Respond by providing one alternative therapeutic approach. Explain why you suggest this alternative and support your suggestion with evidence-based literature and/or your own experiences with clients.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is one of the personality disorders under the DSM-5 framework. An individual with this type of disorder tends to exhibit an insistent need for order and perfectionism. They avoid social situations, lack healthy social skills, struggle to maintain emotions such as anger, are rigid in expressing their emotions, and also progress towards being depressed and anxious. This tends to trickle down to their daily living habits. For instance, one can be found to hoard items that are unnecessary in their home. This disorder is common, and most people are not aware they have this type of diagnosis.
Treating OCPD involves both therapeutic methods and the administration of psychotropic medications. One of the effective approaches is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which is the general method used by most mental health professionals to treat mental illness. This type of treatment must promote the rehabilitation and development of social niches relevant to the personality profile of the patient (Paris, 2004). The approach requires helping the patient to have a healthy view of feelings and behaviors towards perfectionism as well as their rigid view of relationships. This, in turn, helps the patient adopt healthy and positive behaviors, thoughts, and attitudes as well as coping mechanisms. As it is a complex condition, it also requires the integration of psychotropic medications such as stimulants, antipsychotics, and benzodiazepines. This highlights how much is invested in managing and treating mental illness. Dixon-Gordon et al. (2011) reiterate by highlighting on the assessment of 33 RCTs of which only five RCTs evaluated the efficacy of treatments for Cluster C personality disorders, and there were no RCTs for Cluster A personality disorders for testing efficacy of treatment.
When communicating the diagnosis to an OCPD patient, the therapist needs to adopt an agreeable and nonjudgmental attitude. I would give my patient sufficient time to process the information and to ask much as they want regarding the nature of the condition and would as well seek my patient’s perception of the condition. I would ensure that I thoroughly take my patient through every aspect associated with the condition, including stigma. This is because such a patient always believes to be right. Thus, when reporting their diagnosis, it is important to be armed with the research and evidence they have about the condition. This will help them accept the diagnosis and the various treatment options for OCD and settle on the treatment option of their preference. The therapist also needs to give them the freedom as well as guide in choosing the best treatment plan because such a patient tends to overanalyze and thus struggles to decide. At this point, it is essential to prevent premature termination through therapist judgment which helps the therapist to establish the effectiveness of the therapy goals and the completion of the therapy process (Swift & Greenberg, 2015).
Dixon-Gordon, K. L., Turner, B. J., & Chapman, A. L. (2011). Psychotherapy for personality disorders. International Review of Psychiatry, 23(3), 282-302. DOI:10.3109/09540261.2011.586992
Paris, J. (2004). Personality disorders over time: implications for psychotherapy. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 58(4), 420-429.
Swift, J.K., & Greenberg, R.P. (2015). What is premature termination in psychotherapy: Strategies for engaging clients and improving outcomes (pp. 11–31). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. DOI:10.1037/14469-002