Perseverance in Anxiety and OCD Treatment: Making Miracles Happen

Kimberly Morrow

The role of perseverance in anxiety and OCD treatment is a powerful one. When we nurture it in our clients, it can make miracles happen. Sometimes it’s the exact ingredient in treatment that opens a client to living well with anxiety.

Feeling pressure to help your client get well using CBT is common. We can often want to rush treatment even when the research indicates that perseverance is good for our mental health. 


Maybe, you’ve witnessed perseverance at work in a client who

  • has been battling anxiety for so long that they’ve nearly given up
  • is exhausted from hours spent ruminating and compulsing
  • has challenged their relationships due to never-ending reassurance-seeking
  • is looking to you for help to relieve their suffering

It’s these clients who, despite the difficulty or delay in achieving relief, realize the potential of perseverance in their treatment journey. Through repeated exposures, they finally move from being paralyzed with fear to living their lives fully.

In my practice, I think of a young man I am treating with autism and OCD. Despite the limits his symptoms place upon him, he continues to make progress with the help of his mother, his teacher, his behavior specialist consultant, and his perseverance.

He hates exposures, but he does them anyway to get his life back.

Miracles do happen.

I think of a training I gave in New Orleans, where I met a father of a teen. We both shared why we were there. He to play music. Me to train more therapists on how to treat anxiety and OCD.

He shared that his son had horrible intrusive thoughts that concerned him greatly, but he wasn’t aware there was treatment for it. I offered to find him a therapist trained to treat OCD so his son could get the help he desperately needed. For the first time, this family has hope.

Miracles do happen.

I think of a mother who has dark circles under her eyes, exhausted from parenting her eight-year-old daughter with severe separation anxiety. Her daughter was afraid to leave her mother’s side, screaming until someone responded to make her feel better.

This girl is now fully involved in school, dance, and friendships. She created a story for other children on how to beat their worries.

Here is part of her wisdom from treatment:

“The more you stay close to your Mom, the bigger the worry gets. The more you walk away from your Mom to do what other kids are doing, the better you will feel.”

Miracles do happen.

The role of perseverance in anxiety and OCD treatment was essential for these clients. And, I trust you have similar stories of clients dedicated to their treatment, even when it is difficult or delayed. Clients whose success stories are shaped by perseverance and made miracles happen.



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