Obsessive Symptoms

Help for Obsessive Symptoms, Obsessions and OCD using Hypnosis, Hypnotherapy and Cognitive Therapy in Brighton & Hove:

Covering Brighton, Hove, Worthing, Haywards Heath, Lewes, Eastbourne, Shoreham, Chichester, Horsham.

Understanding Obsessive Thoughts and Behaviours

People normally hear or read about obsessive behaviours and thoughts being linked with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), which is a diagnosis widely used within the mental health profession. However, in the IAEBP, we have found it more helpful to separate compulsive behaviours from obsessive behaviours as their impact upon people’s lives and the way in which they are experienced is very different.

As a rule of thumb, a compulsive behaviour is one that is undertaken, often with little thought, on an impulse or with a sense of having been ‘driven’ to it and instant relief is felt. There may be some feelings of guilt or shame felt afterwards (depending on the behaviour) but immediate gratification is felt at the time; (for more info on compulsive behaviours/disorders click here).

For obsessions or obsessive thoughts and behaviours, this sense of relief is often never achieved. The person is likely to focus excessively on (obsess about) the issue at hand, often becoming totally preoccupied with it; they can find themselves involved in repetitive cycles of behaviour which provide little or no relief and, sometimes, certain activities are carried out to ensure something else (often something bad) does not happen.

The types of Obsessions or Obsessive Thoughts and Behaviours which I can help with:

Obsessive thoughts and behaviours can range from simple everyday behaviours such as tidiness (e.g. placing all food tins in the cupboard with the label facing outwards), to counting numbers or doing sums in your head to the point that you can think of nothing else.

With all obsessional thoughts and behaviours, it is the degree to which your behaviour is preoccupying your time and/or limiting your life that is important. For example, someone who worries about dirt or contamination may simply wash their hands carefully, maybe try and avoid using public toilets, or perhaps ensure they do not touch doors or handles in public toilets, even if this means waiting a long time for someone else to open the door so they can nip through ‘untouched’. However, place this same person under stress and they may begin to wash their hands/use hand wipes obsessively and, for some people, this may become ritualistic to the point that their hands are never clean enough to leave their house.

The following list is not exhaustive but covers the more common obsessive thoughts and behaviours that have been helped successfully using therapy.

  • Being overly jealous or possessive about a partner
  • Eating problems (e.g. avoiding certain foods, anorexia)
  • Constant worry about something
  • Sleeping problems (e.g. insomnia)
  • Paranoia
  • Excessive exercise
  • Continual negative thoughts
  • Intrusive thoughts
  • Constant counting
  • Excessive tidiness
  • Rituals (e.g. ‘if you don’t walk on the cracks in the pavement, nothing bad will happen’; if you bump one side of your body you have to match it in the other to ‘even yourself up’; always checking locks a certain number of times).

Please do not be put off if your particular problem has not been included in the list above: obsessions, obsessive thoughts and behaviours and OCD are so varied and often specific to the individual so that it would be impossible to list them all here. What is important to realise is that it is the underlying reasons for the behaviour that are significant and it is this that is helped with a specific therapy approach, rather than the precise behaviours themselves. If you would like any further info, please contact me at my practice for a discussion.


Happy bloke

Professional hypnosis, hypnotherapy, cognitive training, brighton, worthing, hove, lewes, shoreham, lewes, horsham, eastbourne

Brighton & Hove Therapy – providing professional therapy services to the people of Brighton, Hove, Haywards Heath, Shoreham, Worthing, Chichester, Horsham, Lewes and Eastbourne.

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