Cognitive Behavioral Hypnotherapy as a Relief for OCD
For those that suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder, it can feel like they are being held hostages in their own bodies, helpless against the compulsions that must be completed against reason and the obsessions that never give their mind rest. OCD is an anxiety disorder characterized by obsessions, which are repeated and often disturbing thoughts, urges, and images, and compulsions, which are repetitive behaviors that a person feels they must do, usually in response to an obsessive thought, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Such obsessions and compulsions can range from mild to severe and can have debilitating effects in a patient’s personal, professional, and private life.
OCD is typically treated with a combination of medicine, usually SSRIs, and therapy. Most people respond to this traditional treatment, but some patient’s symptoms are resistant to medication and continue to cause considerable upset in their lives. In cases such as these, or with patients who would like to explore alternative treatments that do not involve medication, hypnotherapy can provide considerable relief. Hypnotherapy can be used to treat a number of issues, including addiction, phobias, stress, and issues with memory recall. For treatment with OCD specifically, hypnotherapy combined with cognitive behavioral therapy can be particularly beneficial. According to the Orlando Hypnosis Clinic, this type of therapy works by changing harmful beliefs and habits on a subconscious level and utilizes hypnotic interventions to challenge negative and dysfunctional thought patterns.
Cognitive behavioral therapy itself is fairly common among treatment for OCD sufferers, and the hypnotherapy aspect serves to make the process more effective by influencing behaviors when the mind is in a more suggestible and impressionable state, as the Orlando Hypnosis Clinic further notes. Such therapies are helpful because faulty thinking is often at the root of OCD symptoms. Most sufferers realize that their thoughts and the resulting actions are irrational and want to stop, but the thinking patterns are so strong that they continue to worry over the thought or complete the compulsion anyway. With cognitive behavioral hypnotherapy, patients can begin to break down these powerful thinking patterns in a way that isn’t possible with a fully conscious mind.