Life Saving Treatment 18 Months Ago

My 18-year-old daughter, E, arrived at Dr. G's door in October 2010 despondent, defeated, barely functional and suicidal. Dr G's evaluation of Ewas unforgettable, not only because it was thorough, taking Eve hours over two consecutive days, but within the first 15 minutes after listening to Dr. Gcomment and elaborate on E's answers to questions, E and I realized that we had found a medical professional who understood the very demons E had been fghting. Sitting on opposite sides of the room, our eyes locked in that moment of recognition. Feelings of immense relief and hope filled my heart. l knew instinctively, after four years of regular visits with therapists and psychiatrists, that the expert before us was going to diagnose E correctly, that we would find the core of E's problems, the source of her agony, no longer only treating symptoms but the disease itself. E placed her complete trust and hope in Dr. G, pleading to be admitted for treatment.

Fortunately Dr. G diagnosed E, referred E to an excellent psychiatrist to work in tandem with Dr. G, and created an intensive treatment protocol over the course of six weeks to address E's complex case. I remember day-to-day adjustments being made by Dr. G to the treatment plan as she and Dr. S discovered more about how OCD had twisted E's thinking or had caused maladaptive behavior, things that the YBOCS (Yale Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale) at the initial evaluation did not uncover.

Besides using the best known treatment protocols developed by Doctors Foa and Schwartz, Dr. G's technique included "mindfulness writing," particularly effective for E's case because our gal had developed a writing block in response to the fear of not being able to write an essay "good enough," ironically driven by teachers' praise of her excellent writing.

What was evident throughout the weeks as Dr. G worked one-on-one with E and in collaboration with Dr. S the psychiatrist, was Dr. G's extraordinary dedication, creativity, and professional judgment and expertise based on 20+ years of clinical experience. Dr G was always there for E. In fact, a turning point came one night of the second week when Dr. G spoke to a tearful E about quitting treatment. For the first time Erealized that the OCD was separate from herself. The next day E resumed treatment with vigor and determination.

By the end of treatment, at the close of 2010, Ew as smiling, laughing again, optimistic, and a fully functional independent young adult. As our family had just relocated in the summer, E rose to the challenge of creating a life for herself in a new community, building a rich and active life while using the tools learned from Dr. G. We had our darling daughter back -- the one who had been partially hidden and significantly disabled by OCDfor the last four years!

E and I continued to attend the valuable free Thursday support group meetings held by Dr. G until E went off to college in August 2011. Now about 18 months after treatment, we still have our daughter, challenged by OCD but not obscured by it. E just finished her first year as a full time college student away from home when she had "some of the most fun experiences in my life." She is president of Active Minds on her campus, and openly speaks about her disability whenever given the opportunity, always with the intent to help and to educate.

May 2012

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