We use scientifically and medically backed methods
CBT for OCD
CBT has become somewhat of a buzzword in the mental health scene, but it is at the core of all forms of therapy. The premise is simple, the application is a little more difficult. CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) when applied to OCD, aims for you to understand what is happening in your brain, to be aware that you’re suffering from OCD and notice that you brain is sending you error messages.
It’s at this point that we move on to the next step in CBT, retraining the mind to not act obsessively and compulsively. You begin to understand that it’s not the thoughts and acts themselves which are the problem, but the response and association attached to these thoughts that cause the vicious cycle.
CBT aims to challenge and disrupt your current pattern of thinking. Instead of trying to remove the thoughts from your brain or think of something else, we aim to control the beliefs, emotions and reactions that you’ve attached to those distressing thoughts.
A quote from OCD UK
“Research has shown that 75% of people with OCD are significantly helped by Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, with some local IAPT services reporting recovery rates of up to 80%. What’s more, this form of therapy does not have any risks or side effects associated with it, which is why it remains the treatment of choice for tackling OCD by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE),and specialist centres such as the Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma (CADAT).”
Exposure & Response Prevention (ERP)
ERP is essentially a form of therapy which acts as a way of confronting your fears. The idea is to put yourself in a position where you’re faced with your triggers; environments and situations that would usually bring on obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours, but this time, without performing a compulsion, allowing the anxiety to rise and fall without any intervention or safety behaviour.
If you repetitively place yourself in these situations, your brain begins to understand that you’re not actually in any danger, that nothing catastrophic actually happens if you don’t perform your compulsion.
This method of treatment is most common for OCD. The aim being to get to a place where you’re able to confront your most anxiety provoking triggers without the need for compulsion, allowing your anxiety to fall to a more tolerable level. .
ACT for OCD
Part and parcel with obsessions and compulsions of OCD, comes anxiety. The feeling of dread which forces you to believe you’re in danger and need to protect yourself from a threat
ACT – Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, works more on the anxiety side of the condition.
The goal being to become so accustomed to:
- Symptoms of anxiety
- Feelings of panic
To truly understand that these sensations offer us no immediate danger, that we are able to sit with these bodily functions as we would anything else.
We want to get to a stage where this is practiced so much so, that the feelings of anxiety when obsessions arise can be seen as just another experience, one amongst many you’ve felt that day.
A quote from IOCDF
“The treatment was found to be highly acceptable. Only 12% of the sample in the ACT condition refused or dropped out, which is quite low for OCD treatment trials. All participants in the ACT condition rated the treatment as a 4 or greater on a 5 point scale, with 5 being the most positive score. These findings are meaningful because low drop-out and high acceptability are difficult to achieve in the treatment of OCD.”
A methodology first brought to light in Buddhism, mindfulness use the basic human ability of being present as a form of treatment.For most humans, particularly OCD sufferers, we spend a lot of time in our heads, thinking, day-dreaming, remembering.
Our attention is so inward focus that we forget about our external environment, what we can see, hear, feel, all becomes background to what’s going on in our mind. Of course, with OCD, obsessions and ruminations become all consuming, that it’s very difficult to put our attention elsewhere. Luckily, with the practice of mindfulness we can attempt to do so.
We’ll allow thoughts and judgements to roll by, while bringing our attention back to our breath, body and environment.