Obsessive compulsive disorder

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition involving obsessive thoughts and compulsions to act in particular ways.

OCD is quite common in our society. About 1 in 50 people develop OCD at some point in their lives, with men and women affected equally. People of all ages, including children, can develop OCD. 

Obsessions are unpleasant thoughts, images or urges that keep coming into a person’s mind. Obsessions tend to feel more intrusive and repetitive than normal worries. Common obsessions focus on hygiene and cleanliness, safety and tidiness, though there are many others.

Obsessions cause distress; compulsions are the things that people do to try to relieve that distress. Common compulsions include hand-washing, checking that a door is locked and repeating specific phrases.

The nature of obsessive compulsive behaviour

The words compulsive and obsessive are often used in relation to behaviours such as gambling, drinking and exercising. However, these behaviours can be pleasurable. The obsessions and compulsions of OCD are never pleasurable – they are always experienced as an unpleasant demand or burden. Not all people who demonstrate compulsive behaviour have OCD.

A person with OCD knows that their obsessions and compulsions are excessive or irrational. However, they find it difficult or impossible to resist them. Compulsions aren’t about being safe, clean or tidy, for example; they are about stopping the obsessive thoughts.

Initially the compulsive behaviour relieves the anxiety created by the obsessive thought, but that relief is only temporary. The obsessive thought recurs and the person feels compelled to repeat the compulsive behaviour. This can become a self-perpetuating cycle.

Many people with OCD feel great shame. They think they should be able to get it under control. Often they keep their obsessions and compulsions secret and may not seek help for fear of being judged. 

Our clients have reported great results!

Mr K
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“I was attending sessions at One Therapy practice for about 1 1/2 years. I am very happy with the result, sessions there really helped me. I am really grateful to my therapist. Someone recommended him to me as a high professional and it proved right, thank you.”
Mrs M
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“I can only provide positive comments on my sessions with (my therapist). This was my first experience with a therapist, and she managed to make me feel comfortable. And I must say that the sessions were helpful and efficient.”
Mrs E
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“My therapist was extremely helpful, considerate and understanding. I felt she properly understood what the issues I had were, and their underlying causes, and I feel I benefited considerably from the sessions with her.”
Mrs N
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“I immediately felt completely at ease as they were very professional while showing genuine care and interest in helping me. I was able to confront many issues which I had so far chosen to ignore despite their negative effects on my personal relationships and happiness. I would have no hesitation in recommending (One Therapy) to anyone looking to improve their relationships and self-esteem.”
Mrs L
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“I learned a lot about myself and about the relationships I make with other people. I was able to see where I was going wrong and I now make better personal choices. Thank you, again.”
Mrs R
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“I can’t thank you enough for the help and support I got from my appointments. I would highly recommend therapy to anyone now. Therapy helped me in more ways than I could have imagined. Please tell (my therapist) how grateful I am for her help.”

Counselling can help those with OCD

OCD can be treated with therapy, which may be accompanied by medication. An experienced therapist will help someone suffering from OCD to gradually increase their capacity to cope with anxiety. This will enable them to resist their compulsions for longer, which in turn will gradually reduce their anxiety.

Cognitive behavioural therapy, or CBT, is often mentioned in connection with OCD, but other types of therapy can also be effective.

Our therapists are carefully picked for their experience, warmth and empathy. They won’t judge you.

If you would like further information, please contact us or book an initial consultation

What to expect in counselling

When I trained as a psychotherapist, me and my fellow students were given the assignment of doing something we’d never done before. The course tutors wanted us to get in touch with how scary it can be to do something new, to feel the fear of the unknown. I chose to …

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What is CBT and can it help?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a practical talking therapy that helps people with problems and issues by addressing and changing how they think and behave. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy focuses on the present problems that are happening now and the relationships between thoughts…

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Counselling for individuals

Personal counselling can be about anything that is on your mind.

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Couples counselling

Couples counselling provides space for couples to discuss problems in their relationship and find solutions.

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Our therapists

We have over 30 qualified and experienced therapists to choose from.

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One Therapy London

Counselling, psychotherapy, couples counselling in London since 2006

Therapist Andreea Gligore
Andreea Gligore

Andreea is a qualified and experienced integrative-relational counsellor who works with individuals, offering short- and long-term therapy Since completing her training, Andreea has been offering counselling services in private practice, the NHS and community services, working with clients on issues such as relationship dynamics, role and life stage transitions,...

Kensington

Therapist Roz Urquhart
Roz Urquhart

Roz is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, who offers both long- and short-term psychotherapy She works with a varied client group offering a welcoming, safe and confidential therapeutic space in which to help her clients explore and process the issues that are bringing them into therapy Roz supports her clients to focus on unconscious processes, inner conflicts and...

Oxford Circus

Therapist James Eve
James Eve

James is a psychosexual and relationship therapist who has been in private practice for five years He works with individuals and couples on sexual and relationship difficulties, understanding that these can be significant causes of distress in one's life Prior to working in private practice, James worked for the psychosexual team at Croydon University Hospital He is a...

Oxford Circus

Therapist Stamatia Lorentzou
Stamatia Lorentzou

Stamatia draws on a broad range of theories of psychotherapy She works collaboratively with her clients to understand the causes of their concern and find ways to move forward Stamatia offers both short-term and longer-term therapy She has worked in various organisational settings with individuals seeking to address relationship issues, low self esteem, separation,...

Bloomsbury

Therapist Amrita Athwal
Amrita Athwal

Amrita works with adults in an integrative way, drawing on various therapeutic approaches tailored to meet the needs of each client She provides a safe space to help clients better understand themselves She offers short term and long term therapy Amrita has experience of working with clients on issues such as trauma, addiction, depression, anxiety, relationship...

Bloomsbury

Therapist Ben Brackenbury
Ben Brackenbury

Ben believes that at times we all struggle with the challenges life has to offer and therapy provides a safe, confidential, non-judgemental space to explore this Ben works with individuals to make sense of who they are and how they respond to the world today, and to explore new ways of being Ben is also sensitive to how difficult it might be for a client to talk to a...

Oxford Circus

Therapist Evan Bates
Evan Bates

Evan is a psychodynamic therapist, offering both long and short term therapy He creates a non-judgemental and reflective space to help clients explore their difficulties and concerns Working together to understand the connections between past and current relationships, Evan supports clients in developing a deeper awareness of their recurring emotional patterns and further...

Soho

Therapist Janis Dellner
Janis Dellner

Janis offers an empathic, non-judgmental and safe environment where her clients can explore the issues that are currently troubling them  Janis works collaboratively to explore and challenge thoughts, feelings and behaviours that are no longer serving her clients’ wellbeing, interests and relationships with themselves and others  She believes it is through the...

Oxford Circus

Therapist Barbara Beyaz
Barbara Beyaz

Barbara brings a warm, non-judgmental, and accepting attitude to her work with clients As an integrative Psychotherapist, she draws from a range of theoretical perspectives which allows her to tailor therapy to the needs of the client Barbara thinks that healing and individual growth happen when difficulties in living are explored with empathy, and the client's unique...

Oxford Circus

Therapist Nicola Reeves
Nicola Reeves

Nicola is a psychodynamic psychotherapist and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) therapist Nicola believes in giving clients time and space to approach therapy in the way they need to approach it She finds this is the best way to develop a therapeutic relationship that allows feelings to be truly explored and evaluated As a psychodynamic...

Soho