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The C of OCD is the compulsions

Behaviours that result from obsessions and the fear and anxiety they provoke.  Compulsions, sometimes called rituals, are an attempt to get from that unsafe, anxious place to a feeling of safety. 


Clients will tell me that they cannot resist, checking, excessive cleaning, excessive handwashing, endlessly seeking reassurance from others that things are ok and safe and that their fears are not going to come true, saying prayers, having special numbers, counting and touching things in certain patterns or until it feels right and many many others.    

You may experience having to have things in certain places, doing things in certain orders, sometimes repeatedly or until it feels just right.  These are just some examples, there are many more. You may experience one, some or all of these, or something totally different.

All OCD clients know that these behaviours make no sense but feel powerless to resist in an attempt to keep others or themselves safe and reduce that feeling of fear and anxiety. 

Sometimes compulsions are not physical but can be more in the mind.  We call these ruminations or mental obsessions.  An example of a mental obsession might be saying a particular word 4 times or until it feels just right, in response to an obsession to make the thought (obsession) safe.

Everyone’s OCD is unique to them, so you may experience some or none of the above, the content may be different, but the result is the same. 

Man with Head in Hands compulsions of OCD. Jane Watkins is a specialist in treating OCD online using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for OCD, along with CFT and ACT.
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