Who are we?
We are a group of therapists dedicated to helping adolescents, teens and adults cope with most types of anxiety disorders. Many of our therapists are also trained to help individuals who are struggling with depression, PTSD, mood and eating disorders that are often manifested by increased anxiety. Our therapists come from a variety of backgrounds and aim to deliver top-notch, empathetic care to individuals across New Jersey. We pride ourselves on being transparent about interventions we use by providing detailed explanations about our strategies and the science behind mental illnesses. Additionally, we ask for continuous feedback from our clients to track improvements, plateaus and relapses in symptoms so that we can modify our treatment plans
How is Guided Journey CC different?
We offer practical solutions and tools to help you navigate distressing problems and reduce your anxiety, in addition to standard talk therapy
We don't tell you what to do. We will guide you towards a decision that is best for you based on your goals. We do not impose our views on you
We cater therapy to your goals based on what you'd like to get out of sessions, instead of imposing treatment interventions on you
Common Subtypes of OCD: Brief overviews
*Please note that the following is not used to diagnose individuals*
In order for someone to meet the criteria for an OCD diagnosis, one must have a significant interference in quality of life due to the obsessions and compulsions.
-Contamination OCD: In this subtype, individuals may fear contact with bacteria or may worry about infecting someone they care about with an illness.
Individuals may clean surfaces meticulously, repeatedly washing hands. This behavior may cause significant distress and can take up significant chunks of the day.
-Harm OCD: People who struggle with harm OCD are deeply disturbed by thoughts or images of harm happening to them or anyone else. Individuals may repeatedly call their loved ones for affirmation that they're still alive or may say certain words in an attempt to stop harm from happening. The persistent obsessive thoughts of harm severely disrupt the individual's relationships and general wellbeing.
-Relationship OCD: Individuals experiencing this type of OCD might feel higher levels of uncertainty in their relationships and become fixated on whether their partner is the right person for them or if their partner truly loves them. They may repeatedly research relationship articles online, ask for reassurance in their relationship frequently or obsessively ruminate over situations that occurred long ago in their relationship. This type of behavior may negatively impact the relationship and cause tension and arguments with their partner.
-"Just Right" OCD: People in this sub group may have an intense feeling that things must be "just right." Individuals might need to make things perfect or adjust objects in the room frequently for no apparent reason. The feelings and behaviors associated with this subtype can interfere with concentration and may make seemingly simple tasks much more complicated.
-Pure-O OCD: People in this category may feel like they have obsessions without any compulsions. The obsessions may include thoughts about sex, religion, harm, relationships, etc. However, the compulsion in this case may be suppressing thoughts or avoiding certain people, places of situations. It is believed that pure-o OCD does not actually exist.
There are more subtypes of OCD so don't worry if you don't see anything that you relate to. The right therapist will be able to identify your needs and support you regardless of the subtype.
What is anxiety?
Your palms are cold and sweaty and you can feel your heart racing. Your hands and feet are tingling from the adrenaline rush and you want to hide or run away. Your stomach is in knots and you feel nauseous and dizzy. You sense impending danger and you fear that something horrible can happen at any moment. You’re face to face with a lion and its eyes are watching your every move. You know you need to escape.
Long ago, anxiety was practical and even useful for our ancestors’ survival. It helped warn and prepare our body to flee, preserving all of our energy by reducing our need to eat, sleep and socialize with others. Unfortunately, this biological instinct ingrained in all of us can often flare up when we don’t need it and can make us feel as though there is imminent danger.
Many disorders that seem unrelated to anxiety actually stem from an overactive sympathetic nervous system. For example, depression is often a result of a heightened state of anxiety. When there is an overwhelming amount of emotions and high levels of stress for a prolonged period of time, the brain compensates by preserving energy and numbing our emotions. OCD is almost always rooted in anxiety because individuals often fear that they are responsible for their own fate and the fate of others in their lives. Obsessive thoughts and compulsions are unsuccessful attempts at alleviating anxiety and feeling in control of their futures.
If you are experiencing any symptoms of anxiety, you are not alone. You don't have to live in constant fear, ruminating over the past, present or future. We have tools that can help you with whatever you are going through.
What To Expect in Therapy
We believe that each person’s circumstances are unique, so we develop a personalized treatment plan for your specific goals and needs. We usually incorporate ERP(Exposure Response Prevention) therapy for clients with social anxiety, OCD and various phobias. ERP encourages each client to face their fears by gradually exposing them to anxiety-inducing situations that they can tolerate, with the help of a clinician. We know that avoiding situations that make us nervous sends a signal to our brain that the situation is a threat. Therefore, we become even more anxious each time we avoid a stressful situation because our brain begins to associate it with danger. The key to reducing our fear is by continuously engaging in anxiety-inducing situations and desensitizing our negative feelings towards it; thus, ERP therapy is highly effective(estimating at around 65-85%) at reducing OCD, social anxiety and other phobias.
Many of our therapists also use mindfulness training by implementing meditations, deep breathing and muscle relaxation exercises in therapy. We know that our physical and mental wellbeing are inherently connected so by relaxing our physical body, we send a message to our mind that there is no threat. Studies show that meditations and breathing exercises can improve memory and decrease depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and ADHD symptoms. We help our clients find the best way to unplug and reconnect with their bodies.
Additionally, every therapist on our team will use a wide range of approaches such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, narrative therapy, movement therapy, play therapy, etc. If you've never heard of these approaches, we will be happy to explain them to you in your first session!
These interventions help support you during difficult times, reframe and restructure any negative thought patterns, find replacements for unhealthy behaviors and bring awareness to maladaptive thoughts(if there are any). Ask your therapist about any intervention to find out more!