Two and a half years ago, I had an opportunity to attend the OCD Gamechangers conference in Denver, Colorado, where I met a man from Cheyenne, Wyoming who was around the same age as me. I quickly learned that he had similar experiences with OCD “intrusive thoughts” and even had an onset of the condition around the same time as I did. Moreover, our themes were considered relatively taboo, and we both did mental compulsions in futile attempts to stop the thoughts, alleviate distress, and regain normalcy in our lives to no avail.
The only difference between our experiences, though, was that I was able to get effective treatment years prior by seeing a licensed therapist with extensive training in OCD and Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), while he was still crippled by OCD. When contrasting our experiences, the underlying question became obvious, although unspoken: how could two individuals who were about the same age, shared many of the same interests, and had similar awareness levels about OCD and ERP treatment have such different roads to recovery?
The answer: we lived in different states. He lived in Wyoming and didn’t have access to an ERP therapist; I lived in San Antonio, Texas when my OCD symptoms onset – a place where an ERP therapist practiced right down the street. Although he had the resources to begin treatment, even while living in 21st century America he couldn’t find an available ERP specialist given the state-by-state mental health licensing laws and scarcity of ERP-trained providers in the state of Wyoming.
Upon further reflection on the plane ride home, I asked myself, “what if that man from the conference had an ERP Therapist right down the street, like me? Would he have also been able to learn how to manage his OCD intrusive thoughts and regain his life? What could he have accomplished over the past four years if it wasn’t for his OCD? What would happen if you could access a licensed therapist who’s trained in OCD and ERP in days, not months or years, from anywhere?” The questions became a catalyst for ideation, ultimately fueling the creation of NOCD Therapy – a telehealth service providing live face-to-face ERP Therapy and always-on support for people with OCD, no matter where they live.
I’m proud to announce that my team and I at NOCD have reached a major milestone in that mission: NOCD Therapy can now be easily accessed by people with OCD in all 50 states. When you sign up for NOCD Therapy, you can guarantee that your licensed therapist is trained in OCD and ERP by our clinical leadership team AND is a licensed mental health therapist in your state. Our goal is to get you connected with a therapist as soon as possible after signing up. Today, more than 90% of people with OCD are seen within 2 weeks of booking their first appointment.
Gone are the days where people with OCD can’t access ERP therapy because they live in a state where there aren’t enough licensed therapists that specialize in ERP, or where the specialists don’t have availability for months. It’s an accomplishment that was made possible by the hard work of our team, and the many people in the community who have supported us over the years.
Next stop: we’re working to make sure that ALL people with OCD, regardless of where they live OR how much money they make, can access effective ERP Therapy, covered by insurance – no matter which insurance plan they have.
If you or someone you know is struggling with OCD, you can schedule a free call today with the NOCD clinical team to learn more about how a licensed therapist can help. At NOCD, all therapists specialize in OCD and receive ERP-specific training. ERP is most effective when the therapist conducting the treatment has experience with OCD and training in ERP.