Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Counselling

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a chronic mental condition that is characterized by obsessive and repetitive thoughts, distressing, and compulsive mental and physical acts. It is centered on a debilitating obsession and compulsion. It causes people to do something over and over again. The majority of people have both the obsession and compulsion.

What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

OCD is not something about thinking negativities or biting your nails. An obsessive thought is related to the thinking that a certain number of colors are good or bad. A compulsive thought is to wash hands several times after touching something dirty. However, you do not want to think or wash your hands several times, but you feel powerless and out of control to do all these things.

Your obsessions only lead you towards distress and anxiety when you try to stop them. Ultimately, you do some compulsive acts to try to ease your stress. These thoughts keep coming back despite the fact that you try to get rid of these thoughts or urges. This leads you to becoming more habitual of this repetitive thinking.

How to find an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Therapist

If you are looking to find the perfect Obsessive Compulsive Disorder therapist it is crucial to make sure that they have the appropriate qualifications, knowledge and experience. At Expat Therapy 4U we only accept therapists who have full professional proficiency in English and are highly experienced in working with people from culturally diverse backgrounds. The clinicians we approve share our values and commitment to provide high quality therapy to the expatriate community in the private sector across Europe and online worldwide. We strongly believe that therapy changes lives, and being accredited ensures all our therapists are qualified to a high standard. You can find an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder therapist who is insured to practice and accredited with a recognised membership body online here.

Causes of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

The exact causes of OCD are not yet identified despite a wealth of research. However, this condition may be caused by a combination of genetic, cognitive, environmental, and behavioral factors.

Genetic causes

It is considered a familial disorder and it runs in families. According to some studies, this disorder is moderately inherited that is caused by genetic factors and they contributes around 27 to 47 percent to trigger this disorder.

Autoimmune causes

The cases of OCD in children may be as a result of Streptococcal infections, which cause dysfunction and inflammation. These cases are referred to as autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders that are related to streptococcal infections.

Behavioural causes

People who experience OCD link certain situations and objects with fear. They learn to perform rituals to reduce the fear and try to avoid those things. These rituals and fear start during the time of intense stress.

Cognitive causes

It is about how people who are suffering from OCD misinterpret their thoughts. The majority of people have intrusive or unwelcome thoughts, but the importance of these thoughts is exaggerated for the people who are suffering from OCD.

Neurological causes

It was found in some research that some parts of the brain of OCD people are different than the normal people, when a comparison was made. Imbalances of the brain chemicals glutamate and serotonin plays an important role in having OCD.

Symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder usually involves both obsessions and compulsions. The obsessions and compulsions are time-consuming, cause marked distress, and interfere with a person’s normal functioning. People who experience OCD try to hide their symptoms because of the fear of stigma and embarrassment. However, family and friends notice physical signs of OCD.

Obsession symptoms

Symptoms of obsessions are persistent, repeated, and lead to unwanted thoughts that are intrusive and lead to distress and stress.

A person with OCD typically:

  • Is afraid of dirt and contamination.
  • Needs things symmetrical and orderly.
  • Has horrific and aggressive thoughts about harming others and losing control.
  • Faces difficulty in tolerating uncertainty.
  • Has unwanted thoughts including aggression, religious or sexual subjects.

They have a fear of being contaminated by touching certain objects. They have unpleasant sexual images and generally have doubts such as whether they have locked the door or not and turned off the stove or not.

Compulsion symptoms

They involve repetitive behavior that you want to perform. For example, cleaning, washing, counting, checking, etc. These repetitive tasks are meant to lower down your anxiety that is about your obsessions. However, they offers only a temporary relief from anxiety and bring no pleasure by engaging in them.

People with compulsions continuously wash their hands until their skin becomes raw. They count and arrange certain patterns and canned food in the same way. They keep checking doors and stoves repeatedly to make sure it’s safe. In addition, they silently repeat a word, phrase or prayer.

Treatments for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

If left untreated, OCD can develop into chronic conditions.

First-line treatments for OCD include:

  1. Cognitive Behavioural therapy.
  2. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
  3. A blend of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

It is a type of psychotherapy that is an effective method of treating obsessive-compulsive disorder. Its main purpose is to change the way OCD sufferers feel, behave, and think about certain situations and things.

There are two distinct treatments of OCD.

  1. Exposure and response prevention (ERP)
  2. Cognitive therapy

According to a research, it has been found that 75% of the OCD people found Cognitive behavioural therapy helpful. CBT involves the following treatment techniques.

Exposure: It involves the exposure of OCD sufferers to the objects and situations they’re afraid of.

Response: It refers to the ritualistic behavior where people with OCD get engaged to reduce their anxiety. It involves assisting them to resist their compulsion with the help of these rituals.

Other techniques just focus on cognitive therapy. These are done by evaluating and identifying their beliefs about the result of engaging and not engaging in the compulsive behavior.


There are various types of drugs available to treat OCD. They include Fluoxetine, Sertraline, Citalopram, Clomipramine, Paroxetine hydrochloride, and Escitalopram.

It usually takes 3 months for effective results. Approximately half of the people are not recovering or even do not respond to the SSRIs treatment.

Moderate to severe OCD cannot be treated with therapy or medicines. However, mild OCD can be overcome without treatment. The result of OCD is generally extraordinary and treatment is most effective. In severe cases, when therapy and medication are not making any difference in the OCD, doctors alter the electrical activity in a certain area of your brain. This technique of treatment is called Neuromodulation.

Find an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Therapist through the Expat Therapy 4U platform

If you have obsessive-compulsive disorder, you may be embarrassed or ashamed about your condition, but treatment can be effective to get rid of OCD.

Further Readings on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder



About Expat Therapy 4U

Expat Therapy 4U is the result of 5 years’ experience running The International Psychology Clinic, the first private therapy service based in London specialized in multilingual and multicultural therapy.

The platform is run by Dr Martina Paglia. Dr Martina is a leading dual qualified Clinical and Counselling psychologist who helps patients by providing bespoke psychological services including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Counselling and Psychotherapy in London and online worldwide.

Our network comprises highly qualified and experienced private therapists who have made a positive difference in the lives of thousands of expats worldwide. All members of our community are highly experienced working in cross-cultural environments.

We are passionate about delivering first-class patient-centred, safe and effective care. If you would like to work with a warm, inclusive, caring and professional English-speaking therapist in Europe or online worldwide you have come to the right place.

If you are looking for the perfect expat Therapist in Europe or online worldwide, our team is dedicated to help you find your best match. We offer a client guarantee where clients can re-book with a different therapist if they are not satisfied with their first therapy session.

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