OCD is an intense series of repetitive behaviours that create a functional protective environment for the OCD sufferer but are not necessarily processed as such. As the OCD sufferer does not consciously register these behaviours, the OCD conditions require constant checking to see whether further protective behaviours need to be reapplied. They often do. This is a continuous circle of responses and is an extremely exhausting and all-consuming​, mind pre-occupying habit. These behaviours are not decided​ upon logically and yet the logical mind reaffirms them each time they reoccur; this allows for further repetition.
It may be that the OCD behaviours are upsetting to the client and yet they become part of them; their ‘comfort zone’. Anything outside of this comfort zone is potentially threatening.

It is because of this ongoing fear response that the treatment itself may take some time to be successful. The same approach that is used for general anxiety reduction is the preferred course of action; pacing the change gently and keeping it realistic. The treatment does not use exposure or direct desensitizing. We don’t ask for direct confrontation of the fears or habits. The habitual behaviours are accessed indirectly by enabling clients to create realistic and achievable images of the future. The client paces the speed of the change. We understand that the client can only do what they are able to do.

If our ANS (autonomic nervous system) is dominant, we feel pain, anxiety and stress, which can influence the OCD behavioural response. The parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) regulates the ANS. When the PNS is dominant, we feel calm, relaxed and any pain felt dissipates. Having an active PNS is good for our psychological and physical health and we get better protection against illness, depression, heart disease, stroke etc. Clinical Hypnotherapy induces the activation of the PNS and is therefore ideally situated for treating many physical symptoms that may be arising as a result of stress. 

Hypnosis will accelerate the person through the contemplation state, into the action state and the maintenance state more quickly than other psychoeducational treatments. The results showed that hypnosis was significantly superior to other psychoeducational treatments. Munson,S. O.,Barabasz,A. F.,Barabasz,M.(2018).Ability of Hypnosis to Facilitate Movement Through Stages of Change for Smoking Cessation. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis,

“Every person’s map of the world is as unique as their thumbprint. There are no two people alike. No two people who understand the same sentence the same way… So in dealing with people, you try not to fit them to your concept of what they should be.”
M H Erickson

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Gabrielle is a member of NCH, RCM associate member and a member of The Hypnobirthing Association