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Just Right OCD

"Just Right" OCD, also known as "Sensory-Focused OCD," is a subtype of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) characterized by an intense need for things to feel "just right" or symmetrical.

What is Just Right OCD?

“Just Right” OCD, also known as “Sensory-Focused OCD,” is a subtype of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) characterized by an intense need for things to feel “just right” or symmetrical. We all may experience feelings of something not being right, for example, we enter the house and have a feeling of ‘not right’ and notice that our mom has moved the mirror. However, individuals with this form of OCD experience profound distress when things don’t align with their internal sense of perfection or completeness, even if there’s no logical reason for these preferences.

Unlike other subtypes of OCD, Just Right OCD is not driven by fear, but by the nagging feeling that something is slightly off.

Common manifestations of “Just Right” OCD may include repetitive actions, checking, or arranging items until a sense of perfection is achieved. This subtype highlights the importance of symmetry and a specific “feeling” associated with completing rituals to reduce anxiety or discomfort.

Treatment for Just Right OCD

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a highly effective approach for treating Just Right OCD.  At Light On Anxiety, our specialized therapists are trained to use CBT and ERP techniques to help individuals with Just Right OCD overcome their challenges and reclaim control over their lives.

CBT based treatment for Just Right OCD entails:

  • Learning to identify and challenge unhelpful beliefs and thought patterns related to the need for symmetry or orderliness.
  • Developing healthier coping strategies.
  • Engaging in exposures to feared situations or stimuli.
  • Confronting fears of imperfection or incompleteness.
  • Learning to tolerate discomfort and resist the urge to engage in compulsive behaviors or rituals.

Through compassionate support and evidence-based techniques, we empower our clients to embrace flexibility and uncertainty, reduce their reliance on rituals, and experience greater freedom and peace of mind.


Medication can be a helpful adjunct to therapy in the treatment of Just Right OCD, particularly for individuals with moderate to severe symptoms or those who do not fully respond to therapy alone.

At Light On Anxiety, our team of psychiatric providers collaborates closely with clients to assess their unique needs and develop personalized medication regimens. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are commonly prescribed to target symptoms of anxiety and alleviate obsessions and compulsions related to Just Right OCD. Other medications, such as certain antidepressants, may also be used in certain cases to address specific symptoms or provide additional support.

Our approach to medication management prioritizes safety, efficacy, and collaboration with clients to ensure they receive the most appropriate treatment for their symptoms while minimizing side effects.

Integrating CBT + Medication

At Light On Anxiety, we offer integrated treatment plans that combine evidence-based therapy with medication management to address both the psychological and physiological aspects of Just Right OCD.

Our therapists and psychiatric providers work closely together to tailor treatment plans to each individual’s needs and preferences.

  • Therapy helps clients develop skills to challenge their OCD symptoms, address underlying beliefs and emotions, and engage in exposure exercises through ERP.
  • Medication can provide additional support by reducing symptoms of anxiety and enhancing the effectiveness of therapy.

Through this combined approach, we empower our clients to overcome Just Right OCD, embrace imperfection, and lead more fulfilling and meaningful lives.

Your Unique Path to Freedom From “Just Right” OCD

Our goal is to create a treatment plan that aligns with your needs and preferences, recognizing that each individual’s journey is unique.

What are the symptoms of Just Right OCD?

Symptoms of “Just Right” OCD, also known as “Just Right” OCD or “Sensory-Focused OCD,” often revolve around an intense need for things to feel perfect or symmetrical. Common manifestations include:

A pervasive need for things to be arranged or ordered in a specific way, according to an internal sense of perfection.
Preoccupation with achieving perfect symmetry or balance in one’s surroundings, leading to repetitive arranging or adjusting of objects.
A persistent feeling that things are not complete or “just right” unless specific rituals or actions are performed.
Engaging in repetitive behaviors or rituals to achieve a sense of completeness or satisfaction, even if the actions seem irrational to others.
Repeatedly checking items, tasks, or arrangements to ensure they meet a specific standard, often driven by an internal discomfort if the standard is not met.
Intense anxiety or distress when things don’t align with the individual’s internal sense of perfection, leading to a strong compulsion to make adjustments.
Avoidance of situations or activities that might trigger feelings of imperfection or discomfort.

Engaging in mental rituals, such as counting or repeating specific thoughts, to achieve a sense of completion.

FAQs about Just Right OCD

The specific causes of “Just Right” OCD are not fully understood, but like other subtypes of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), it is believed to involve a combination of genetic, neurobiological, and environmental factors. Genetic predisposition may play a role, as individuals with a family history of OCD may be more susceptible. Additionally, alterations in brain chemistry and heightened sensitivity to feelings of incompleteness or imperfection may contribute to the development of “Just Right” OCD.

“Just Right” OCD involves obsessive-compulsive symptoms, such as a compelling need for things to feel perfect or symmetrical, leading to repetitive rituals. Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD), on the other hand, is a personality disorder characterized by a pervasive pattern of perfectionism, orderliness, and control, but it lacks the distressing intrusive thoughts and compulsions seen in OCD. In summary, “Just Right” OCD is an anxiety disorder, while OCPD is a personality disorder with rigid personality traits.

To support someone with “Just Right” OCD, it’s crucial to approach them with empathy and understanding. Encourage open communication about their experiences and listen without judgment. Offer assistance in finding professional help, be patient and recognize that recovery is a gradual process, providing ongoing support as they work through their challenges.

More About Treatment for Anxiety

What is CBT & ERP for OCD?

Light On Anxiety CEO Dr Debra Kissen describes how CBT & ERP helps clients move past OCD and other anxiety disorders.

Learn more about how we can create a custom individual treatment plan to fit your goals.

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