Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by frequent, unwelcome, or irrational thoughts or feelings (obsessions) or by a persistent urge to do an action (compulsions).
Common compulsions include the need to preserve things in a specific order, whereas common obsessions include the dread of germs. An OCD sufferer will typically grow concerned if a compulsion cannot be fulfilled.
Obsessive-compulsive behavior, like worry, should only be regarded as a problem if it interferes with daily life. Obsessive-compulsive behavior at a low level can be beneficial.
For instance, this might make someone safer if they worried they might not have turned off the stove and checked it twice. On the other hand, the circumstance may qualify as a disorder if the person cannot move forward with their everyday chores without stopping to check the stove. Similarly, accountants who review their work several times are more accurate. They are struggling with OCD if they must check several times.
CBT with an exposure-response prevention component is one such type. In this therapy, OCD sufferers are urged to expose themselves to their triggers and learn to cope with their anxiety when they don’t carry out their compulsive behaviors or think about their obsessive thoughts. After regular therapy, the patient’s anxiety drops to a manageable level that makes it comfortable for them to refrain from OCD behavior, and in some cases, it even goes away.
Hypnosis for OCD
There isn’t much research that has been published about how well hypnosis works for OCD. However, hypnosis seemed beneficial for a few of my patients in my practice.
The hypnosis techniques to help cure OCD are similar to those used in treating anxiety disorders because the cornerstone of psychological therapy for OCD entails learning to manage anxiety brought on by avoiding a thought or activity associated with the disorder.
Patients may be taught, for instance, to relax by visualizing themselves in their favorite spot, one that makes them happy. To increase their level of calm, individuals are encouraged to visualize what they might encounter while employing all five senses. Then, the patients are taught how to deal with anxiety brought on by OCD by inducing their relaxation response.
Some sufferers can visualize stuffing their tension into a helium balloon and releasing it. The balloon may experience less worry as it travels farther away. Instead of engaging with the thoughts, view them as if they are clouds in the sky that pass by, which is another hypnotic metaphor that is particularly appropriate for obsessive thoughts.
Patients can be taught to use their diaphragm for breathing deeply, which causes their abdomen to enlarge with each inhale. By causing the body to release soothing chemicals across several breaths, this breathing rhythm soothes the mind and body. Additionally, people who are anxious may find that concentrating on their breathing is helpful.
Imagining a sailboat at the base of the breastbone that rises with each inhalation or picturing the belly button as being tied to a yo-yo string that rises each time a facilitator raises their hand in time with each inhalation are two hypnotic metaphors that can be used to teach such a breathing pattern.
How hypnosis for obsessive-compulsive disorder works.
As part of exposure response prevention therapy, patients can practice imagined exposure to their OCD triggers while under hypnosis.
Teaching patients how to use hypnosis to communicate with their subconscious can be highly beneficial for patients who experience intrusive negative thoughts and seek comfort from their family or peers. Then, as opposed to relying on others, patients might be encouraged to ask themselves for reassurance. For instance, a boy who frequently inquires about getting sick can learn to relax by receiving comfort from his subconscious.
Patients can visualize the first time they experienced their obsessive or compulsive behavior through hypnotic age regression. Then, in order to stop a behavior from recurring, patients can be trained to envision resolving the behavior’s trigger at the moment it first arises.
A patient who was constantly washing her hands, for instance, recounted that she began doing so after she was made fun of for having dirty hands at the dinner table. In hypnosis, she imagined that she had maintained her composure at the moment, and she washed her hands once to end the compulsion (even though that had not occurred in real life).
Last but not least, hypnosis can help patients visualize how they will feel and behave after their OCD is under control. This might act as a beneficial, motivating objective for them to keep working toward throughout therapy.
Many patients want to know if hypnosis can treat OCD. Yes, a lot of OCD sufferers benefit from it. By calming you down and promoting relaxation, hypnosis can help you overcome your anxiety. You can learn to be more conscious of your OCD thoughts, cravings, and unhealthy actions (also known as “bad habits”) with the help of hypnotherapy. Hypnosis can help treat OCD by teaching patients skills to calm the anxiety that arises when patients learn how to avoid OCD thoughts and behaviors.
Hypnosis treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder in Philadelphia
At the Philadelphia Hypnotherapy Clinic, all hypnosis treatments are performed by the internationally recognized hypnotist, medical doctor Victor Tsan.
Dr. Tsan has more than 45 years of academic and clinical experience in western and integrative medicines.
To schedule your appointment for evaluation and treatment, contact our clinic at (267) 403-3085 or book it online.