Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
My Healthy Mind Psychology is a specialist Adult Clinical Psychology service in Newcastle, N.S.W and we have a special interest in the treatment of all forms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), including compulsive checking, compulsive cleaning, aligning of objects and all forms of distressing obsessive thoughts (often known as “Pure O”). Click here for more information on the different types of OCD.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is the name given to a clinically recognised condition in which people experience repetitive and upsetting thoughts and/or behaviours. OCD has two main features: obsessions and compulsions.
Obsessions are involuntary thoughts, images or impulses. Common obsessions include, but are not limited to, fears about dirt, germs and contamination; fears of acting out violent or aggressive thoughts or impulses; unreasonable fears of harming others, especially loved ones; abhorrent, blasphemous or sexual thoughts; excessive concern with order, arrangement or symmetry; inability to discard useless or worn out possessions; and fears that things are not safe, eg household appliances. The main features of obsessions are that they are automatic, frequent, upsetting or distressing, and difficult to control or get rid of.
Just as with obsessions, there are many types of compulsions. It is common for people to carry out a compulsion in order to reduce the anxiety they feel from an obsession. Common compulsions include excessive washing and cleaning; checking; repetitive actions such as touching, counting, arranging and ordering; hoarding; ritualistic behaviours that lessen the chances of provoking an obsession (eg, putting all sharp objects out of sight); and acts which reduce obsessional fears (eg, wearing only certain colours). Compulsions can be observable actions, for example washing, but they can also be mental rituals such as repeating words or phrases, counting, or saying a prayer.
The main features of compulsions are they are repetitive and stereotyped actions that the person feels forced to perform. People can have compulsions without having obsessional thoughts but, very often, these two occur together. Carrying out a compulsion reduces the person’s anxiety and makes the urge to perform the compulsion again stronger each time.
What is the most effective treatment for OCD?
Treatment for OCD involves a type of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) known as Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). ERP has been shown to be the most effective evidence based treatment for OCD. At My Healthy Mind Psychology we often supplement ERP with strategies from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Mindfulness based treatments.
OCD Treatment in Newcastle, NSW.
If you would like to make an appointment or have any questions about the treatment for OCD, feel free to contact us at My Healthy Mind Psychology to book an appointment with a Clinical Psychologist using the details below or feel free to read through our FAQs. We also offer telehealth sessions via Zoom for clients Australia wide for OCD treatment.