Ep. 153: Understanding Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) with Dr. Jesse Spiegel

Oct 3, 2023 | 0 comments

Over the last few years, we’ve seen a noticeable increase in anxiety and anxiety disorders in children and adolescents. And we’ve talked about anxiety many times on the Diverse Thinking Different Learning Podcast. But one thing we haven’t discussed yet is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or OCD. This is a topic that has been requested by listeners and I’m thrilled to have found today’s guest, Dr. Jesse Spiegel, an expert on OCD.

Everyone has had the occasional concern about misplacing something or has had a fear of germs or contamination. Sometimes we have a need to order and arrange things in a particular way. But when these thoughts and behaviors become intense and begin to interfere with life, they may indicate OCD. In our conversation today, Dr. Spiegel explains the major differences between obsessive behaviors and compulsions as well as common unintentional mistakes parents make with children who exhibit these behaviors.


Show Notes:

[2:28] – We are currently seeing a noticeable increase in anxiety in children and teens.

[4:05] – OCD has two components: obsessions and compulsions.

[5:48] – There are some compulsions that are observable to other people, but many compulsions are mental and unseen by others.

[8:04] – Reassurance seeking is often overlooked by parents, but it is common in OCD and tends to feed the obsessions and compulsions.

[10:03] – When you accommodate the child’s compulsive behaviors, it actually accommodates the OCD.

[11:49] – Anxiety disorders overlap in a lot of ways, but OCD is overpowering.

[15:00] – Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) is a component of the treatment for OCD. Dr. Spiegel explains what this entails.

[19:12] – Being over accommodating or over demanding are mistakes that a lot of parents of children with OCD make.

[20:16] – Parents need to learn new ways to respond because a lot of behaviors unintentionally fuel OCD.

[22:27] – Let’s give a name to OCD for children. Some call it “The Worry Monster”.

[24:57] – Giving it a name takes the power away from OCD. It’s not who you are, but it is impacting you.

[26:30] – A lot of times, kids do not want to be in therapy. Dr. Spiegel describes some ways to provide motivation.


About Our Guest:

Dr. Jesse Spiegel is a licensed clinical psychologist treating children, adolescents, and adults. He works in private practice in Los Angeles, CA, where he specializes in treating OCD, anxiety, insomnia, and behavioral-related problems. In addition to utilizing CBT and exposure-based therapies, Dr. Spiegel takes a family-based approach when working with clients.

Dr. Spiegel is a clinical instructor at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences.  He is the Vice Chair of the Anxiety Depression Association of America’s (ADAA) OCD SIG.   Dr. Spiegel is a graduate of the IOCDF’s Behavioral Therapy Training Institute (BTTI), as well as the Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions (SPACE) program.


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The Diverse Thinking Different Learning podcast is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical or legal advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Additionally, the views and opinions expressed by the host and guests are not considered treatment and do not necessarily reflect those of ChildNEXUS, Inc or the host, Dr. Karen Wilson.