The Healthy Compulsive: Treating Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

Presented by Gary Trosclair, DMA, LCSW on 03-27-2020 at 9 a.m. Pacific (noon Eastern) to 11 a.m. Pacific (2 p.m. Eastern)

While it is the most frequently occurring personality disorder in our culture, research indicates that obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) is often not recognized by clinicians. Both the public and psychotherapists often confuse it for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), a condition that has some overlapping symptoms, but requires different treatment.

In this 2-hour presentation, Gary Trosclair, DMA, LCSW will draw on relevant research, psychodynamic theory, Carl Jung’s prospective approach, and his extensive clinical experience working with clients with OCPD. He will outline a grounded and progressive understanding of the characteristics of OCPD, its origins, and its treatment.

A healthy compulsive is one whose energy and talents for achievement are used consciously in the service of passion, love, and purpose. An unhealthy compulsive is one whose energy and talents for achievement have been hijacked by fear and its henchman, anger. Both are driven: one by meaning, the other by dread.

Treatment requires that clinicians adopt a progressive understanding of the illness in order not to activate the defenses that so commonly prevent people with OCPD from engaging in therapy or even entering it. And, at least as importantly, it requires that clinicians help them recall the original, deeper motivations underlying their compulsive disposition. As Carl Jung suggested, we need to understand what the traits of this condition are for, where they want to go, not just where they came from.

This presentation will also address the painful situation that partners of compulsives often face when the partner with OCPD will not seek treatment.

This 2-hour introductory level web conference is designed to help clinicians:

  1. Identify obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) and differentiate it from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).   
  2. Describe the combination of genetic, familial, and cultural factors that determine whether people with compulsive dispositions become healthy or unhealthy.
  3. Identify and describe clients' underlying insecurities that may have led them to misuse their capacity for conscientiousness, hard work, and meticulousness in order to try to prove their worth.
  4. List strategies to help clients sit with the insecurities and anxiety that lead them to overwork, perfect, and plan when they are trying to avoid anxiety.
  5. Outline strategies to help compulsive clients identify more fulfilling utilization of their adaptive compulsive capacities, and to find meaning and purpose in their disposition rather than use it to avoid anxiety.
  6. Identify therapeutic approaches to helping the partners of people with OCPD, including improving perspective, communication, and self-care.

Statement of program material's accuracy, utility, and risks: This program presents a clinical review of the techniques used to identify, manage, and treat obsessive-compulsive personality disorder and related conditions. The contents of this program are based upon the following sources: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) criteria; research in fields related to the obsessive-compulsive personality, perfectionism, and work addiction; and long-established psychodynamic technique. It is consistent with the ethics code of the National Association of Social Workers. This program discusses strategies for applying the methods taught in a clinically responsible manner, although the presenter may not know how to apply all principles discussed to every situation or person. A body of research surveyed in the program suggests that the methods are effective and safe. As always, however, misapplication of psychotherapeutic interventions with mentally vulnerable populations can lead to harmful outcomes.

Declaration of conflicts of interest and commercial support: The presenter conducts trainings, provides clinical services, and has written books related to the content of this program.

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Continuing Education (CE) Information

2 CE contact hours will be provided by GoodTherapy for attending this web conference in its entirety. To receive CE credit hours for an archived recording, you will need to complete a survey as well as a 15-question exam, verifying that you listened to or watched the event in its entirety. Archived CE events are generally considered "homestudy" by licensing boards.

GoodTherapy is an Approved Education Provider by NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals (provider #135463). Of the eight counselor skill groups ascribed to by NAADAC, this course is classified within Counseling Services.

GoodTherapy is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEPTM) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements.

GoodTherapy.org, provider #1352, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. GoodTherapy.org maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 3/30/2019 – 3/30/2022. Social workers completing this course receive 2 clinical continuing education credits.

GoodTherapy is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. GoodTherapy maintains responsibility for this program and its content. GoodTherapy.org received APA approval in May 2011. Events after 2011 may meet APA requirements for Continuing Education credits.

GoodTherapy, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0395. GoodTherapy, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0022 and for licensed mental health counselors #MHC-0031.

To receive CE credit hours for an archived event, you will need to complete a survey as well as a 12 or 15-question exam, verifying that you listened to or watched the event in its entirety. Archived CE events generally are considered "homestudy" by licensing boards.

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Meet the Presenter

Gary Trosclair, DMA, LCSW

Gary Trosclair, DMA, LCSW

Gary Trosclair, DMA, LCSW is a psychotherapist and Jungian analyst in private practice in New York City and Westchester County, New York. President of the New York Association for Analytical Psychology, he also serves on the faculty of the C.G. Jung Institute of New York and the C.G. Jung Foundation of New York. He serves as clinical coordinator for the Jung Institute Low-Fee Clinic.

His book, The Healthy Compulsive: Healing Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder and Taking the Wheel of the Driven Personality (Rowman and Littlefield, 2020), and his blog The Healthy Compulsive Project, have provided inspiration and encouragement to thousands of readers who have been affected by OCPD.

His previous book, I’m Working On It In Therapy: How To Get The Most Out Of Psychotherapy (Skyhorse 2015), serves as a client’s guide to using therapy effectively and productively, offering ten practical tools, illustrated with clinical vignettes and stories from film, literature, and mythology.

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Continuing Education Provider Approvals

  • aceGoodTherapy.org is Approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. GoodTherapy.org maintains responsibility for this program and its content. GoodTherapy.org received APA approval in May 2011. Events after 2011 may meet APA requirements for Continuing Education credits.
  • Logo GoodTherapy.org has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6380. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. GoodTherapy.org is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
  • Logo This course has been approved by GoodTherapy.org, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for educational credits. NAADAC Provider #135463. GoodTherapy.org is responsible for all aspects of their programming.
  • aceGoodTherapy.org, provider #1352, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. GoodTherapy.org maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 03/30/2019 - 03/30/2022. Social workers completing this course receive 2 continuing education credits.
  • GoodTherapy.org, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0395.
  • GoodTherapy.org, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0022 and for licensed mental health counselors #MHC-0031.
  • Person Centered Tech, LLC is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Person Centered Tech, LLC maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

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