Unwanted thoughts and OCD

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Unwanted thoughts and OCD

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a disorder in which the child is suffering from unwanted thoughts. That is, a thought comes into the child's mind along the lines of, "What if I say something bad about my mother, something terrible will happen to her today." "What if I tell my father I didn't like the way he spoke to me, he might get in a car accident and something bad could happen." So Obsessive Compulsive Disorder are characterized by a lot of self-doubt, characterized by thought intrusions where most kids know are not true, but they can't help it anyway. Some children have a thought that goes through their mind that goes, I will keep my family safe if I line up all of the toy soldiers on the edge of my bed, or, my mom won't get hurt if I go through a ritual with her and say things like, "Mommy, tell me that you love me back." "I love you." "Now tell me two times that this is going to happen and this is going to happen." They really use that as a means of warding off anxiety. The difficulty is that it really does two things. It temporarily reduces anxiety, but it also increases anxiety because they now have a ritual that they feel like they have to do in an exact way. If they don't do it in the exact way, they will feel like they will be punished, or something bad will happen to someone they know.

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Alan Yellin, PhD


Dr. Alan Yellin is a licensed psychologist as well as licensed marriage and family therapist.  He has been in practice for over 30 years working with children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Yellin did his post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. In his practice, he sees children with learning problems, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, fears and social skills issues. Additionally, he has a sub-specialty in working with children from divorced families as well as helping parents deal more effectively with their divorce. Dr. Yellin’s practice also includes working with adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive issues as well as issues around life passages. Dr. Yellin believes that therapy works best when the client and therapist have a collaborative relationship as they explore thoughts and feelings and work towards solutions, and uses a combination of scientific data along with humor to help people achieve change. He is in a long-term happy marriage and has two grown children.

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