Can Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Treat Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

Treatment of OCD

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a common, but chronic disorder in which a person is caught in a loop of obsessions and compulsions. They have recurring thoughts about something and feel the urge to incessantly keep repeating it over and over again. Obsessive compulsive disorder can affect people of all ages and usually lasts very long.

The treatment of OCD was always considered difficult because traditional psychoanalysis and psychotherapies proved unsuccessful. Such techniques usually involved the psychoanalyst and patients in a mere conversation to discuss their problems. But in reality, OCD can be treated more effectively with a number of therapy options which surpass traditional methods in a number of ways.

Cognitive behavioural therapy

Out of the many treatment options, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has proven effective in treating obsessive compulsive disorder. The primary aim of CBT is to empower people to become their own therapist and provide them with all the tools and knowledge in order to recover from OCD.

More often than not, medication for treating OCD come with dangerous side effects. They affect a person’s weight, sleep pattern, and mood in a significant way. Moreover, it is not recommended that people depend on only one form of treatment. In addition to medicines, people require something proactive in order to recover quickly.

The intrusive thoughts of people with OCD can trigger severe anxiety in them, and push them into taking unpleasant actions in most cases. The aim of CBT is not about teaching them not to have these thoughts, but it is about enabling a person to identify and change their thought patterns that trigger anxiety and compulsive behaviors.

However, in severe cases of anxiety, the patient may require medications in addition to therapies. The aim of medication is to reduce obsessional anxiety and improving the patient’s ability to use and benefit from cognitive behavioural therapy. Group cognitive behavioural therapy is also recommended in most cases of OCD and panic disorders. Such therapies, conducted under the supervision of a therapist, have proved highly effective in treating OCD.

CBT enables patients to explore alternative meanings of their intrusive thoughts and identify their existing belief system in order to make necessary modifications. In addition to OCD, CBT has proven effective in treating depression, eating disorders, and related conditions that often entail obsessive behaviours and thinking. Therefore, patients with obsessive compulsive disorder can go for CBT approaches and get rid of their negative beliefs and obsessive thoughts.

For more information on CBT, visit CBT Toronto.