Hello Brave one!


As our loved ones with OCD struggle, we in turn struggle with how best to support them. We learn in therapy that our usual go to phrases and gestures can lead to reassurance seeking behaviors or aid the OCD. So what’s a person to do?

Talk together and come up with a plan on how the person with OCD would like to be encouraged and validated when they are struggling. Make sure your words are authentic and heart felt.

“You can do this!”

“Remember your skills.”

“Check in with your body and your breath.”

“You are strong!”

Encourage your loved one by simple and short phrases. After a difficult moment or a challenging experience, validate them by acknowledging their success.

“You did a great job practicing mindfulness today!”

“That exposure seemed very scary.”

“I noticed you went to work after the panic attack this morning. Wow!”

Supporting your loved one also means celebrating these successes with rewards. Rewards encourage change. Just like it is important to acknowledge when things are hard, it is important to acknowledge our work in overcoming obstacles. Rewards should be planned, agreed upon ahead of time and proportional to the achievement.

Three simple words to remember ways you can support your loved one: ENCOURAGEMENT, VALIDATION, REWARDS.


Stay brave!

The OCD MN Team