It’s true: I know a fair amount about OCD. I experienced it for 20 years, I successfully went through ERP therapy, I wrote an (unpublished) novel about a character who struggled from it, I am part of the leadership team for OCD Twin Cities, and I blog about it regularly.
But I’m not a therapist.
I’m only a resource. I can tell others what I know, what I’ve experienced, what to look for in an ERP therapist, what books might be helpful, etc. But I cannot walk them, hand-in-hand, through exposure therapy. I have to remind others AND MYSELF of this. Often.
To those of you who blog about OCD and ERP, do you have this same problem? How do you handle it?
For (lots!) more about OCD and ERP, go to jackieleasommers.com/OCD.
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I have gotten a lot of emails asking for insight and help. I try to be a resource, too, and emphasize that I can only speak from my experience.
I think it’s all we can do … which is still a lot!
I let people know “I’m not a therapist” often. I don’t even have first person experience with the disorder, but because I blog about OCD, people sometimes think I must be an expert. I’m far from it, and always try to point people toward the real experts. Good post, Jackie!
Thanks, Janet! I also often feel this pressing need to reply to people’s emails IMMEDIATELY, because I can understand the intensity of what they’re going through and the way they are deeply seeking relief. Sometimes I have to just tell myself, “No, this can wait another day.”
Great post Jackie
I too remind everyone that I’m not a therapist or expert. In fact, I have it plastered all over every page of my blog ha!
But I’m a “fixer” and I genuinely worry about the people who contact me. I have literally cried over some of them. But I also know that I must compartmentalize this stuff because I absolutely cannot fix it or solve it for them. Nor can I do the hard work of ERP for them. Nor can I want it for them. And I can’t let it affect my own life. But sometimes it’s really hard not to carry their pain or sadness. I just try to be a supportive resource to the best of my ability as a fellow sufferer.
I’m really glad you posted this. I’ve been thinking through this a lot lately. Glad to see I’m not the only one with this stuff on my mind.
I have to compartmentalize too– sometimes when I don’t do that well, I’ll end up bawling over the emails that I get!
We have to remind each other of this!