Treating obsessive compulsive disorder in just 4 days? Researchers tout intensive method

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Psychologists and professors Gerd Kvale and Bjarne Hansen have developed a treatment program that helps patients get rid of their obsessive-compulsive disorder, also called OCD, in four days.

“Now, more than 2000 people have been helped. The articles we have published show that 90 per cent have clear improvement after four days. Four years later, 70 per cent no longer suffer from the disorder and are living normal lives,” Kvale said.

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At the four-day courses, patients are first taught about anxiety disorders. They then practice in difficult situations with the therapist. They continue to practice in the evening on their own, and are followed up by phone and SMS.

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Someone who is terrified of germs may need to grab the handle in a public toilet and spread dirt around the house while she or he listens to audio recordings with frightening thoughts like, “now you’ll get sick and infect your family”.

However, some people will need longer treatment, [said Patrick A. Vogel is professor emeritus at NTNU’s Department of Psychology.]

“Early trauma, for example, is not so easy to treat, but it’s good nevertheless to help the patient shed their compulsive symptoms, so that treatments can be given a try. But there must be offers for patients who need more time, too,” he says.

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