When it comes to treating OCD, it never fails to amaze me in regards to how incredibly strong and resilient people truly are. Living with OCD manifests as a battle we fight with ourselves every day. As a cognitive hypnotherapist, I specialise in working with clients who are struggling with OCD, and this is something that I struggled with myself for many years (from around the age of fourteen years old). It can be very overwhelming knowing where to begin when it comes to making a start. If we believe we can recover from OCD, then we have taken the step towards recovery. I have witnessed some incredible transformations during my time working as a therapist in this area, and I wanted to write this article to inspire you if you are currently suffering from OCD anxiety.
Dealing with anxiety
When it comes to OCD, it is not our thoughts that are the problem. It is the anxiety behind the thoughts that is the persistent issue. Reacting to obsessive thoughts results in the performance of compulsions which can be incredibly time-consuming and draining. The more we do compulsions, the tighter the grip of OCD becomes, and the more we depend on doing them in the future as a temporary solution towards alleviating the anxiety we feel.
Exposure to what we fear
Working slowly and deliberately towards loosening the grip intrusive thoughts have over us needs to be practised daily, ideally with the supervision of a trained professional. The more we expose ourselves to what we fear, the more confident and resilient we become. Our recovery goals can be met by taking small, manageable steps towards exposing ourselves, gradually, in a way we can deal with.
The more we draw our attention to the present moment and our breathing, the easier it may become to manage anxiety. Meditation can be a very useful tool when it comes to helping you to relax and to increase awareness of how you are feeling. The more you can stay grounded and relaxed in the present moment, the more likely you will be able to negate the anxiety that is fuelling OCD.
It wasn't until I discovered cognitive hypnotherapy that I realised I could rewrite and reframe my narrative by focusing on changing the issue at the core. It is possible to change what we believe about ourselves if we dare to take that step forward. We work with clients as the individuals they are and we don't use scripts as we realise every client has arrived at their problem from their unique perspective. All behaviour has a positive intention which means that the unconscious mind needs to keep you safe, but it can make mistakes in its calculations sometimes. We work to address the main cause behind the issue and we aim to move the client from protection into growth and live a life that reflects who they truly are. It is possible to change our lives and our beliefs about who we are.
The journey begins with you!
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About Christina McDonald
Christina McDonald is a cognitive hypnotherapist and NLP practitioner specialising in the treatment of OCD based in Central London.
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