The Role of Art Therapy in OCD in Teens 

OCD in teens

A recent article by Psych Central discussed the role of art therapy in OCD in teens. Generally, treatment for OCD in teens consists of Exposure and Response Prevention. It follows a specific protocol that is followed closely by a trained therapist. However, many sources are starting to support the use of Art Therapy techniques being used within the parameters of ERP to augment treatment for individuals who suffer with intrusive thoughts.

The Benefits of Art Therapy

OCD in teens can especially benefit from art therapy. Many youths who are newly diagnosed with OCD may not be fully aware of the extent of their symptoms. Art therapy can be used as a tool to help them better understand their illness. Drawing has been particularly helpful in helping youth better understand their diagnosis. It often spurs new insights that they may have not considered before. Incorporating this along with a therapeutic setting can often open up discussions with therapists.

At times, OCD in teens can cause such intrusive thoughts that teens struggle verbalizing them. Verbalizing them is one of the most important steps in beginning treatment. Using art can help an individual being to express intrusive thoughts without having to verbalize them yet, ultimately leading to the progress of treatment and them eventually being able to talk about it.

A Gradual Process

Individuals should never be pushed too express more than they are comfortable. It’s important that they go at their own pace and use art materials that don’t expose them too rapidly to an intrusive thought. Art therapy works along with traditional therapies for OCD in teens because it offers a gradual progression in therapy. Having youth gradually come to terms with their fears and intrusive thoughts is believed to be the best way to create long-lasting solutions.

If you or your teen are dealing with OCD in teens, there are programs available that can help.

Elevations RTC can help

Elevations RTC is a leading residential treatment center for teens, ages 13 to 18, grappling with anxiety, depression, substance use, and other emotional or behavioral issues. As a residential treatment center for teens, we try to go above and beyond other RTC’s by having not only one on-site psychiatrist, but two practitioners who see each student weekly. We also have an academic component that uses an accredited curriculum and licensed/credentialed teachers. With all of this, we strive to give each student the most efficient and beneficial experience possible.

For more information about Elevations RTC, please call today!

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