Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Fife and Occupational Therapy for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

I particularly enjoy working with women who want to overcome their OCD.  People with OCD, often wait several years before seeking help. OCD  is a disorder that can have a significant impact on your ability to take part in the things you value in life and it can be extremely debilitating and all-consuming.

What is OCD?

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety related disorder that can have severe impacts on the everyday functioning of those with this disorder, affecting all life areas. OCD is a fairly common disorder that effects people from various cultural and social backgrounds. It also affects people of all ages from children to adults.

Most people, especially in times of stress, may have experienced OCD-type symptoms such as doubting you have turned off the oven or locked the door. However, for those with OCD, persistent doubts, urges or images are much more frequent, intrusive and distressing and can really lead to a reduced quality of life and disruption in occupational performance. For some the distress of living with OCD can also lead to feelings of shame, guilt, frustration and eventually depression.

How Can Therapy Help?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is considered to be the therapy of choice for OCD, with research studies backing its effectiveness. CBT is a short term and structured psychological therapy that looks at the relationship between what we think, what we feel and how we respond. CBT is a combination of cognitive therapy, which examines cognitive processes such as unwanted thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs and behavioural therapy, which focuses on behaviour in response to those thoughts.  CBT helps the person with OCD understand and learn new behavioural responses to combat OCD.

As an occupational therapist, my aim is to support the person with OCD in regaining engagement in important life roles and activities that have become disrupted by OCD. This will occur once we have tackled your OCD together.

The treatment of OCD at my therapy practice, also involves other techniques and methods such as equipping the person with relaxation and mindfulness skills, which are both very useful in managing OCD. Time and practical support is also given to helping the person set goals to begin re-engaging in life activities, which are important to them.

Here are a couple of personal stories of women I have worked with on their OCD:

I’s Story:

This story was from a women in her late thirties, who was an extremely loving and involved mother to three children, but who was plagued by intrusive thoughts related to harming her children.  She had suffered alone with these thoughts for many years.

“I would like to recommend Karen to anyone who has distressing recurring thoughts.  Karen was the first person who has understood how I was feeling.  My thoughts were getting me very down and in return they were making me feel depressed.  I had no-one to talk to and I was afraid of telling anyone how I was feeling.  Karen listened, understood and learnt me how to deal with these thoughts.  She gave me homework that I could understand and knew exactly how to help me.   She is a great person and I would highly recommend her”.

N’s Story:

This story is from a young women (18 at the time of therapy), whose life was tangled up, due to the amount of rituals she was having to perform to manage her OCD anxiety.  She was really courageous in the way she faced up to her intrusive thoughts and she got stuck into her exposure and response prevention therapy!

“For years I was controlled by a voice in my head telling me I couldn’t go places, or eat certain things, and that I had 2 say, do, and eat everything in two’s, or four’s, and eventually eight’s and even sixteen’s. I wouldn’t even have been able to write this.

When I eventually got tired of not being able to see my friends or my favourite programmes, not being able to wear most of my clothes, or clothes I like, and not being able to listen to music, I tried to get help from the NHS. After that failed I got in touch with Karen.

Karen was young and understanding, and made me feel comfortable, rather than like a freak. She helped me understand why all my compulsions started, and step by step helped me feel comfortable enough to overcome them at my own pace.

I now enjoy a compulsion free life, where I eat what and when I like, I can buy new clothes and wear them, and I can finally enjoy life as I can go where my friends go, and not have 2 constantly worry about EVERY little thing.

I owe Karen my life, as she helped me get it back. I can’t possibly thank Karen enough, and I wouldn’t like to think about how I would be now if I hadn’t met her. J Thank you Karen, for everything “

If you feel you may have OCD, you should visit your GP for further information and advice.  If you would like to talk to me about your OCD or book a consultation session please go to the “Contact Information Page “for details of how to get on touch.