OCD has become very prominent in the media lately, with sufferers coming forward and seeking the help that they deserve.
At Responsive Therapy we are used to dealing with OCD and utilise elements of ‘Cognitive Behavioural Therapy’ (CBT) as well as hypnotic techniques. Clients are set tasks or ‘homework’, and the therapy is always measured or graded according to the individual’s particular obsessions and compulsions.
Obsessive behaviour is mostly driven by anxiety and fear. The compulsive urge to carry out certain tasks or behaviours is very much based on the ritualistic thinking style or ‘Magic Thinking’ that the compulsion will bring about change or stop something from happening.
Once the compulsive behaviour has been carried out, sufferers will only receive short term respite, and all the while the OCD sufferer is carrying out their obsessive compulsive behaviour they are, in fact, strengthening the faulty pattern that holds OCD in place.
OCD can impair a person’s lifestyle as well as the wider family. With more study and more public awareness, therapists are better equipped than ever before to treat OCD safely and effectively without the need for prescribed medication.
OCD with children and adolescents is common, with many young people suffering in silence. Usually, OCD develops because the child is looking for some form of security and develops habits through ‘Magic thinking’ to ward off imaginary or real fears such as losing their parents or thinking something dreaded will happen.
While some young people can ‘grow out of’ OCD, they will inevitably suffer unnecessarily for some time, and possibly years.
Again, cognitive techniques and behavioural intervention coupled with hypnotherapy are extremely effective ways of breaking the patterns and ritualistic behaviours that OCD depends on.
Some common obsessions in adults/children:
- Doubt (have I locked the door, turned the lights out, checked on…?)
- Convinced of physical illness
- Symmetry (straightening pictures, moving objects, rearranging cupboards…)
- Thoughts of containing evil or poison, being contaminated
- Distressing or aggressive thoughts
- The home will be robbed, parents taken away, fire or other disasters being imminent (usually in children)
Some common compulsions are:
- Avoiding lines on the pavement
- Turning lights on and off
- Constantly telling people or parents that you love them (common in children)
- Opening and closing doors multiple times until it ‘feels right’
- Needing to ask questions or confess
Remember obsessions and compulsions will be different for each person and can be unique, however, it is the anxiety or fear that holds the condition in place. Once this is treated, OCD can fade away just as quickly as it came!
At Responsive Therapy, we specialize in treating OCD, and in particular working with children.