10 Ways Hypnotherapy for OCD Can Make a Difference
Hypnotherapy for OCD is usually not the first form of therapy that most people consider when getting help for their problem. Usually, my clients start by discussing their problem with their medical doctor who probably gives them tablets. When those don’t solve the problem they might get referred to counselling or CBT therapy if they are lucky and if they still have a problem then the end of searching desperately for alternatives.
It turns out that OCD hypnotherapists often end up getting some of the most difficult cases because they step up when many of the other treatments haven’t worked. In many cases, our clients have put up with their problems for years but never got round to finding alternative help because they have been put off by their previous experiences.
Hypnotherapy for OCD can help in a very different way to other therapies but what makes it so different from what you may have learned before? I’m going to break down 10 of the amazing ways that hypnosis for OCD can create change and alter this anxiety-related condition for the better.
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Natural OCD Treatments
Firstly hypnotherapy for OCD is an entirely natural treatment. None of our clients are on medication which may create side effects. For many people, this is important because they might have experienced problems with the drugs that they have been taking.
We never get involved in medication discussions as that is for you and your doctor. We do however offer an alternative drug-free route to managing your problem providing you have no significant additional mental health issues.
Equally, we are quite happy to work with people who are on medication. Sometimes a dual approach may be helpful in individual circumstances. Our OCD therapy is however still a process that is entirely natural.
OCD and Stress
Hypnotherapists are experts in dealing with stress. This is what we do all day every day with our clients. Helping our clients to understand the link between stress and their condition is hugely important. It is well known that when OCD sufferers have more stress their condition can get significantly worse.
Hypnosis for stress management plays a part in the overall process of helping address OCD holistically. Teach our clients how to reduce their stress levels and generally, we will see a lessening of the obsessions and compulsions. Self-hypnosis for relaxation is one of the easiest ways to achieve this.
OCD Calming Techniques
Relaxation plays a large part in hypnotherapy for OCD. All our clients are placed into deeply relaxing trance states during the hypnosis sessions. In addition, clients are taught how to replicate these OCD calming techniques at home. If these are used regularly it becomes easier for a person to reduce any stress or anxiety which in turn lessens the problem.
OCD and Anxiety
When you have OCD this is also a form of anxiety. A worry or fear about what may happen if you don’t follow through with the obsession or compulsions. As example anxiety will rise if you fear that you haven’t locked the door even if you have already checked it. If you try and resist checking again the anxiety rises higher until you feel compelled to seek relief by doing what your mind wants you to do.
Anxiety hypnosis can help to lessen the worry so that if the thought appears it becomes easier to brush it aside and move on. When this is combined with relaxation and stress reduction clients report feeling calmer and more in control.
Discovering the Underlying Cause for your Anxiety
Understanding why you have a problem can totally alter the way in which your mind thinks. You OCD anxiety is there for a reason the problem is you don’t understand what that may be. A skilled OCD Hypnotherapist will enable you to remember the incident or issue that may have started your problem.
The interesting aspect of hypnotherapy for OCD is that in most cases it is possible to pinpoint this moment in time. Traditional counselling or therapy is unlikely to because in these sessions you tell your therapist only what you think is relevant. OUr clients under hypnosis will remember incidents that they had never connected with what is happening to them now.
As an example, one of our clients had a fear of contamination. She put it down to an incident at school where a blind girl had done a talk about how she lost her sight because of touching dog faeces. In hypnosis, we found out that whilst this may have been relevant the real problem started when she was a small toddler and her baby sister died.
The little child thought she may have had something to do with the death (of course she hadn’t) and that started a fear of her hurting someone else. She had never even thought of discussing this incident or thought of its relevance to her current problem when taking to her other therapists. Yet in hypnosis, it was one of the first thought patterns that came to mind.
Hypnosis for Subconscious Programming
When an OCD therapist has an understanding of the exact reason why their client has a problem it becomes so much easier for them to direct their therapy at the real worry. This is so important because in so many cases my clients have been having therapy but for the incorrect issue. As you can imagine this is a huge waste of time and money and can be incredibly frustrating.
Knowing my client in the example above was worried that she could have hurt her sibling now means that I was able to help her change her unhelpful subconscious thought patterns. Getting my client to understand that she was in no way at fault and that her beliefs were unfounded changed the way she thought. Repeated positive suggestions to reinforce this message helped to make a huge positive difference in the way that she now felt.
Parts Therapy to Think Differently
In hypnotherapy for OCD, we use a technique called parts therapy to separate your thoughts away from you. In other words to think of the part of you creating the problem as a misinformed entity that can be ignored or educated to think differently.
When you realise that your identity is not determined by this part and that it is possible to question it or ignore it then managing the OCD becomes possible. It is an internal dialogue with yourself that helps to renegotiate what is currently going on to something more helpful.
OCD Hypnosis, Visualisation and Mental Rehearsal
Hypnosis can also help you to rehearse scenarios safely in your mind so that you can start to think of alternative ways of being. An example of this may be getting my clients to visualise themselves reacting in a different way to their thoughts. So if their mind wants them to check on a lock I can get them mentally rehearsing that it isn’t necessary. They can then imagine themselves turning away from the lock and doing something else instead.
Positive visualisation and mental rehearsals are an incredibly powerful tool and one that is used in sports performance at the highest levels. Practice thinking about yourself running faster and guess what you start to increase your speeds. Now practice daily thinking that it is ok to walk away from the lock and it becomes easier and easier to do in real life.
Exposure/ERP OCD Hypnotherapy
OCD hypnosis can also help with exposure therapy. Getting my clients to confront their problem and stop the need to follow through with their usual obsession or compulsion is an important part of the therapy. Yes, this can be done in traditional therapy but if a client is highly anxious this is much more difficult to achieve. Place a client in hypnosis and their worry and stress are reduced making it easier to practice.
It is also possible to include relaxation cues or anchors to condition the mind to relax when it is near a trigger. These cues become reinforced the more they are practised.
Talking Therapy for Anxiety Disorders
Finally talking with a knowledgeable therapist is so important as they can help to educate you on why you might have a problem. They also give you tools and strategies that you can use to make a difference which you may have never come up with on your own.
Self-help for OCD can, of course, take you in the right direction but it can never replace the skills of a therapist with years worth of experience in helping others.
Self-Hypnosis for OCD
If you would like to try and practice self-hypnosis for yourself then I have a Stop Anxiety program that can help. The five audio recordings cover everything from managing feelings of panic to helping yourself relax and switch off. The Stop Anxiety Download program can be purchased in the online store for immediate download.
Online OCD Therapy
We currently run a five-session hypnotherapy for OCD program to help people who want to try an alternative method to help. Online OCD therapy can be held on most online video sharing apps such as Skype or Facetime. In the program, we work with my clients to help them regain control over their intrusive thoughts and obsessive-compulsive behaviours.
To arrange your OCD hypnosis program simply contact us via the form below to arrange your sessions or to organise a short discovery call.
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