Hypnotherapy is very powerful at helping people overcome all kinds of issues including Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). As a hypnotherapist who specialises in helping clients with anxiety, depression, PTSD and CPTSD I often see clients who suffer with OCD as well.
These conditions/disorders would be known as comorbid which means they often exist simultaneously and independently of each other but as I often explain to clients and attendees in my workshops, systems theory means when we change one part of a system we change all parts of a system. I have noticed that when I help a client with CPTSD or chronic anxiety they often start to notice improvements in all areas of their lives and symptoms of OCD or depression will also begin to decrease.
How Does OCD Affect People
A person with OCD may suffer from intrusive thoughts and urges, these thoughts and urges often lead to anxiety and the OCD sufferer will try to suppress these anxiety causing thoughts and urges through compulsive behaviour. A person with OCD will often become obsessed with dirt, germs, illness, acting inappropriately, messiness, uncertainty, they may worry their thoughts could harm others or themselves. They may even feel urges to hurt themselves or others.
People with OCD may feel compelled to arrange items in a certain way, buy and hoard things, wash their hands or check things repeatedly; others may develop mental exercises or affirmations that they use to try and distract themselves from the unwanted thoughts or urges. A person with OCD may find their lives being overtaken and even destroyed by compulsive and ritualistic behaviours, they will often find OCD gets in the way of their ability to keep a job or form relationships. OCD will often lead to a person becoming isolated, depressed and even suicidal.
How Can Hypnotherapy Help People With OCD
Clients who come to me for help with OCD benefit not only from my experience in hypnotherapy but also NLP, CBT and mindfulness. My therapy sessions always involve a lot of talking therapy so I can understand the clients issue, what triggers their obsessions, compulsions, anxiety, etc. and to help clients get a clear idea of what their lives will look like when obsessive compulsive disorder is no longer an issue for them. During these initial parts of the session I use conversational hypnosis so the client can begin to make positive changes in their lives without even realising it.
OCD Caused By Trauma
I never project my own judgements or beliefs onto my clients but I always try to get to the root of their problem, if we don’t target the root cause of an issue it will show up in other parts of the client’s life and I want all my clients to experience lasting and permanent change. I often find that trauma is at the route of OCD, anxiety and depression. It could be trauma from a one off event (PTSD), from abusive relationships or growing up with dysfunction (CPTSD). When trauma is at the root cause of a client’s problems I use hypnosis to help them overcome it first, I discuss how hypnosis can help with PTSD and CPTSD in this post here.
Hypnotherapy For OCD
Helping the client decide how they want their life to be without the issue is a big part of the session because if we don’t know where we are going we can never get there. I help the client get a clear picture of what their life will look like once the issue is no longer affecting them. As I said above, once we change one part of a system we change all parts of the system so I work with the client to help them find new, healthier ways to do what the unwanted behaviour may have been doing for them.
Hypnosis is also very effective for anxiety sufferers and all kinds of painful emotions. The mind cannot tell the difference between a real and imagined event and this is why hypnosis can be so beneficial for people suffering with OCD. By imaging ourselves the way we want to be we can actually create new neural pathways in the brain and the more we do this the stronger the pathways become. By using hypnosis in the same way I would help a client with trauma or anxiety I help my OCD clients to enter a relaxed state and rehearse themselves in behaving differently in situations that may have triggered their OCD in the past.
If you’d like to find out more about how hypnotherapy can help you overcome obsessive compulsive disorder, book a call with me here.
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