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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a chronic anxiety condition that will develop in around 1 in 50 people during their lifetime. Those who suffer from OCD experience intrusive thoughts as a result of their anxiety, which often result in compulsive behaviours. Typically, these take the form of checking ( Doors, windows, plug sockets etc); rituals to tackle contamination fears, such as hand washing or cleaning or saying prayers or blessings as a way in which to counter fears of death, injury or traumatic event befalling themselves or others. Hoarding behaviours are also often symptomatic of OCD.
Many people now identify themselves as being "A little OCD", meaning that they have what they believe are individual 'quirks' or characteristics that involve repetitive behaviours. However, an OCD diagnosis can be made only when the obsessive thoughts or compulsions take up significant time during the day or night, cause ongoing distress and/or interfere with normal routine.
CBT can work well in reducing the obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours that characterise OCD. Whilst many therapists work only with the 'Here and now', we believe that to ensure a more resilient recovery, you need to understand the origins of the anxiety which has prompted your OCD. We will work with you to identify the thought processes that lead to your compulsions, establish a hierarchy or scale of your compulsions and help you to recognise and deal with the triggers for your thoughts and behaviours.
It is important to stress that obsessive thoughts in people with OCD can take many forms, some of which can be extremely distressing, leading to shame, guilt and extreme worry about your future actions. We understand this and provide a non-judgemental space for you to work through the issue. As therapists, we know that thoughts are just thoughts - it is estimated that we each have around 60-80,000 random thoughts per day. Those thoughts which challenge social 'norms' can however, cause huge distress.
We have a strong record of success in reducing our client's obsessions and compulsions. Small, incremental improvements can make an enormous difference and whilst complete recovery is often difficult to achieve, we firmly believe that we can help you to take back the many hours of your life that are spent dealing with your condition.
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