Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Complimentary and Natural Healthcare Council
Hertfordshire Wellbeing Centre
Stevenage Old Town,
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) affects people differently, but usually causes a particular pattern of thoughts and behaviours.
This pattern has four main steps:
Obsession - where an unwanted, intrusive and often distressing thought, image or urge repeatedly enters your mind.
You might find that sometimes your obsessions and compulsions are manageable and other times they are impossible to live with. They may be more severe when you are stressed about other things like work, university or relationships.
Anxiety - the obsession provokes a feeling of intense anxiety, distress or panic.
Compulsion - repetitive behaviours or mental acts that you feel driven to perform as a result of the anxiety caused by the obsession.
Temporary relief - the compulsive behaviour temporarily relieves the anxiety, but the obsession and anxiety soon returns, causing the cycle to begin again.
It's possible to just have obsessive thoughts or just have compulsions, but most people with OCD will experience both.
Almost everyone has unpleasant or unwanted thoughts at some point, such as thinking they may have forgotten to lock the door of the house, or even sudden unwelcome violent or offensive mental images.
But if you have a persistent, unpleasant thought that dominates your thinking to the extent it interrupts other thoughts, you may have an obsession.
Some common obsessions that affect people with OCD include:
Fear of deliberately harming yourself or others - for example, fear you may attack someone else.
Fear of contamination by disease, infection or an unpleasant substance.
A need for symmetry or orderliness - for example, you may feel the need to ensure all the labels on the tins in your cupboard face the same way.
You may have obsessive thoughts of a violent or sexual nature that you find repulsive or frightening. But they're just thoughts and having them doesn't mean you'll act on them.
Fear of harming yourself or others by mistake - e.g., fear you may set the house on fire by leaving the cooker on.
Compulsions arise as a way of trying to reduce or prevent anxiety caused by the obsessive thought, although in reality this behaviour is either excessive or not realistically connected to the thought.
A person who fears contamination with germs may wash their hands repeatedly, or someone with a fear of harming their family may have the urge to repeat an action multiple times to "neutralise" the thought.
Most people with OCD realise that such compulsive behaviour is irrational and makes no logical sense, but they can't stop acting on it and feel they need to do it "just in case".
Cleaning and hand washing
Checking - such as checking doors are locked or that the gas is off
Repeating words in their head
Thinking "neutralising" thoughts to counter the obsessive thoughts
avoiding places and situations that could trigger obsessive thoughts
Common types of compulsive behaviour in people with OCD include:
Paul has immense experience in helping people to develop the tools to take back control from OCD. It is all too easy to become resigned that you cannot do anything about it; that you are stuck with it.
Nothing can be further from the truth
OCD is completely treatable. Paul's approach to therapy will help you manage the OCD in achievable steps. With each successful step, you will develop the confidence to move forward.
You will be helped to effectively break down your problems with OCD into their separate parts, such as your thoughts, physical feelings and actions.
This is a proactive therapy which will encourage you to face your fears and let the obsessive thoughts occur without neutralising them with compulsive behaviours - you start with situations that cause you the least anxiety first, before moving onto more difficult thoughts.
As we progress through the therapy you will become more confident that you are able to manage your obsessions and compulsions in a more positive way.
Our Treatment for OCD
I contacted Paul at a particularly dark period of my life as I have struggled with OCD for as long as I can remember.
After a few weeks of mental torture, I finally stumbled upon an article that explained how OCD will attack the very things most important to you.
Naturally I started researching how to overcome the obsession and mental torture, in my research all signs pointed towards one mode of treatment: cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
It took 3 hour round trips to make the appointments, but it was well worth the effort.
Paul has given me all the tools I need to overcome my problem long-term. I'd recommend Paul to those prepared to fully invest and commit to bettering themselves. J.G. Milton Keynes.
Around 4 months ago however, OCD developed into something much bigger and more aggressive for me.
I decided that I would do whatever it took to overcome my issues and sought out the best in my local area for help. Many therapists claimed to help OCD, but Paul was the only one that emphasised his practice being based on CBT.
Paul made it very clear from the outset that treating OCD is not an overnight sensation, which I respected and it helped to lay a good foundation for progression. I became better equipped to deal with the anxiety and learnt the steps to help me move on without obsessing.
If you suffer with obsessive compulsive disorder, (OCD), call Paul anytime for an informal chat to discuss how his extensive experience could have a positive impact on your life.
daytimes, evenings and weekends
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If you would like Paul to call you to discuss CBT counselling, please fill in your details in the form below.
Paul Allenby - Providing Therapy Since 1997
I have been providing private therapy since 1997 and have gained a wealth of experience in helping people make positive changes in their lives.
The combination of counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy and mindfulness approaches can have a positive impact on the problems you experience.
Call me for an Informal Chat
It's hard to get all the information you need from looking at a website. I am very happy to have a chat with you to discuss how my unique style of therapy could be of help to you. Feel free to call me anytime or fill in the form above and I will contact you.