Obsessive Thinking

Obsessive thinkingĀ or obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) shares many common themes found in other behavioural problems, where the person compulsively focuses on their problematic patterns of behaviour. As I have already mentioned, I am not a great fan of labelling client conditions, as such labels are inevitably generalisations. Frequently clients begin to self-diagnose themselves and may imagine that they have a far more extreme problem than perhaps they actually have. NLP, Hypnosis and Provocative Therapy are all excellent non analytical approaches for changing these unhelpful patterns of behaviour and many clients have been surprised at how effective these accelerated approaches can be in treating what they refer to as obsessive thinking.

Some people can have a tendency to keep checking their actions and this can be similar to a very mild form of OCD, but this is very different to more extreme forms of OCD when the checking tendencies have become totally out of control causing all manner of problems for the individual, and in many instances their family and friends around them. This is another example of a problem where the person finds themselves in “an emotional loop” of problems which seems to have no possibility of resolution. This combination of NLP, Hypnosis and Provocative Therapy is excellent in changing unhelpful patterns of behaviour, so instead of analysing the problem, we explore new and more helpful patterns that create tangible new and productive choices for the client.

In 2009 I was interviewed by BBC Radio specifically on this subject and it’s amazing just how many misconceptions there are about this issue. It’s useful to remember that a person is not born with obsessive thinking, but this is “a learned behaviour” which is created over a period of time. When the problem started is not in my view the central issue, but rather how to begin to think and feel differently to create a different overall experience. In a session I will typically explore how the client has created and reinforced these patterns and then begin to explore how they can begin to change the old behaviour. The good news is that because this like much other behaviour is a learned response it can be changed often in a relatively short period of time. The number of sessions required to help someone varies depending on the person and the severity. From my own experience I typically see improvements in the majority of cases in 2 – 3 sessions, providing the client follows my advice to listen back to each session on CD in between appointments.