Meet Keri

Many people come to therapy with so much shame and think no one will be able to understand what they're struggling with. If you're feeling this way, I want to assure you that anything you say is likely something I've heard before. I understand it takes a lot to open up and be honest, especially if you're dealing with taboo areas of OCD like harm, sexual, relationship, or religious obsessions (often referred to as "pure OCD"). There's nothing to be embarrassed about, and our sessions will be a safe place and free of judgment.  

I have almost two decades of experience working with clients just like you. I specialize in treating "pure OCD," although I'm skilled in treating all subtypes of OCD. Read more about my background here. No matter how long you've been dealing with your symptoms, if you are committed to doing the work, I'm committed to guiding and supporting you. I use treatments that are evidence-based, including exposure and response prevention (ERP), so you can feel confident in the work we're doing.

I am an LGBTQIA+ ally and welcome clients of all racial, cultural, and religious backgrounds.

I am licensed in Wisconsin and New Mexico. In addition, under PSYPACT I am authorized to treat clients in the majority of states across the U.S. Click here to see a map of states where I can practice telehealth.

What is "Pure OCD"?

The term "pure OCD" (aka "pure O" or "purely obsessional OCD") is a bit of a misnomer. It was previously thought that people could have obsessions without any accompanying compulsions. We know now that simply isn't true for most people. Although it's possible to have obsessions without compulsions, this is actually quite rare. The vast majority of people with OCD do engage in compulsions, although with pure OCD those compulsions may be primarily mental in nature. With this newer understanding, the term "pure OCD" is generally used to refer to OCD that centers on themes of harm, sexuality, religious or moral concerns, and relationships. People with pure OCD may engage in both physical compulsions (e.g., reassurance seeking and checking) and mental compulsions (e.g., praying and mentally reviewing situations). In treating pure OCD, it's important to identify both physical and mental compulsions so they can be eliminated. People with this subtype of OCD typically experience a greater level of shame and self-judgment. It can be terrifying to disclose concerns that you're having these types of obsessions. People fear being judged or even being reported to the authorities. I chose to specialize in treating pure OCD because I want to provide a space in which people can feel safe to disclose their symptoms.

OCD Specialties

Harm Obsessions

Harm obsessions often involve a fear of harming loved ones or others perceived as vulnerable. It is also common to have fears of harming oneself. These thoughts differ from genuine suicidal or homicidal thoughts in that they are unwanted thoughts and the person has no real desire to act on these thoughts. Individuals with harm obsessions often fear they are a “bad” person, and they may also fear going to prison, ruining lives, and ruining relationships. Common compulsions include checking, mental review, reassurance seeking, and avoidance.

Relationship Obsessions

Relationship OCD (ROCD) involves extreme doubt about one’s relationship. These doubts can center around how one feels about their partner or the relationship itself, or one can struggle with doubts and fears about how their partner feels about them. Core fears with ROCD include fear of being hurt or betrayed, fear of missing out on “the one,” and fear of causing irreparable harm to another person. People with ROCD tend to seek reassurance from their partner or others about their relationship, and they may spend excessive time mentally reviewing situations.

Religious Obsessions (aka Scrupulosity)

Religious obsessions or Scrupulosity involves the fear of sinning or doing something morally wrong, including blasphemy. Scrupulosity can develop within any set of religious beliefs. People who struggle with scrupulosity may fear being punished, going to Hell, or being a “bad” person. Common compulsions include praying, mental review, seeking reassurance from religious leaders, and avoidance of people or objects. Many people who struggle with religious scrupulosity find it difficult to attend religious services or practice many aspects of their faith.

Sexual Obsessions

Sexual obsessions can present as intrusive sexual thoughts about someone inappropriate – often family members, friends, children (POCD), and even pets. People may experience sexual images or impulses to act on sexual thoughts. These thoughts are experienced as disgusting and repulsive to the person and elicit anxiety and shame. Like harm obsessions, people who struggle with sexual obsessions often fear that they are a "bad" person, as well as fear of other negative consequences. Common compulsions include checking for arousal, mental review, reassurance seeking, and avoidance of people.

Perinatal/Postpartum OCD

OCD that begins during pregnancy or after childbirth is referred to as Perinatal or Postpartum OCD (PPOCD) and often presents as obsessions directed toward one's infant. PPOCD is common and prevalence increases during the early postpartum period. It is important to recognize that infant-directed OCD symptoms can occur in both parents as well. Common obsessions include concerns that your infant will be contaminated by dirt or germs, or having thoughts or images of accidentally or deliberately harming your infant. These obsessions are often tied to fears of being a bad parent and intense feelings of anxiety or guilt. Common compulsions include washing or sterilizing your baby’s items repetitively or excessively, checking your baby throughout the night to ensure they are breathing, and seeking reassurance from others that your baby is safe. PPOCD is sometimes confused with postpartum psychosis, which is extremely rare. In postpartum psychosis, hallucinations and delusions are present. Unlike someone with postpartum psychosis, people with PPOCD are afriad of their obsessions and recognize their thoughts as inconsistent with their morals.

Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity Obsessions

These obsessions involve extreme doubting of one’s sexual orientation or gender identity. This goes far beyond normal questioning of one’s orientation or identity and is often based in fear of not knowing oneself or losing important relationships. Common compulsions may include body checking, mental review, analyzing/"figuring it out," reassurance seeking, visiting LGBTQ websites or online forums, and avoidance of people.

Treatment Approach

Exposure & Response Prevention

Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is the treatment for OCD and anxiety disorders with the most evidence supporting its use. I’ve been using ERP to help clients overcome OCD and anxiety disorders for my entire career. The reason I use it is because I’ve seen it work, time and again. We work together to identify your triggers, obsessions, and compulsions, and then we devise a plan to begin approaching your triggers and obsessions (i.e., exposures) while refraining from the compulsions (i.e., response prevention). We take a gradual approach to exposures so you can learn to experience the distressing thoughts and feelings and trust that they will subside over time.

What you resist, persists

Carl Jung

Services

Frequency & Duration

Most clients begin with weekly sessions, although this may vary depending on the severity of your symptoms and your treatment goals. Meaningful results are usually seen within the first few weeks or months of treatment. Once you have met most of your treatment goals, we can often decrease the frequency of sessions and focus on relapse prevention and maintaining the gains you've made.

Teletherapy

I offer teletherapy, as we now have research showing that virtual therapy is just as effective as in person therapy for treating most outpatient concerns. Personally, I enjoy being able to see clients virtually in their homes, and it often makes doing exposure therapy more accessible. It also allows me to work with clients across the United States, including in areas where accessing quality OCD treatment can be challenging.

Rates & Insurance

15 minute consultation No charge Initial intake assessment $265 55 minute session $225 I am in network with the following insurance companies: Quartz Dean Health Plan I can also provide therapy to individuals who do not want to utilize their health insurance benefits or those who have out-of-network (OON) benefits. For those wanting to utilize OON benefits, I can provide a Superbill to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. Please check with your insurance provider to determine if you have OON benefits. Click here for a list of questions to ask your insurance company.

Let's work together to find a way forward

If you're interested in scheduling a free 15 minute consultation, please request an appointment or send me a message below.

Contact

I am happy to answer any questions you may have about services or scheduling. You can send me a message below, or you can also reach out via phone at (608) 370-2345. Messages will be responded to typically within one business day.