I told my friends I can’t do the trip, which is a weight off :).
I’ve decided I need to look into alternate options for a psychologist since the place I found is taking a while to find space for me, and besides their profile didn’t mention ‘ERP’ which is a critical checkmark for determining an OCD specialist’s competence. There’s a website called OCD Action which has a section on finding a therapist.
Again I was kind of resigning myself to settling for less because I actually haven’t seen anybody mention ERP yet in any of my research, even though it’s such a core concept in all OCD resources (websites, podcasts). And technically it’s a subset of CBT yet if you are truly an OCD specialist there’s no way you can avoid the topic of ERP. You wouldn’t be so vague about it. ERP is scientifically proven as an effective core strategy with OCD.
This complicated nature of the search for an OCD therapist (with associated pitfalls) is itself described on OCD Action as a common problem experienced by OCD sufferers in the UK. I’m not the only one who’s had to learn these things. When a therapist mentions that they have ‘experience’ in treating OCD, it actually means nothing. You can’t learn about OCD and OCD treatment strategies indirectly or by accident— it takes targeted, persistent study. You’re either an OCD specialist or you’re not, and it’s actually pretty irresponsible to attempt to treat OCD without being one, given the severe nature and pathology of the condition. I have a psychologist friend who’s been invaluable in helping to raise and discuss some of these points.
Sorry for the clickbaity title, it actually made me feel a bit sick to type it but seemed the most appropriate.