What is OCD?

​Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a very common anxiety disorder that is characterised by the presence of obsessions and compulsions that are felt to be unreasonable and that impair daily functioning. OCD can be very distressing - it may be accompanied by depression and may also negatively impact relationships.OCD is a long-term condition characterised by thoughts that make you feel anxious (obsessions) and behaviours you employ to reduce this anxiety (compulsions) and is one of the most common mental health problems. Anxiety-provoking thoughts can preoccupy the mind and will not disappear, despite the individual's best efforts not to think of them. These thoughts could centre on contamination by germs, or that someone will be harmed because of the sufferer's negligence. Sufferers may see pictures in their mind of violent or sexual images which are completely out of character; however, importantly sufferers do not act upon these images. To help reduce the anxiety caused by these negative thoughts individuals may have rituals such as washing hands repeatedly, constant checking, and constantly asking for reassurance from others that everything is okay. Consequently, OCD can disable the life of the individual to such a dramatic extent that depression can also be a problem, as well as cause damage to relationships both professionally and personally. OCD can be diagnosed if the obsessions and compulsions take up excessive amounts of time (approx. more than an hour), lead to significant distress and interfere with daily functioning in domestic life, study, work, social life, relationships. 

How can I help you with OCD?

​Counselling and psychotherapy can be highly successful methods in overcoming obsessive-compulsive disorder. Counselling treatments for OCD involve working through a therapy programme to control the obsessions and associated rituals that maintain the disorder. Cognitive behavioural therapy, in particular, has been instrumental in providing relief for sufferers disabled by intrusive thoughts and compulsive behaviours. As a CBT therapist I can help you  to untangle anxiety from reality and confront automatic intrusive thoughts, breaking the cycle between these thoughts and damaging in a safe and confidential environment. Together we can explore the underlying causes to your OCD ensuring that these issues have been addressed to prevent future episodes. All activities undertaken during the therapy session will be at your own pace, and you will not be made to undertake activities that you do not wish to do. Through our session I can help you to:
·         Understand the root causes of your OCD
·         Examine your  thoughts, feelings and behaviours that maintain the cycle of OCD
·         Gain self-understanding and insight, including identifying triggers
​·         Develop tailor-made coping strategies to replace safety behaviours.

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    Issues for OCD Counselling

    • Checking
    • Contamination Fears, e.g. excessive washing
    • Compulsive Habits
    • Intrusive thoughts (sexual, religious, violent, magical thinking)
    • Mental Rituals
    • Hoarding
    • Symmetry and Ordering