Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

When someone has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder they experience either, obsessions or compulsions or both, which are distressing to them and affect their everyday functioning. Obsessions are uninvited, repeated thoughts, images or impulses which are unwanted and cause distress. Compulsions are repeated behaviours that may seem to have reason and are usually carried out to prevent a feared event or situation from taking place. Examples of these are over checking, counting, ordering, excessive washing or cleaning.

In an assessment session, you will be encouraged to look at your problems and develop goals as well as developing a shared understanding of your problems .A plan will be developed collaboratively with an estimated number of sessions together with a review date, should this be appropriate. Further CBT sessions involve setting an agenda for the sessions, summaries to check understanding and homework tasks to help to facilitate changes. This is likely to involve keeping records of certain behaviours, graduated exposure to feared situations together with the dropping of maintaining factors which keep the problems going. It may also involve doing things differently to observe the outcomes. At the end of each session there is an opportunity for feedback and to raise any difficulties

The NICE guidelines published by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence for OCD outlines evidence based treatment guidelines for different levels of OCD. CBT is the suggested approach together with medication in more severe cases. As a general rule 10 sessions of CBT are suggested although as outlined above an assessment will help to develop an individually tailored treatment plan.

It is advisable to seek help from your GP or a mental health professional should you experience symptoms or re-experience symptoms of OCD to enable you to get the help that you need.

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