Struggling with OCD? Hypnotherapy can help!

 

We all have unwanted thoughts. In fact,a  new study found that  94.3  percent of people have had unwanted, intrusive thoughts and impulses within the last 3 months.

 

The study involved 19 researchers from 13 countries who surveyed 777 people. The participants were asked detailed questions to gauge whether they experienced intrusive thoughts, such as a feeling of contamination, an image of their house on fire or a sudden urge to hurt someone. Such thoughts are considered different from worries and ruminations about past events. 

Another study, published in 1978 found people reporting unwanted intrusive thoughts about acts of violence during sex, throwing a child out of a bus and jumping in front of a train. 

Later research discovered how common unwanted intrusive thoughts about violence and sex were. It was found that 60% of people reported such thoughts about running a car off the road, 46% had them about hurting family members, and 26% had them about fatally pushing a stranger. Also, 6% of men and women reported having such thoughts about sex with animals or non-human objects, 19% of men and 7% of women had them about a sexual act with a child or minor, and 38% of men and 22% of women had them about forcing another adult to have sex with them.

Why am I quoting all these studies? Because people often think that they are alone in having these thoughts and are often afraid to admit it because of how others might respond.So, having these thoughts can lead to feelings of shame, guilt and a need to keep them secret. 

The only difference between a person who has OCD and one who does not is the meaning they attach to the thoughts. A person without OCD will think, "what an odd thought" and dismiss it, not giving it any more energy or attention. A person with OCD becomes concerned that the thoughts are going to be acted on, are "wrong" or "bad" and that something must be done to avoid the thoughts or the behavior that they are concerned will follow the thoughts.

When I use Hypnotherapy to address OCD,  I first meet with the client for a FREE consultation so that we can chat about their goal and I can create a personalized strategy for helping them with their goals. This plan may include:

  • Looking for any events or situations in the client's life that may have contributed to or caused the OCD. In some cases, OCD is a result of the subconscious mind attempting to help the client. Remember, the subconscious is all about self preservation but it is completely illogical so it may "think" the behavior is useful in some way.. For example have had clients develop OCD at a time in their lives when they felt they had no control over events. The OCD was an attempt to feel a sense of control. 

  • Being able to allow a thought without it creating anxiety or a feeling of having to engage in a compulsion

  • Normalizing the thoughts- helping the client to recognize that with somewhere in the area of 65,000 thoughts a day, mostly coming from the illogical subconscious mind,  they won't all make sense or be rational

  • Help you have a sense of "rightness" when engaging in a  behavior. Often, a client with OCD feels that something they have done (such a locking a door or unplugging an iron) doesn't feel "right" and needs to be repeated. Hypnotherapy can help the client feel that the action was done correctly and does not need to be repeated.

  • Address the Catch 22—When the client must perform a ritual to prevent something bad from happening, and then nothing bad happens, it reinforces that the ritual is necessary. I locked the door for 2 hours and no one broke into my house. It is because I spent so much time locking the door. So, I need to do it again the next time in order to prevent a break in. So, we often need to address the idea that perhaps the ritual did not prevent the bad thing from happening. Maybe something else is responsible for the bad thing not happening—such as living in a safe, friendly neighborhood

  • Work on attaching a new meaning to events -  Research shows that people with OCD tend to give unhelpful meanings to obsessions and they tend to use unhelpful strategies to control their obsessions. So, we can help the client look at the situation that triggers them differently and to help them find more useful, and moderate, coping mechanisms

  • Define and identify what a normal precaution is - Most of us will take a normal precaution before we go to bed at night to make sure our doors and windows are locked or closed but we don't necessarily spend a lot of time engaged in that. We trust that the normal precautions are enough. So, the subconscious needs to know what a normal precaution is. We can identify that with the client and then have them visualize using normal precautions instead of over the top ones.

  

If you, or someone you know, is struggling with OCD, get in touch with me!  You do not need to live with such anxiety and frustration!