A fearful condition
A barrage of terrifying thoughts
Obsessive compulsive disorder can exhibit itself in many different ways, but it is typified by worries that something terrible will happen (obsessions) and a series of disruptive behaviours (compulsions) carried out, often ritualistically, to try to calm these anxieties. The mind is constantly urging the sufferer to do something, think about something, or to avoid something.
Running alongside all of this is a barrage of terrifying thoughts, creating huge amounts of anxiety. By carrying out the obsessive or compulsive behaviour the anxiety seems to subside a little, but this only provides temporary relief and serves to deepen the vicious cycle of compulsive and obsessive behaviour.
Reducing the pent-up anxiety levels
Because OCD is an anxiety based disorder, the use of deep relaxation hypnotherapy, mind and body relaxation, and the teaching of self-hypnosis and mindfulness techniques is a useful tool in reducing the pent up high anxiety levels This often has an immediate effect in reducing the OCD symptoms and will help calm and prepare your mind for the behavioural work to come.
It is just a thought
The use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has proven to be probably the most effective method of working with OCD. CBT is based on the idea that what a person feels about something is prompted by the way that they think and behave and that a person can learn a different way to think, and then behave differently in these anxiety ridden situations. Like any learning process it takes time, commitment, patience, motivation and above all practice to work, but over time you can learn to identify and modify patterns of thought and behaviour that cause the anxiety, distress and compulsive behaviours.
With my guidance and support you will learn techniques that will gradually enable you to expose yourself to situations that intensify obsessive thoughts and urges and then learn to work in resisting responding in the usual way and change with more constructive behaviours. You can learn to see OCD as ‘just a thought’, and to recognise that it is not the thoughts themselves that are the problem; it’s what you make of those thoughts and how you respond to them that is the problem, and that by resisting responding to them you can in effect break the vicious cycle that exists. This is the key to recovery from OCD.
Underpinning the CBT therapy will be a course of hypnotherapy to keep on top of the general anxiety levels, and through the use of hypnotic mental rehearsal, you can imagine yourself thinking and behaving differently. This serves as a mental preparation and mind training exercise, helping you resist responding in those old habitual ways in real life situations.
One thing is for sure, treatment for OCD has come a long way in recent years and there have been significant advances in the treatment of this condition. With guidance, determination and persistence, you are likely to experience great improvement with OCD symptoms and your anxiety level.
I am a full-time CBT therapist, hypnotherapist, psychotherapist and counsellor who has been providing CBT, psychotherapy, counselling and hypnotherapy in Horsham and Crawley for over a decade