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OCD And Behaviour Problems

Question:

Our son suffers from ocd and this causes behaviour problems. He is on medication for this, he is taking seroxat and risperdal for this. We are so desperate for somebody to help us. The doctors say that they dont know what to do, and say he should be taken away and put in a young offenders centre because he hits his mother. He is not happy with the way her voice comes out and makes her cough all the while. He is also wants things so perfect and tidy. If things dont go right he gets angry and hits out. Please please help us. Is there any other treatment or therapy that could help us. Thank-you

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  • Dr. Dombeck responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
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Answer:

Yes there is. While medications are often the front line in helping children (and adults) with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), behavioral treatments can also help very much in establishing order in the household. You want to look around for a child psychologist trained in the ‘behavioral’ or ‘cognitive-behavioral’ paradigm. Such a psychologist would likely be able to help you learn how to handle your son so that you reinforce good behavior and do not reinforce problem behavior (such as the hitting). Just to allay your fears (if you have any) – physical punishment is not used in this sort of procedure. Rather, the psychologist helps you to identify what your child finds reinforcing and teaches you how to selectively remove that thing in such a way that your child will behave in order to get it back. Behavioral training is not an easy thing to do – as it relies on you as parents to do the work and there is little room for error, but it is pretty effective when it is done correctly. Good luck and my wishes for success in finding and implementing such a course of treatment.

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