize the signs a child is struggling, even if he is hiding his anxiety
(Note: the following 2 items* are part of advertising for a private NYC therapy center. OCD LI does not endorse this company.)
*Going Back to School after a Tragedy http://www.childmind.org/en/posts/articles/2012-12-16-going-back-school-after-tragedy
*OCD: To Tell or Not To Tell? http://www.childmind.org/en/events/2013-1-8-tell-or-not-tell
OCD & Work
A Story about 'Susan' and 'Bob', two fictional people suffering from OCD:
Bob' loves his job, but his OCD is getting in the way. His job performance begins to suffer,
and his boss starts to lose patience.
'Susan' loves her job, but her OCD is getting in the way. Her job performance begins to suffer,
and her boss starts to lose patience.
Bob talks to his regular counselor, who tries to learn about OCD by reading about it in old grad school
textbooks, and tries the wrong, scary techniques. He spends time talking with his trusted counselor,
snapping rubberbands on his wrist, listening to relaxation tapes, and taking anti-anxiety drugs like Xanax & Valium. Nothing works.
Susan meets with an OCD behavioral therapy specialist, who identifies her problem areas, and sets up
the correct, non-threatening treatment plan.
Bob waits a week until his next counseling session, and gets more frustrated at not getting any better.
Susan goes home and follows the easy instructions daily, and makes remarkably fast progress .
Bob struggles with the wrong therapies for years, and his OCD just keeps getting worse.
Susan practices her therapy excercises daily, meets with her behavioral therapist weekly for more advanced
help, & recovers in just months.
Bob's uncontrolled OCD causes him to lose his job, and he retreats into a deep depression at home.
Susan's job performance improves dramatically, and she gets a promotion and a raise.
OCD & Family
Dec., 2016 - Winter is almost here on Long Island.
But storms still happen, and a disaster of that magnitude can bring incredible suffering.
Here is some advice from the American Red Cross:
Coping with the aftermath of tornados, severe storms (and life after Hurricane Sandy)
[Note: LI OCD does not endorse this information; we are not connected
(Advice from the American Red Cross, on handling the anxiety of living in the affected area; "sheltering in place" rather than staying
in a storm shelter.)
Understanding typical reactions to the experience of sheltering in place can help one to cope better.
- Personal emotional reactions during difficult times are unique. Reactions of those who have experienced shelter-in-place emergencies
- have varied widely, ranging from feelings of stress to uncertainty or even fear.
- During a shelter-in-place emergency, emotional reactions that may occur include the following:
- Anxiety, particularly when separated from loved ones
- Uncertainty regarding how long one will need to shelter in place
- Concerns for the physical safety of ourselves and others
- Confusion or frustration regarding questions left unanswered by public officials or the media
- Guilt about not being able to fulfill responsibilities, such as work, parenting or caring for dependents
- Feelings of boredom or isolation
- Thoughts of blame, worry or fear
- People who have sheltered in place for more than a few hours have also reported the following:
- Concerns about meeting obligations and about lost income
- Problems making decisions or staying focused on topics
- Changes in appetite or sleep patterns
What You Can Do
Actions that will help protect emotional well-being during a shelter-in-place emergency include the following:
- Remain informed, if possible, by checking in with local news sources. Take care, however, not to become overexposed to such sources.
- Excessive or repeated exposure to media can increase feelings of stress, uncertainty and fear, especially in children.
- Pay attention to your emotional health while sheltering in place, remembering that many different feelings are common. Know that others
- are also experiencing emotional reactions and may need time and patience to put their feelings and thoughts in order. Try to recognize
- when you or those around you may need extra support.
- Monitor your physical health needs. When sheltering in place for more than a few hours, remember to eat, rest and take regularly prescribed
- medications. Avoid alcohol or substance use.
- Focus on positive actions you can take right away, such as taking an inventory of emergency supplies, obtaining accurate information and
- providing support to others.
- Try to maintain contact with family, friends and those around you. The telephone and the Internet can be helpful when physical separations
- become necessary.
- Hold a picture in your mind of the best possible outcome. Make a list of your personal strengths and use these to help both yourself and
- others stay emotionally strong.
- Maintain religious and/or spiritual practices that you have found to provide comfort and emotional strength.
- Children: Be creative, and think of fun activities that will occupy your child’s time. Keep a schedule, set appropriate limits and maintain
- usual rules of behavior.
- If you are alone: The same tips for staying emotionally strong also apply if you are alone. If possible, try to connect with others and stay
- Pets: Plan to shelter in place with them. If something is not safe for you, it is not safe for them. Like people, pets’ behaviors may change.
- Keep track of their well-being and, as best you can, take care of their needs.
Children with OCD
You saw it on ABC 20/20 that Friday night - You saw the teens do miracles. Is it real? Yes!
This is how YOU will succeed over YOUR OCD! The documentary was realistic. It honestly showed how the RIGHT therapy
works. If you didn't get a chance to watch the show, watch it here online.
And if you didn't get a chance after the show to tweet the therapists who helped them, you can ask me those questions on the phone.
And I'll answer them FREE. Right now. Just for YOU. Call (631) 486-4818. I understand you - I've been there myself with MY OWN OCD!
You can be the next success story. And, YES...it only takes a few months! Just like what you saw on 20/20!
Children: Sometimes it's not just OCD.
We know how to identify OCD in many of its forms and expressions, and we know how to dramatically reduce
the suffering through proven-effective therapy.
But OCD isn't always the only problem, even though it often causes a multiplicity of problems throughout a person's
living activity. Family dynamics and communication problems can exacerbate OCD, and can cause other unrelated
suffering. Some non-OCD issues can best be addressed through conversations with other parents who have been there
and found solutions. It would be very helpful if there were experienced childhood counselors who were also parents of
kids with family and friend issues in addition to OCD. Counselors with years of experience working with children in
educational settings and family issues.
LI OCD now has a new worker on staff who has been there with her own children, taught and directed preschool kids,
and helped elementary school children with serious issues to open up, trust and grow. Debra DeCordova is volunteering
her time to counsel parents, friends and siblings on finding solutions to these problems.
To talk with Debra, call LI OCD at (631) 486-4818. There is no charge to explore these issues.
But REST ASSURED - Unlike some well-known North Shore Long Island OCD therapy specialty centers, we will NEVER assign someone
who comes looking for help for OCD to a non-OCD professional or an inexperienced student intern just because 'the waiting list for
Barlowe is closed at the moment'. NEVER.
..is this Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?
" I'm 15 and I think I have OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). I have always been told that I act OCD by my friends because I have to put things in order all the
time. I just ignored them because I guess I didn't want to think of myself as having a mental disorder. I also didn't really know what the disorder actually was. I looked it up
and realized that I was basically reading about my life. I had so many of the symptoms that I didn't even know about. I have intrusive, violent thoughts (and sometimes
behavior), I put things in certain orders, I'm a HUGE germaphobic, I do things repeatedly because sometimes it just doesn't feel right the first time, I check things over and
over to make sure they're right, I have religious and sexual thoughts ALL THE TIME... I really do think I may have OCD, and I'm kind of scared because lately, I've been
having very bad intrusive thoughts. I've thought about suicide, I've been tempted to hurt my pets, and today, without even thinking, I pushed my baby sister down and
made her cry just because I felt like it. I'm not the kind of person to do these things, but I can't help it. My parents think I'm being a hypochondriac, but I really am worried
about this. My anxiety has been theough the roof for the past month or two and I don't know what to do. They won't let me see a doctor because apparently it's just a
"teenage thing." Any help or advice at all would be really appreciated. I just don't know what to do."
I'd like to introduce my new associate, Debbee DeCordova, who specializes in OCD Behavioral Therapy for children. Debbee has a background in Early Childhood
Development and education for children as young as 2 years of age. She has taught for 11 years, and has been the director of a preschool for five years. Personally
she brought up a child with special needs, so she has first-hand experience. She uses evidence-based and proven Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy along with play and
art to achieve success with your child. You can feel confident that your child is in very capable hands.
(Debbee and I confer on childrens' progress all the time.) -Warren Barlowe, OCD Behavioral Therapist
OCD Project Space (OCD Research, new OCD medications, related Art & Culture,
Creating Future Help for OCD
[Note: LI OCD is not connected with OCD NY or any of these treatment facilities. Our view is that many people with OCD who think they are 'treatment-resistant' have not
done Exposure-and-Response Prevention behavioral therapy with an experienced, competent, caring professional. Most who DO get this help succeed and recover to full,
And, as mentioned previously, we do not believe in using ancient, outdated terminology such as 'patient'. We have kept up with the times, and show the respect our peers deserve,
and so we use the 21st century phrase 'Persons with Lived Experience with OCD", which has even replaced the old 1990's word 'consumers'. ]
OCD-related Arts & Culture:
Seeing microscopic structures may help developing new OCD Meds! We have been waiting for this for YEARS.
Telegraph; Oct. 7, 2014
Dogs' Repetitive tail chasing
Q: I have a three-year-old rescue terrier who has always chased his tail when he gets excited, but it’s getting worse. He now does it when I am doing something
else and he feels ignored. It’s getting so bad that he even makes his tail bleed. What can I do?
LA, Tyne & Wear
A: Repetitive tail chasing is a recognised type of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) but some vets believe it’s a variation of epilepsy, and some cases may be
initiated by disease around the tail base (such as old trauma). No treatment is effective in every case: anti-anxiety medication helps some dogs; anti-epileptic
medication others. Drug therapy needs to be combined with training techniques to distract him from tail chasing. The best answer is to talk to your vet about a
referral to a behavioural specialist. [Note: Warren Barlowe is NOT a pet behavioral specialist...yet, lol ;) . Please refer questions like this to your vet.]
Dec. 7, 2012 - Medication is BIG BUSINESS! (of course you knew that already...)
Here is a company selling a business report for $3,500.00, that tells investors, doctors, and researchers that medication is the ONLY ANSWER to OCD:
"GBI Research, the leading business intelligence provider, has released its latest research, “Antidepressants
Market to 2018 - Despite Safety Concerns, Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) Continue to
Dominate in the Absence of Effective Therapeutic Alternatives”, which provides insights into the
"...absence of effective therapeutic alternatives"? Haven't they heard that Exposure-and-Response-Prevention Behavioral Therapy has been the effective gold standard
for over 25 years?
("The leading business intelligence provider"? Duhhh... obviously they haven't read our website.)
Creating Future Help for OCD:
- - - Looking for a BIG Way to Help LI People with OCD?: - - -
Attention Owners of TEMPORARILY-VACANT Office space:
We sincerely appreciate the meeting space graciously offered to us over many years by the Mental Health Association in Suffolk County.
To replace the use of their old space for 25 years for our OCD Support Group, we are looking for a donation/loan of space to hold additional group meetings,
and to establish a new, free facility just for people with OCD and anxiety and their families and concerned friends.
One of our dreams has always been to create The Long Island Center for OCD and Anxiety Studies, to be directed by Warren Barlowe, OCD behavioral
therapist and support group facilitator. This new entity will include a lending library, a conference room for guest lecturers and new support groups. It will also
feature classroom space for the first-of-its-kind OCD-IPRT (Intensive Psychiatric Rehabilitation Training; following Persons with Lived Mental Health Experience
-directed recovery models; but based on the original four-domain IPRT concept as introduced at Hofstra University in the 1990's and definitely NOT just a
hangout). We will also offer a computer/ media center, and a CBT therapy training center where therapists in underserved communities in eastern LI, Brooklyn,
Queens and elsewhere can learn the basics of best practices in the treatment of OCD and anxiety. We would also like to offer training in establishing and
facilitating new OCD support groups in underserved communities.
In order to maintain free services, most of the events we intend to offer will be facilitated by volunteers, and the equipment and furnishings will be donated or
purchased from community surplus stores. We may also apply for grants to cover utilities and maintainance. We are looking for a western-Suffolk County or
eastern-Nassau County location with off-street parking and public transportation nearby. This facility may possibly be used as a tax-write-off for the owner.
The story originally appeared in the Nov. 2006 Long Island Press cover story
-IN THE NEWS-
NEW Long Island OCD Support Group!
Open discussion, run by a person successfully recovering from "Pure-O"
(Obsessions without visible compulsions); part of the LI OCD Support Network.
Meets in Suffolk County; Sound Beach. Contact Dan, 516-860-5166. Endorsed and
under supervision by OCD Behavioral Therapist Warren Barlowe.
June 2015 - Warren Barlowe invited AGAIN to speak on Dental Phobia, Fall Semester 2015 to dental
students at SUNY Stony Brook Dental School.
Nov. 2013 - Warren Barlowe invited AGAIN to speak on Dental Phobia, April, 2014 to 2nd-year dental students at
SUNY Stony Brook Dental School. (Original Feb. 5 date snowed out)(See news item below with *)
*Nov. 1, 2012 - Warren Barlowe invited to speak on Dental Phobia at SUNY Stony Brook Dental School.
Addressing a group of about 50 new dental students, Barlowe spoke on February 6, 2013 on the experience of having extreme fears of
the dentist and fears of dental procedures. Much of this came from his own personal experiences of fear, how it originated and
what it feels like to be 'paralyzed' with extreme fear; avoidance, guilt and anticipatory terror in the dental chair. He gave an
introduction to OCD and how it works, and also discussed the dental fear experience from the viewpoint of a person with OCD,
and what the obsessive thoughts were like, and how he resorted to compulsive worrying, rehearsal, touch-don't touch, and
attempting to face making dental appointments and not being able to keep them or go through with them. Feelings of loss of
control, trust, the power dynamic of 'I am the DENTIST, you are just the cowardly patient, do what I tell you and stop complaining,
you big crybaby!' Barlowe felt the students personalized the experience and developed a higher level of sympathy, possibly even
empathy for the patient with phobic reactions.
Nov. 2013 - Barlowe has been invited back to SUNY Stony Brook again to speak in April 2014.
(Future Dental School programs are under consideration where the general public may hear Barlowe speak on
July 30, 2012 - LI OCD Congratulates Dr. Wayne K. Goodman!
Wayne K. Goodman, MD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, has been chosen to receive the 2012 Outstanding
Career Achievement Award from the International OCD Foundation. (PRWeb July 30, 2012)
July 29, 2012 - LIOCD congratulates Dr. Edna Foa!
NEW Long Island OCD Support Group!
Open discussion, run by a person successfully recovering from "Pure-O"
(Obsessions without visible compulsions); part of the LI OCD Support Network.
Meets in Suffolk County; Sound Beach. Contact Dan, 516-860-5166. Endorsed and
under supervision by OCD Behavioral Therapist Warren Barlowe.
We will discuss OCD on the job, and in dealing with family - how to understand a loved one who has OCD and support him/her.
**We will also discuss the much-misunderstood "Pure-O" or 'obsessions without visible compulsions', and how easy it is to overcome this form of OCD.
We will be more than just 'support' - we will teach successful recovery in each meeting.
News Item: Long Island Dental Phobia/Fear Treatment
Feb. 2013 Blog
The dentist found a large cavity today. I am not afraid of having it drilled and filled the next time I visit the dentist.
It is a temporary filling, because the x-rays showed it may need to be replaced or restored. That means ANOTHER dental visit. (I AM concerned about what to do with it, but that's normal.
I'm not really afraid.) Next Wednesday I'm going back for a cleaning.
Update: Feb. 20, 2013: Went for the cleaning today. No problem. Even though the hygienist was very thorough and scraped firmly between my teeth, I felt about the same as if I was getting a haircut.
Was advised I need a night tooth-grind guard, (another appointment). OK, no problem.
How would you like to feel this way about your dentist?
New behavioral therapy process eliminates patients' fear of the dentist, so they don't need sedation.
Many dentists used an injection needle to give IV sedation drugs, or had you inhale a gas to put you to sleep, in an effort to comfort patients' fears.
This new treatment process instead actually ends the fear.
Many of you already are aware that I myself have OCD, which is why I am able to understand and empathize with your struggle, and it is how I am able to design
non-threatening, precision exposure therapy remediation for the most misunderstood rituals. But were you aware that I also suffered from a terrifying fear of the
dentist for over 30 years? And a fear of needles and being put to sleep (losing control).
Over the years of my practice helping people with OCD, I have been studying the psychological mechanics and processes of phobia (fear) behavior. With the assistance
of three of my colleagues, I have developed a new, much more effective technique for the treatment of dental phobia than the popular "solutions". Most dentists claiming
to help dental phobia in reality are just offering sedation. (Read their ads carefully & you'll see that.) I am using specially designed psychological systematic desensitization
phobia exposure therapy approaches to help people on Long Island who suffer from dental phobia to actually eliminate the phobia itself. This technique does not use drugs,
relaxation, music, or having a stranger touch and caress your body. The technique does not intrude into your personal space, and respects your right to privacy by
experiencing it through a trusted friend or family member who has been trained in the technique, rather than having it done to you by an outsider. Thus, no more need for
sedation, no more "soft music", ...just no more fear.
Eager to run tests on the model, I trained one of my colleagues in the use of this new therapy technique. Then I had HER give ME the dental phobia treatment I had designed.
With the assistance of a dentist who was willing to let me experience samples of typical dental operations that my colleague had prepared me for, I put my recovery to the test.
I had successfully overcome my dental phobia in a few weeks, and was able to undergo a complete dental examination, hypodermic needle injections of novocaine/lidocaine,
and the extraction of a damaged wisdom tooth that had bothered me for years! All this while feeling comfortable, calm, and safe in the dentist's chair without sedation.
The technique is somewhat similar in some ways to the daily behavioral therapy I use to help people overcome their OCD, but with many marked differences. Like OCD
behavioral therapy, it does not use hypnotism, nor does it involve any sedation, music or distraction; you are fully awake and aware of the dental work being done. It involves
the help of a trusted friend or family member, who learns the techniques in their entirety, and who then functions as your dental phobia therapist, helping you actually
overcome your fear of the dentist. I talked about this in a panel discussion on Feb. 6, 2013 at SUNY Stony Brook's School of Dental Medicine, as part of the expansion of the
Dental Phobia Clinic.
I happily look forward to the day, in the near future, when people who were once as terrified of the dentist as I was, will be able to completely undergo years of neglected,
necessary dental treatment, feeling comfortable, calm and safe in the dental chair!
We are considering starting a support group, as part of the SUNY Stony Brook Dental Phobia Clinic for people on Long Island with dental phobia, and I am doing some
writing on the new subject.
ps: I am looking forward to having a large cavity drilled and filled the next time I visit the dentist!
Update: Feb. 19, 2013: I DID visit the dentist last week and had that cavity filled!
I was relaxed and comfortable, from getting into the chair, to having the procedure completed! It was emotionally as easy as sitting here and typing this. It is a temporary
filling, because the x-rays showed it may need to be replaced or restored. That means ANOTHER dental visit. (I AM concerned about what to do with it, but that's normal.
I'm not really afraid.) Tomorrow I'm going back for a cleaning.
Update: Feb. 20, 2013: Went for the cleaning today. No problem! Even though the hygienist was very thorough and scraped firmly between my teeth, I felt about the same
as if I was getting a haircut. Was advised I need a night tooth-grind guard, (another appointment). OK, no problem.
Update: May 12, 2013: [Dental work had to be put on hold the past 3 months because of other healthcare concerns.] The dentist examines the xrays of the temporarily-filled
tooth, and tells me it will need to be replaced with a bridge or an implant. I will need to come in for the dentist to take impressions of the surrounding teeth, which will be
the model for a bridge if I decide to go that route. I make the next appointment.
Update, May 18, 2013: Went for impressions this morning. No problem. The dentist and the assistant worked together over me; pressing soft wax or plastic around the teeth
to create impressions for possible bridge details or implant creation. I was relaxed. (It is SO convenient not having to struggle with fear now!)
Update, June 25, 2013: Yesterday I went to the oral surgeon and had the tooth extracted. I actually felt relaxed getting into the chair, and even more relaxed as the assistant
reclined the chair. I was given a local anaesthetic injection which I barely felt because they swabbed the area with something to numb it first. Then the surgeon told me
I'd feel pressure and it might hurt slightly, which is what happened, but not extreme, so he injected more numbing liquid. I was told he was going to stitch up the opening,
which I didn't feel. Then it was over, and I was given after-care instructions.
Update, July, 2013: Went to have a temporary plastic bridge installed. Dentist examined the space left from the extraction, and used a drill to shape the plastic bridge.
He 'prepared' one front tooth (ground it down in size) so the bridge would cap it. This tooth had been cracked in a fall when I was about 10, and had darkened considerably.
He made some final shaping adjustments to the bridge, then cemented it over the prepared tooth. It looks very similar to the other natural teeth, and unless you knew it was
a bridge, you'd think it was natural. Now I have a really nice smile for the first time in over 50 years!
Update, April 4, 2014: This Monday I'm going back to the dentist to have the permanent bridge installed. (The temporary bridge fell out a few times over the months,
neccesitating a few visits to the dentist to have it cemented back into place.) The last time I came in, they again took impressions for the permanent piece. The dentist
also had to re-shape the next tooth, with the drill, so the bridge would have more support. Yes...I was tense...but that faded and I had no problem with it!
Any questions on this subject will be answered by Warren Barlowe; call my Dental Phobia Helpline at (631) 486-4818, or (631) 708-2092 (Don't worry - I'm NOT a dentist.)
I'm here for you.
I would be happy to speak to groups on the new work.
Update: Nov. 2013 - Barlowe again invited to speak on dental fear at SUNY Stony Brook Dental School panel discussion March, 2014 for new dental students.
Update: April 25, 2012: Barlowe invited to incorporate his therapy research work into SUNY program.
For the past 2 years, Barlowe has been doing new research in the field of phobic anxiety as it pertains to one of the most common and terrifying fears: the fear of going
to the dentist. He developed a protocol for reduction of dental fears, built upon state-of-the-art exposure-and-relaxation therapy techniques. Barlowe first studied the
underlying concepts in the phobia and anxiety therapy he was trained in, as an intern at Peninsula Counseling Center's Anxiety and Phobia Reduction Center.
Upon hearing of the new work in April 2012, Dr. Mark Slovin, DDS, Director of SUNY Stony Brook's School of Dentistry Phobia Clinic has asked Mr. Barlowe to share
his new techniques with their dental interns as part of the expansion and enhancement of the School's behavioral component. Barlowe has spoken on the new work in a
University Dental School panel discussion.
Update: November 1, 2012: Barlowe invited to speak at SUNY Stony Brook Dental School panel discussion February 6, 2013 for new dental students.
(Future Stony Brook Dental School presentations are under consideration where the general public may hear Barlowe speak on the subject.
Barlowe is also glad to speak to YOUR group on this subject.)
Addressing a group of about 50 new students, I talked about the experience of having extreme fears of the dentist and fears of dental procedures. Much of this came
from my own personal fears, how they originated and what it feels like to be 'paralyzed' with extreme fear; avoidance, guilt and anticipatory terror in the dental chair.
I gave an introduction to OCD and how it works, and also discussed the dental fear experience from the viewpoint of a person with OCD, and what the obsessive thoughts
were like, and how I resorted to compulsive worrying, rehearsal, touch-don't touch, and attempting to face making dental appointments and not being able to keep them
or go through with them. Feelings of loss of control, trust, the power dynamic of 'I am the DENTIST, you are just the cowardly patient, do what I tell you and stop
complaining, you big crybaby!' I feel the students personalized the experience and developed a higher level of sympathy, possibly even empathy for the patient with
Enjoy the Summer of 2015 with FEWER OCD SYMPTOMS! 4 weeks of therapy
can begin to make the difference! Call 631-486-4818 or (631) 708-2092
LONG ISLAND PRESS 9/28/06 Cover Story:
"Secret Suffering": The Press Discovers Our OCD Support Group for Adults &
***The Long Island OCD Support
The Long Island Press REPRINTED our 2006 story:
Or read the story in the new book "Alphabet Kids" by Robbie Woliver
***Long Island NY Open Discussion OCD Support Group is now meeting in Sound Beach.
warm, supportive conversations and Success Stories!
(NOTE CHANGE: We are now meeting in Sound Beach.)
We'll reveal the answers in our group meeting!)
PLEASE CALL to REGISTER FIRST: (631)-860-5166 (so I know how many chairs we need) presented by Long Island OCD Support
Network: LI OCD Support Group now meets in Sound Beach. Free open discussion group,
Please call first, or email me by clicking HERE & I'll call you back! Thanks!
Example of Incorrect OCD treatment:
STRESS ALERT: OUR OCD MAY TEMPORARILY INCREASE due to our personal emotional responses to the storms, the news, the economy, and any new
changes in your own life.
People should be discussing how to deal with these concerns in support groups and in therapy. For help using Rational Emotive Therapy (RET) to handle
these responses, contact Barlowe.
(Warren is NOT IN Chatroom right now.) Enter Chatroom by right-clicking HERE , then click "Open in New Window".
Note: The blank space below this point is a problem with the software. We are working to correct this. Please scroll down a few inches to where our website continues
after the blank space.
AT LAST! WE NOW HAVE FEDERAL Mental Health Insurance Parity! Click here.
Our group will discuss it.
Looking for the OCD Foundation? www.ocfoundation.org 203-315-2190 Fax: 203-315-2196 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
[Note: WE are not the OCFoundation]
Help for Seniors
Are you a senior who would like help paying for your Medicare benefits and prescription drugs? Free assistance
is only a phone call away if you qualify for extra help because of limited income. There may be a way to alleviate some
of the cost of Medicare – deductibles and coinsurance, Part B premiums, prescription drug plans (Part D). Reducing monthly
premiums, annual deductibles and co-payments, aiding with coverage gaps (the doughnut hole). To learn more call a LIS/HHS (Low
Income Subsidy from US Dept. of HHS) counselor from Family & Children’s, a community of caring. 485-3425, ext. 222.
We would like to let you know about a new resource available for people who suffer with the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
There is a 12-step TELEPHONE group called Obsessive Compulsive Addicts Anonymous (OCAA) that is
available for both men and women that suffer with OCD. We are based on the steps and principles of Alcoholics Anonymous.
We value each other’s anonymity and our meetings are currently open to people who suffer from the disease,
although we welcome contact from family and friends. We have a weekly phone conference call
that is held each Sunday at 7pm EST. The phone number is (218) 339-2694 and PIN 349956. The conference call is free
Support Groups for Hoarders: Clutterers Anonymous
Thursdays 1:00-2:30 PM ~ United Methodist Church, 265 Asbury Ave, Westbury 1st & 3rd Fri, 7:30-9:00PM~
Community Reformed Church, 90 Plandome Rd, Manhasset.
Mon eves, 7:00-8:30PM~ Plainview-Old Bethpage Lib, 999 Old Country Road, Plainview.
Name: Duffy Spencer. Phone Number: 516-334-8985
Clutterers Anonymous (CLA)
A 12-step self-help group, offers help and support to those who have clutter problems in their homes or
workplace. Meets at the following locations: Thursdays, 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the United Methodist Church,
265 Asbury Ave, Westbury first and third Friday, 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the School of the Community Reformed
Church, 90 Plandome Rd, Manhasset. Monday evenings, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Plainview-Old Bethpage Library, 999
Old Country Road, Plainview. There are no dues or fees. For more information, call 866-800-3881.
New Dating Service JUST for Persons with Lived Experience with Mental Health issues! Totally Free & easy to use, & allows you to identify
NEW ARTICLES ON OCD: As of June 25, 2013 :
(I receive 'alerts' for many more articles than I list here on our website. I read them, and ONLY IF I feel they
have correct, current, useful information of value to our readers, I post links to them here. Recent,
newly-posted items will have "NEW" in front of them.)
[To see an article's address, right-click it (or its "Click Here" ) & click "Properties".]
make this app ineffective:
Barlowe's Review: The app has provisions to create your ERP practice hierarchy, but it does not ask you the questions about anxiety
levels neccesary for constructing a workable plan for recovery. Effective OCD ERP should have you gauge the levels of anxiety you would
experience from each compulsion if you couldn't do the ritual. This is the only way to arrange your exposure steps in the order that will
encourage you and promote success, so you don't become frustrated and tempted to quit therapy. (This is often the reason clients quit
Another problem with the system is that it asks you to set the amount of time you will practice facing the anxiety of exposure. You can
only know this by doing the actual exposure and self-rating your anxiety on an imaginary 1-10 scale. And to make things even worse,
it offers you relaxation techniques to do while you are waiting for this exposure anxiety level to come down. This is totally
counterproductive because if you relax during your exposure, you will lose the benefit of experiencing the exposure, and you will not
re-train your brain to tolerate the anxiety that drives you to feel you have to perform the compulsive behavior.
In addition, the app does not remind you how many times per day to practice. Not practicing enough daily is another major reason why
some clients experience failure in their attempt to recover, and if this is not instructed by the therapist, it is often why some therapists
cannot achieve success with their clients.
An app that makes it possible to structure your OCD therapy correctly would be a major breakthrough in making effective therapy more
available and more affordable. We are still awaiting this.
Another offering, in the form of a book, claims to help you get control over your OCD and even "cure" it. There's no mention of
Exposure-and-Response-Prevention (ERP) behavioral therapy being used here at all. 'Cure' is a
...but here's a few books you might find helpful. ...and a book I recommend for relapse prevention AFTER RECOVERY. (I do not suggest trying these techniques as primary therapy.)
OCD Virtual Behavioral Therapy from $30.00/weekly session. If you can't afford to go to therapy, but you can follow instructions and do your
many people with OCD by phone throughout the USA, Canada, and Brazil. A few openings currently exist. Call the number above
to see if this may be right for you. (See 2 articles below.)
Article on On-line Therapy in the Journal of the American Medical Association: (See Above)
"Researchers Provide Psychiatric Care From Afar" by Tracy Hampton, PhD (In Print only; not online. JAMA. 2006;295:21-23.)
Center helps Queens Parents Negotiate Mental Health System Click Here
Living w/love & chaos/child w/several llnesses plus ocd;with video.Click here
Radio & TV Shows on OCD:
"Out of control": TV documentary shows that when saving turns to hoarding,
clutter can consume your home & life:
"Packed House," produced by former San Diego newscaster Jody Hammond
Free Anxiety & Depression Screenings Every Monday 3-4pm S. Nassau Communities Hospital Mental Health Counseling Center.
Meet Friends with OCD through the Friendship Network. CLICK HERE.
2 NEW FREE Singles Dating Services (meet someone also with ocd? COMPLETELY FREE):
Help Find the Cure! Click here for OCD Research projects to get involved with.
OCD CHATROOMS: 24/7, OCD chat w/people worldwide. Free, w/ moderated discussions several times a week.CLICK HERE or go to Healthyplace.com at
FREE COMPUTER TRAINING for internet. Click here for the Mental Health Association in Suffolk County. Ask about "Electronic Empowerment".
OCD Behavioral Therapy with Warren. Click here. Outpatient office visits, or therapy by phone for those who live far away.