Pro Bono Consultations

About Dr. Komor 

About Mind/Body Consultant Services and Protocols 

The Center for Work Addiction Recovery 

New Patient Information and Forms 

Provider Registration 

Library & Articles 

The Bookstore 

Pay for Session 

Join the Newsletter! 

Contact us 

Links and Fun Stuff 

Woman in a black suit looking at the menu options

Logo: OCD Recovery Center

Self-Care and Tools for OCD Recovery

  1. Stress Management
    1. Sleep Hygiene
    2. Daily schedule: Time management, pacing, balance, breaks
    3. Self-ownership
    4. Morning feelings
    5. Assertive Communication (especially helpful for those with obsessions of harming others)
    6. Financial Balance
    7. Avoidance of major and multiple stressors

  2. Diet
    1. Avoid sugar and refined foods
    2. Avoid caffeine

  3. Relaxation Response Training
    1. Breathing
      1. Slower, deeper, more conscious
      2. Select your technique
      3. Tongue placement
    2. Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR)
    3. Autogenics
    4. Meditation

  4. Special Resources
    1. Books and tapes
    2. Yoga
    3. Prayer / Higher Power
    4. Centering practice
    5. Cranial Electrical Stimulation (CES)
    6. Tai Chi and Qigong
    7. Aerobic exercise
    8. Anxiety Self-Care Protocol

  5. Phytomedicinal and Nutritional Resources
    1. Free Form Amino-Acid Complex
    2. Omega-3 Fatty Acid
    3. B-100 Complex
    4. Gamma-aminobutyric Acid (GABA)
    5. N,N-Dimethylglycine
    6. Inositol
    7. 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophane (5-HTP)
    8. St. John's Wort (Hypericum Perforatum)
    9. Valerian Root Extract
    10. Passion Flower
    11. Kava Kava
    12. Chamomile Tea
    13. Hops
    14. Lemon Balm
    15. DHEA

  6. Support Systems
    1. Enabling versus support
    2. Core family
    3. Friends
    4. Colleagues
    5. Support group
    6. Internet
    7. Organizations and newsletters
      1. OC Foundation (203-315-2190)
      2. OCD Foundation of Michigan (313-438-3293)
      3. Awareness Foundation

  7. Cognitive Self-Talk
    1. Mediation
    2. Thought Stopping
      1. Head shake
      2. Rubber band
    3. Onboard reminders
    4. Decreasing overvalued ideation
    5. Brain noise and detaching
    6. See "Some Thoughts on the Art of Living with OCD"

  8. Obsession-Specific Tools
    1. Encourage the person to feel and express their feelings (tears, anger, fear). Try and redirect attention away from:
      1. Ruminations and obsessive thoughts
      2. Verbal reassurance seeking
      3. Analyzing the OCD
    2. Focus on the positive behaviors that the person has rather than the OCD.
    3. "Overperform" the ritual in order to drive it into extinction.
    4. Provide rewards for any and all progress.
    5. For obsessional slowness and getting "stuck":
      1. Thought stopping ("STOP")
      2. Thought backtracking to the present
      3. Rubber band technique
      4. Demonstrate behavior
      5. Focus on motor intention and sensory-motor cues while performing ritual in slow motion
    6. The primary skill needed to transcend obsessions is to shift your focus inward (through centering, physical techniques, etc.) and then actively relax
    7. Feelings versus thoughts
    8. Always de-escalate
    9. Detaching and letting go
    10. Keeping focus on self
    11. Disinhibition and spontaneity
    12. Non-doing
    13. Saying "No" to shoulds
    14. Self-love and internal respect
    15. Choices and "wanting to"
    16. "So what" - Lighten up!
    17. Head Shake Technique
    18. Let go of perfection
    19. Be unilateral versus dependent
    20. Be kind to yourself - especially about your OCD
    21. Live in the now
    22. Accept everything
    23. Appropriate expectations
    24. Wandering exercise
    25. Encourage a "Just be and don't think." Approach on a continual basis. OCD lives in the mind. Redirect the person to experiences versus thoughts.
    26. Change the setting. Take a day off and go to the beach, grandparents, visiting friends, hiking, etc. Make note of positive changes experienced and take these experiential learning's back to the regular routine.

  9. Surrender to the feeling (anxiety) instead of staying numb by doing the OCD. OCD covaries low self-esteem and not finding your voice. OCD is the final expression of self-denial - shoulds lead to OCD! That is what depression is about (losing your spontaneous energy!)

  10. If you do a "behavior" - at least follow it with an "exposure".

  11. Reduce pressure related to change by:
    1. Decreasing expectations.
    2. Following common routines.
    3. Reducing life stressors. (Cancel a few, but not all, activities.)
    4. Making sure person knows that they control speed and direction of treatment.

  12. Increase physical activities which are not OCD-laden such as:
    1. Aerobics
    2. Sports
    3. Recreation
    4. Walks
    5. Bike rides
    6. Special practices such as yoga, qigong, etc.

  13. Remember that anxiety drive or fuels OCD. Find ways of relaxing actively and deliberately such as:
    1. Back rubs
    2. Hot baths
    3. Breathing techniques
    4. "Relaxation dots" and ques
    5. Special practices such as biofeedback, autogenics, meditation, guided imagery

Copyright 1999 by Christian R. Komor, Psy.D.

Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Accessibility Statement