Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and OCD
OCD + supportive thinking = results
As a serious mental health condition, OCD (Obsessive compulsive disorder) usually has one or more types of symptoms: obsessions and compulsions.
Obsessions usually come in the form of thoughts. These thoughts tend to cause anxiety, because in the person’s mind they seem like they won’t go away.
Compulsions tend to form rituals and routine checks that the person dealing with OCD believes they have to perform.
The obsessions and compulsions often go hand in hand. For example, a person with thoughts about germs and fears of contamination, is likely to perform rituals that involve washing hands or cleaning excessively.
But as we now know, OCD is not limited to specific manifestations such as fear of contamination, and has a wide variety of obsessive and compulsive thoughts and behaviors.
Why is OCD considered such a problem?
People dealing with OCD can report being distressed, anxious and mentally unstable. A common feeling is that it’s hard to control the obsessions and / or compulsions and to go on about your daily life. This frustrating feeling causes even more anxiety and dysfunction.
CBT and OCD
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, is the one of the world’s most effective methods for treatment of OCD. It’s an effective method because it targets negative and maladaptive thinking patterns, which are drive, fuel and intensify OCD.
Dealing and living with obsessions and compulsions isn’t easy, but CBT equips people with and alternative, more adaptive thinking habits. These habits can increase awareness to inner monologue, increase access to supportive thinking, and reduce the tendency to interpret situations, emotions and thoughts in a negative way.
One of the more effective aspects of CBT in treating OCD is exposure response prevention. The idea is to slowly and gradually expose the person to situations or thoughts that can cause obsessions and compulsions, while equipping them with coping tools and techniques.
CBT doesn’t magically “cure OCD”. It is a system that, given the necessary time, can reduce the maladaptive beliefs, negative thinking and build healthy thinking habits, promoting mental resilience and wellness.
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