OCD (Obsessive -Compulsive Disorder) is a mental disorder where on feel the need to repeatedly perform certain routines, have certain thoughts and check certain things. A person is unable to control thoughts and activities for a short period. A person suffering OCD may show obsessions and compulsion symptoms. OCD is a common mental disorder that affects children, teenagers and adults globally. OCD is typically treated with psychotherapy, medication or combination of the two. Here is a video to help you understand what OCD is and how it affects people.
How Therapy can help with OCD
Over the years only two types of psychological treatment has been proven to be effective by scientific researchers; behavior therapy and cognitive therapy. The two treatments are often used jointly, thus the term cognitive behavioral therapy.
a) Cognitive therapy
This type of therapy involves identifying one’s anxious beliefs about the meaning of obsessions and replacing them with realistic thoughts. Pure cognitive therapy approach to OCD, offers a number of benefits including cognitive therapy avoids the discomfort of prolonged exposure and response prevention (ERP). CT can help with OCD in the following ways;
Replacing anxious beliefs and obsessions with reality.
- Eliminating the fear of unknown
- Eliminating the fear of losing control- enhancing self-control
b) Behavior therapy
Behavior therapy involves confronting a distressing situation, until the situation no longer triggers distress and also curbing anxiety behaviors. This type of therapy can help with OCD in the following ways;
- Eliminating anxiety behaviors
- Eliminating stressful situations
c) Combined therapy (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) )
In most cases joint treatment of is used for better results. The most common type of CBT treatment is called (ERP) Exposure and Response Prevention. CBT provides relief from the symptoms, thus the patients are able to live a normal live. CBT mostly involve exposing the patient to the feared obsession, thus the patients are able to let go the fear and obsession. Although this type of therapy takes time and practice, the results are far more better. CBT can help with OCD in the following ways;
- Enhancing self control and eliminating the fear of harming others.
- Reducing obsessions thought and activities such as intrusive violent and sexually explicit thoughts and images
- Reducing excessive focus on moral and religious ideas
d) Other related therapies e.g Habit Reversal Training
Other CBT related therapies include habit reversal training. This type of therapy involves awareness training, building motivation, development of a competing response and generalization of skills. HRT helps in eliminating certain obsessive habits. Several techniques are used that aid to ease the patient urge to obsessive activities. The techniques include deep breathing, visual imagery teachings and muscle relaxation.