Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition where patients either have repeated intrusive thoughts, perform compulsive behaviours (rituals), or both. The attempt to suppress these thoughts or behaviours leads to heightened anxiety and tension. While patients notice that the thoughts or behaviours do not make sense, they often find it impossible to stop them. Time spent on the thoughts and rituals can take up several hours a day in the more severe forms, and interfere significantly with a patient’s life.

OCD is usually grouped within anxiety disorders and treatment often consists of CBT, with the help of an SSRI where necessary. However, an increasingly prevalent view is that OCD and anxiety disorders are neurobiologically distinct. It is also usually more difficult to treat OCD and can take longer.

There are many different therapeutic approaches for OCD. A more relationship-focused approach works frequently quite well, as it does with other types of anxiety disorders in general. Studies have repeatedly shown that the person of the therapist and the engagement between therapist and client are the most important tools in helping a client to improve. The school of thought is more secondary. In Communication-Focused Therapy® the communication between therapist and client is moved into the centre and working with it becomes the main tool in therapy.

This website contains several articles and books by Jonathan Haverkampf on the topic. including



You may find information on some other sites helpful as well:

As a first introduction, you may find the following Irish Times article of help: https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/health-family/ocd-intrusive-thoughts-what-is-it-and-how-is-it-treated-1.3553479

From a purely CBT perspective, the following video published by the International OCD Foudnation provides a brief overview:

However, OCD can be treated successfully with several approaches, that also include more insight-oriented therapies and those that also work more with the emotions than CBT does.

The Mayo Clinic has also published information that provides a good overview and can be reached at https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/obsessive-compulsive-disorder/diagnosis-treatment/ They also provide some information, which can offer some extra support. However, over time many psychotherapists find that working consistently with a client and building a strong and supportive relationship can go a long way toward dealing with OCD

The Mental Health Services of St Patrick’s Hospital in Dublin offers a more detailed description of the diagnostics at https://www.stpatricks.ie/st-patricks-mental-health-services-enewsletter/march-2019/diagnosis-and-management-of-obsessive-compulsive-disorder-in-primary-care

If you are looking for a clearer description of behavioural techniques, that are often part of CBT, you may find the following article of interest, which has been published by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America: https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd/treatments-for-ocd

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *