Help with Obsessive Compulsive Behaviour

Symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) typically include recurring obsessive thoughts and repetitive compulsions in response to the obsession.

OCD is quite common in our society. About 1 in every 50 people develop OCD at some point in their lives, equally amongst men and women. People of all ages, including children, can develop OCD. The causes of OCD are unclear but it is believed that a number of factors contribute to the onset of OCD symptoms.

Obsessions are unpleasant thoughts, images, or urges that keep coming into a person’s mind. Obsessions will often feel more intrusive and repetitive than normal life worries. Common obsessions include fears about hygiene and cleanliness, fears about doors being locked or electrical appliances being left on or a persistent need for exactness in how things are ordered or arranged. These are just a few examples. There are many others.

Compulsions are thoughts or actions that a person feels must be done or repeated. Usually the compulsive act is in response to an obsession. A compulsion is a way of trying to deal with the distress or anxiety caused by an obsession.

The nature of obsessive compulsive behaviour

The words ‘compulsive’ and ‘obsessive’ are used frequently to describe certain behaviours (like gambling, drinking and exercising). However, these behaviours can be pleasurable. The compulsions in OCD are never pleasurable – they are always experienced as an unpleasant demand or burden. Not all people who demonstrate compulsive behaviour have OCD.

OCD affects people in different ways. The severity of OCD can range from mildly inconvenient to causing severe distress.
A person with OCD knows that the obsessions and compulsions are excessive or unreasonable. However, they find it difficult or impossible to resist them.

In addition, OCD can have a self-perpetuating effect: the more a person struggles with anxious thoughts the more profound the anxiety may become. As anxiety increases, attempts to alleviate the anxiety through compulsive actions can increase. This can create a frustrating cycle of behaviour for people suffering from OCD. Equally, there is often much shame and secrecy around OCD and many people with OCD do not tell their doctor or anyone else about their symptoms.

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Counselling can help those with OCD

OCD and its symptoms are treatable. Two common ways of alleviating OCD are cognitive behavioural therapy and through the use of medication, but other types of therapy can also be effective. In some cases of OCD, therapy and medication may be used together to alleviate OCD symptoms.

A GP or an experienced psychotherapist can discuss options for treatment for those suffering from OCD. Please get in touch if you would like further information.

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Therapists in London

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One Therapy London

Counselling, psychotherapy, couples counselling in London since 2006

Therapist Toulla Nicolaides
Toulla Nicolaides

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Therapist Ameet Magan
Ameet Magan

Consultant Therapist Ameet is from London and holds an MSc in Integrative Psychotherapy He has more than a decade’s experience of working in a one-to-one capacity with clients He has also trained in groupwork and has worked since 2016 as a group psychotherapist and clinical practitioner with the NHS in East London Ameet is a warm, grounded and reflective person He...


Therapist Stamatia Lorentzou
Stamatia Lorentzou

Senior Consultant Therapist 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,...


Therapist Jackson
Dwayne Jackson

Senior Consultant Therapist Founder and Director Jackson has lived in USA, Hong Kong and London He studied psychology in America and integrative psychotherapy in the United Kingdom Jackson is open to discussing any life experience or behaviour a client might put forward He feels there should be no shame or judgement in discussing life choices, experiences or...


Therapist Nicola Reeves
Nicola Reeves

Consultant Therapist MA Psychodynamic Psychotherapy  EMDR Practitioner Qualified Clinical Supervisor 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...


Therapist Rhiannon Whipps
Rhiannon Whipps

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Oxford Circus


Therapist Marta Pisarri
Marta Pisarri

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Therapist Silvi Naskinova
Silvi Naskinova

Consultant Therapist MSc in Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy HE in Humanistic and Psychodynamic Counselling Silvi is a Psychodynamic Psychotherapist offering both long and shorter-term therapy  She aims to provide a safe, supportive and non-judgmental space for her clients to explore whatever is on their minds Her work...

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Therapist Evan Bates
Evan Bates

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Therapist Patricia Connolly
Patricia Connolly

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