CBT for OCD, London and UK Private Therapists

What is OCD and how can a private CBT Therapist help me?

CBT is the treatment of choice for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).  All of Efficacy's OCD CBT Therapists are BABCP accredited, the single point that raises us above all other CBT centres in London and OCD services across the UK.  CBT is a fast and effective treatment of OCD. We are an affordable expert service of OCD CBT therapists achieving 92% reaching full recovery from OCD; on average requiring 10 sessions of CBT.


What is OCD?

OCD is an anxiety disorder characterised by you feeling inappropriate, repugnant and distressing intrusive thoughts, images or impulses (obsessions) that occur against your will.  The compulsions are the things we do to avoid or ‘control’ the thoughts.  Those behaviours can be internal behaviours (mental activities) what CBT therapists call neutralising.


Can a CBT Therapist help with Pure 0 - OCD Rumination?

Pure obsessive rumination has recently been written about as ‘Pure O’ suggesting it is a little know form of OCD.  In reality, 10% of people with OCD have this sub-type of obsessive compulsive disorder rumination type.  In 1909, before CBT was developed, Freud’s first case study on OCD wrote about a man with ‘pure O’ he called “The Rat Man”, in ‘The Rat Man, Notes Upon A Case of Obsessional Neurosis'. We no longer treat OCD with psychodynamic psychotherapy (studies demonstrated the placebo has a better recovery rate).  All BABCP accredited therapists are experienced and trained to treat OCD rumination – having an equal recovery rate at 92%.  You can read about a case of Pure 0 - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Rumination treatment with CBT described here.



When to see a CBT therapist for OCD?

It’s time to get help when it is all too much.  OCD is one of the anxiety disorders that is perfectly treatable with CBT. When the OCD anxiety interferes with our usual activities, preventing us from getting on with life, the impact can be enormous. 

When the OCD is stopping us from enjoying our lives it can start to affect our mood.  When OCD is getting you down, or we are starting to feel depressed, it is difficult to know which problem to focus on – we have depressive rumination and OCD rumination but both are different thought process.  It is not unusual for depression and OCD to present together. Depression and OCD often go together because living with OCD anxiety, and its avoidances takes the enjoyment out of life. Your CBT therapist can help you to understand which is the ‘primary disorder’ and the focus of treatment. 

Common themes of OCD have been described as washing, cleaning and ruminating.  However, no two cases of OCD are the same.  You might notices you have OCD when:

  • You are feeling anxious when thinking about causing harm to yourself or others – or you might have done so
  • Your efforts to resist compulsive acts or rituals make you increasingly anxious
  • You are unduly worried about contamination and germs
  • You have distressing violent, sexual or blasphemous thoughts
  • You can’t control your need to order and arrange items
  • You employ mental activities (such as counting or repeating words) to block unpleasant thoughts or feel less anxious


How will my CBT Therapist Treat OCD?

If you are living with OCD the recommended treatment options available are cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). CBT, in the treatment of OCD, has traditionally taken the form of Exposure and Response Prevention which comes from behavioural therapy. Efficacy’s CBT therapists are BABCP accredited achieving 92% full recovery rates with OCD.  CBT is a short term therapy for OCD, with Efficacy's average, requiring 10 CBT sessions.

Treatments have developed that look to incorporate cognitive therapy to the treatment. Firstly a BABCP accredited CBT therapist builds a conceptualisation to help you understand what is maintaining your OCD cycle.  Once a collaborative understanding is developed we can see what is maintaining the OCD, made up of:

  • learned experiences - these are often benign past events where we learn the meaning of our thoughts 
  • beliefs and assumptions - the hallmark of OCD is excessive responsibility and particularly the sense of responsibility or significance given to thoughts and then having obsessions.
  • process of thinking - selective attention, magical thinking, thought-action-fusion are thought process often found in OCD that become problematic
  • negative automatic thought - in OCD the repetitive intrusive like "what if...", but frequently in OCD these are images
  • emotions - anxiety is the driving emotion associated with OCD, and occasionally disgust and depression
  • behaviours - are the compulsions and focus of treatment in CBT: obsessive rituals, avoidance, safety seeking behaviours
  • neutralization - covert mental rituals or internal compulsions in obsessive rumination (predominating in "Pure O") 


Once the relationship of the above is understood (usually complete in the CBT assessment session) naturally leads to a CBT treatment plan.  In the CBT treatment of OCD this is likely to be a combination of:

  • psychoeducation, 
  • attentional focus training,
  • exposure and response prevention,
  • behavioural experiments,
  • cognitive restructuring,graded cognitive exposure. 


All CBT treatment consolidates with a relapse prevention plan, to help in the long term.  According to ‘best evidence’ cognitive behavioural therapy not only has the best efficacy for the treatment of OCD but in follow up studies it has the best record for maintaining the gains in cognitive behavioural treatment and staying well.


Evidence Base for CBT Therapy treatment for OCD

There is a large body of evidence from clinical research trials that show CBT (including exposure and response prevention; behavioural experiments and specific cognitive interventions) to be the most effective form of treatment for OCD. (NICE Clinical Guidance 31, 2006)

How can I make an appointment to see a CBT Therapist?
If you would like help with OCD, find out more or to make an appointment with a CBT Therapist, please give us a call now on 020 3795 8718, request a call back here or send us a message here.

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