OCD and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: John Donlon NLPA, Working with Success - Couples, Individuals and Families
25th May, 2012
Are you the kind of person who finds it hard to let go of thoughts which go over and over in your mind? Do you worry continually, feel anxious, sad? Do you try to cope with those feelings, making yourself feel safe and more comfortable by doing actions, repeatedly, until they are right? Or undoing thoughts and actions by going over them again and again in exactly the same way? Do you have an impending sense of doom if you don't manage your worries and fears in this way?
Obsessive Compulsive Behaviour affects about 3% of the population, and it is estimated that 80 - 90% of people have some occasional obsessive thoughts everyday.
One of the main treatments for OCD is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, which is a treatment programme of exposure and response prevention. Those who engage in the programme usually have an agreement or contract with their therapist, where they agree to gradually expose themselves to their anxieties and obsessions, without engaging in the compulsions of checking, counting, undoing, getting it "right" in their thoughts or actions which follow.
Dr. Philip Stevenson, an expert in the field, has reported that most of his patients take up to two years to make good progress which leads towards recovery.
Dr. Harry Stack Sullivan, an American Psychotherapist, cited the links between OCD and hurts manifest in a person's personal development. His treatment method thus linked the symptoms manifest in a person's life, to the tensions in their personality. Working on the symptoms and the underlying warps and hurts which gave rise to these tensions, Dr. Sullivan worked with patients not only from the point of view of eradicating their symptoms, but also of their personal development.
Help is available for those who suffer from this condition. Various therapies exist and throughout the UK it is mainly CBT which is advocated.
CBT combined with psychotherapy may also help many people.
It is important to find not only the right approach for you, but the right person, someone whom you can relate to and you feel can understand you from the inside, and who can help guide you through the process of your own recovery and well-being.
Every recovered patient has worked upon their behaviour and the thoughts and anxieties connected with their actions. It is very good to be accompanied by someone who can empathize and understand, but also who is not motivated by the same anxieties, and this is why therapeutic accompaniment can provide a clear light and path out of this condition into a different way of being in the world.
If you are affected by this condition and would like help, it is wise to find a therapeutic approach you feel comfortable with, encompasses all you wish to deal with, including your symptoms and also any significant issues and stresses in your life which may be related, which will help you recover from your symptoms and have an influence towards your overall well-being in life.
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