CBT for OCD
OCD and CBT
OCD is an anxiety disorder where clients resort to ritual behaviour to try to gain control over dangerous events in their life. These dangerous events come in the form of impulses, images, and/or thoughts. These must be avoided at all costs because if they are experienced they can have the same intensity as the original trauma which was encoded.
Obsessional symptoms frequently are identified in areas related to: dirt, contamination, aggression, violence and religion.
DSM-III-R defines obsessions as persistent, recurring ideas, thoughts, or impulses. These thoughts, doubts, or fears may constitute an endless round of thinking, preoccupation with death or the worst happening, anxiety or guilt.
Compulsions have been classified into ritualistic behaviours in the areas of cleaning, checking, avoiding contaminating substances, counting rituals, and doing activities in slow motion, subdividing each activity into a number of stages. These serve as a neutralising function for intrusive internal, obsessional thoughts.
Intrusive thoughts in clients are more prevalent when clients are depressed and anxious. When there are periods of highly stressful periods the incidence of these rituals increases.
Characteristics of OCD
With OCD, clients are constantly in the throes of aversive, uncontrollable thinking processes. In the first instance clients resist these thoughts and develop other thoughts and behaviours to attempt to neutralise these compulsions.
Because these negative thoughts are not controllable and are extreme examples of invasiveness there can be feelings of utter helplessness and correlate highly with depression.
CBT Treatment for OCD
CBT works in the first part of the treatments to bring anxiety and depression scores into the normative range.
Standard CBT is used to teach clients the relationship between their thoughts, feelings and their OCD behaviours.
The preferred treatment is exposure when clients are prevented from performing rituals and were exposed to the circumstances that caused their compulsive behaviour, these rituals which have come to be associated with safety and protection, clients are forced to face their worst fears.
Virtual Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Convenient, private and secure
Online Therapy is available to anyone, anywhere in the world at home or in the office using a tablet, mobile phone or laptop / computer and a good internet connection.
This service would appeal to client's for a variety of reasons.
- Clients location would make it difficult / impossible to access Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy.
- Clients time-pressure, work deadlines, and work-based travel make it difficult to commit for the normal counselling time-scale.
- Clients family commitments make it easier to have treatment on-line at home.
- Clients prefer an initial face to face assessment, and then combine both treatment modalities.