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Some people joke about obsessive compulsive disorder but to the person who lives with OCD, it’s really not a laughing matter at all. OCD can cause a significant level of distress and impair your ability to engage in life in a meaningful way.
OCD involves the experience of obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions tend to involve repeated and persistent thoughts, images or urges that the individual perceives to be intrusive and unwanted. The obsession then leaves the individual compelled to engage in a compulsive response which may involve repeated behaviours or mental acts stemming from rigid rules. The obsessions or compulsions tend to cause high distress and/or take long periods of time to complete.
The level of insight regarding the truth behind the OCD beliefs also varies from person to person. It is common for individuals with OCD to feel overly responsible, be perfectionistic and struggle to tolerate uncertainty.
While there is great variation in the themes of obsessions or types of compulsive responses, frequently observed themes involve symmetry, cleanliness, order, taboo thoughts and harm. This may culminate in an avoidance of environments associated with one’s OCD difficulties.
While there appears to be a strong genetic factor associated with OCD, childhood abuse or trauma may also be a risk factor. individuals with OCD often experience other mental health difficulties such as depression and anxiety.
One treatment approach that has received intense research attention is cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) specifically focused on exposure and response prevention strategies. This involves the individual gradually exposing themselves to feared stimuli and then working to not engage in a compulsive act, leading to a diminishment in anxiety and fear over time. There is also some research suggesting acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is also effective in helping to manage OCD. ACT is a mindfulness based approach that supports individuals to confront feared emotions, thoughts, images and memories and working to create a life of meaning and purpose through feeling more comfortable with one’s inner experience and developing flexible thinking.
It’s important to note that, as with all mental health conditions, we cannot make any guarantees with respect to the outcomes of engaging our psychological treatment. Furthermore, if we believe someone has an underlying psychiatric condition that requires specialised assessment, we will at that stage make a referral to a psychiatrist.
Our skills, tools, and resources may help you overcome your obsessions and compulsions. Working together with our counsellors will provide access to several other treatment methods, such as NLP, hypnotherapy, dream interpretation, mindfulness therapy, and more.
How long will obsessive compulsive disorder treatment take?
There is no way to estimate how long treatment for OCD will take. Treatment methods and time-frames vary based on the individual. Some people listen to hypnosis downloads between sessions, such as the Manage OCD hypnosis download.
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Note: This information is informative only and is not to be used for diagnosis or substitution of appropriate assessment and/or treatment by a registered practitioner. Information on this page and our entire site should not be construed as implying that our therapists are specialists in treating any condition whatsoever. While some of our therapists may have experience working with people suffering from a specific condition, not all of our therapists do. We do not guarantee any particular level of performance, cure or management of symptoms. Each case is unique and responds differently with collaboration between client and therapist being crucial. Always seek appropriate assessment from a qualified professional such as a GP, psychiatrist, clinical psychologist or social worker especially if you are acutely distressed.
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