OCD-Support group on Yahoo about providing information and changing beliefs as a way to treat OCD rather than doing exposures. When someone asks about a particular feared consequence in the OCD-Support group, there is almost always several people writing to reassure the person that what they fear won't happen, and sometimes a defensiveness about the basic human need for accurate information and compassion. What unfolds in many cases is that the person already knows the information(ie. how HIV is contracted), has had repeated tests, and asked the same questions many times.
A compulsion is usually the tip of the iceberg, with a lot of suffering underneath, and there are always people who will say, "That's not a compulsion, that's a good idea." At age 27, I once told a doctor I was anxious about skin cancer, and she said "Good, you should be." She didn't know that I was checking my moles constantly, researching skin cancer, and that none of this actually made me any better and identifying moles that might be abnormal. It's not compassion to encourage life eroding rituals.
In my experience, I could never get enough information. I've earned my living doing research, and I'm good at it. I read 12 books on OCD the first month I started treatment with Leonard, but it wasn't helping me since I was trying assuage the part of me that was afraid I didn't have the perfect treatment, and that I wouldn't get better.
Fortunately, I was able to be honest with my therapist about all the reading I was doing. He didn't fit the authoritarian stereotype of an Exposure Therapist, and he did give me some information, but it was information about the nature of the disorder, about the constant desire to have 100% certainty, and that his clients get better, but he couldn't give me an absolute guarantee, and asked me to consider taking the risk and doing the treatment, and not reading more books. He wasn't asking me to follow him unquestioned, or demanding I do what he wanted. He was appealing to the healthy observant part of myself that wanted to get better. We all have this part, no matter how buried under OCD.
Brain-Circuit-Based Therapies for OCD
5 hours ago