Episode 2: Harm OCD


Episode 2

Harm OCD

In this second Episode of Purely OCD, Lauren and Kelley talk about Harm OCD. They discuss common obsessions, compulsions and what exposure and response prevention can look like in this subtype.

This subtype can include:

  • Harming others
  • Harming self
  • Harm by proxy (e.g. through contamination)
  • Emotional Harm – we’ve got an episode on this!
  • Being harmed

This episode focuses, specifically, on fear related to harming others.Lauren talks about recovery from the different subtypes of OCD:

Lauren: Yes the content helps inform certain things of how we approach, but by and large they’re really just the same thing.

Kelley: They are, yeah, it’s uncertainty

LaurenIf it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it’s probably OCD.

Lauren talks more about all the overlap between the subtypes, talking about the idea that they’re like concentric circles. She will use this term throughout future episodes in spite of the fact that she really means that the subtypes form Venn diagrams with significant areas of overlap.

They all bleed into one another.

Kelley Franke, LMFT

Exposures for this subtype might include:

  • Posting triggering words around your home
    • Like “Snap” (because of the fear that you might “Just snap”)
  •  Phrases
  • Imaginal Exposures

Some people experience both Harm OCD and Mental Health Obsessions.

Sometimes people with OCD experience mental health obsessions and harm obsessions that inform each other.

Lauren and Kelley talk about being triggered and how to navigate intrusive thoughts by:

  • Noticing thoughts
  • Making the choice to disengage from compulsions
  • Acknowledging uncertainty – “Maybe…”
  • Opening up to uncertainty and the feelings of anxiety


Like what you’ve heard? We’d love to hear your feedback. Head over to your podcast app of choice where you can comment and like the podcast in order to help build our audience and spread awareness about OCD. While you’re there, subscribe so you never miss an episode.

Sign Up for Updates from Us

Subscribe below to receive info on our latest news and episodes

Disclaimer: This information is meant to be general information not unique to any individual. Before following any guidance or advice found on this site or in the Purely OCD Podcast a visitor or listener should always consult with their own licensed healthcare practitioner. The Purely OCD Podcast and Website are not therapy or intended as a replacement for therapy. They are for educational purposes only.

Leave a Reply