Therapy for OCD

Sticky thoughts truly suck

Obsessive-compulsive disorder can be a lonely and frustrating experience.

OCD thoughts tend to fixate on the possibility of something bad happening. We might worry about contamination, for example, or someone getting hurt due to our negligence. Or random worries that should be trivial yet seem impossible to leave alone.

Compulsions are the habits and rituals we do in response to these thoughts, as a way of keeping them at bay.

The classic rituals are excessive cleaning or arranging things, counting or checking over and over. Sometimes we recruit other people, asking for assurance and repeating the same questions.

Avoidance is common too, feeling unable to face the places or situations that our thoughts attach to.

Most rituals are internal

We might fixate on past events and memories, or even the nature of our thoughts themselves.

OCD is often experienced as obsessions around our sexuality (HOCD) or relationship (ROCD). Thoughts of our partner’s previous partners can sometimes become obsessive too, commonly known as retroactive jealousy.

My approach to treating OCD

If you’re struggling with intrusive thoughts and rituals, here’s the good news: there is effective therapy for OCD.

A key ingredient is understanding our relationship with the thoughts – experiencing them but not getting pushed around by them. This is more empowering than trying to suppress thoughts or avoid trigger situations.

Cartoon of a brain on a surfboard above the word relax

Urge surfing is an example of such a technique. It’s a simple way to let thoughts pass all by themselves, freeing you up in the process.

You can learn and experience this technique at my website

In combination with mindfulness techniques, we work together on gradual exposure experiences. This is informed by ERP (exposure and response prevention) therapy.

If you’d like to discuss your OCD experience with me, please feel free to get in touch.