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OCD Counselling Calgary

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Did you know that the average person has over 6,000 thoughts a day? Wow. So many thoughts go through our minds in just 24 hours!
You may not realize it, but your thoughts affect how you feel on a daily basis. They influence your emotions and behaviours.
For those who deal with OCD (or obsessive-compulsive disorder), thoughts can be a cause of anxiety and distress. If you’re struggling with obsessive thoughts, you might feel like you have no control over your mind or your actions.
OCD is often misunderstood. People think of it as perfectionism or the need to stay extremely organized. But the illness manifests in various ways for different people. It’s complex, just like we all are.
And since OCD is often misrepresented in popular media, many people don’t know they’re struggling with it.

We can understand OCD better by breaking down the difference between obsessions and compulsions:

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The difference between obsessions and compulsions:

    • Obsessions. These are unwanted thoughts or mental images. Obsessive thoughts are often upsetting and involve repeated thoughts about harming another person, contamination, or someone’s worst fears. These thoughts cause anxiety and can lead to…
    • Compulsions. A compulsion is an action someone takes in response to an obsessive thought. Someone may feel a compulsion to arrange objects in a certain way or repeat phrases over and over. These repeated behaviours are motivated by obsessive thoughts. 
You don’t need to manage OCD on your own. At One Life Counselling & Coaching, we offer therapy services to help you cope with obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Our team of qualified psychologists is here to restore your peace of mind. With our OCD counselling services, you can learn to manage and handle an obsessive-compulsive disorder.

What Is Considered an Obsessive Thought?

All of us have distressing thoughts at times. What if I hit someone with my car? What if someone I love falls ill? What if I accidentally left the door unlocked?

But for those with OCD, these thoughts do not simply pass by. They intrude on their lives and are repeated over and over again. 

The word “obsession” gets thrown around a lot, but what does it actually mean?

Obsessive thoughts can affect your ability to focus at work, school, or even when spending time with loved ones. These thoughts are intrusive—they interrupt you and pester you repeatedly. Because they repeat themselves again and again, obsessive thoughts make it difficult to pay attention and/or “let things go”.

Someone experiencing obsessive thoughts may believe they’re a bad person for thinking such things. But people suffering from OCD are the least likely to carry out these deeds; the repetitive thoughts cause them such distress because they’re so disgusted by them.

OCD can latch on to whatever you’re interested in, a person you love, or the event you’re most afraid of, and fill your waking life with thoughts of something terrible happening. 

Don’t let fear of judgment stop you from seeking help. Your intrusive thoughts do not define you. At One Life Counselling & Coaching, we offer our services in a compassionate and non-judgmental environment. We’ll progress through your treatment at a pace you’re comfortable with.

What Is Considered Compulsive Behaviour?

A compulsion is carried out to relieve the anxiety that obsessive thoughts cause. 

For example, if someone is anxious that their hands will contaminate their food, they may wash their hands repeatedly to remove the perceived germs. They may clean them over and over to alleviate the negative emotion, even if the action causes physical pain. 

If someone is worried that their house will be broken into, they may check the locks several times to ensure they’re safe. 

And if someone fears their oven will burn their house down, they may repeatedly look at the stove to make certain that the elements are shut off. 

Fear plays a big role in OCD. A person might believe that if they break their rituals or routines, something awful will happen. Someone with obsessive-compulsive disorder may feel that if they don’t wash their hands enough times or do it just right, they must begin the ritual all over again. 

Compulsions might offer temporary relief, but they pose long-term problems. Compulsive behaviour can cause so much distress that it dominates a person’s thought patterns and daily activities. Along with creating severe anxiety, compulsions can prevent someone from pursuing relationships, performing well at school, and/or getting promoted at work. 

Does Counselling Work for OCD?

If you struggle with OCD, you might feel like your thoughts are insurmountable—like your life is controlled by your condition. But there is hope. 

Counselling is an effective treatment for OCD. A research study found that CBT helps 75% of people with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

With professional treatment, lasting change is possible. Counselling helps you learn more about obsessive-compulsive disorder and how it affects your thoughts and compulsive behaviours. You can also learn strategies for coping with the symptoms of OCD. 

Some believe it’s easy to accept your thoughts without questioning them—after all, they come from your own head, so they must be true, right? Far from it! Through therapy, you’ll learn to let go of thoughts that don’t represent reality or help you in any way.

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What Is the Best Counselling Approach for OCD?

The best approach depends on your individual needs. What are you seeking to change? At One Life, we offer OCD counselling and other psychotherapy services. We take an integrative approach to therapy and tailor your treatment based on your symptoms and experiences. 

If you want to alter your thoughts and behaviours, CBT is a great place to start.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Through CBT, you can learn to see obsessive thoughts as cognitive distortions. Your thoughts do not always reflect reality, and they certainly don’t make you a bad person. Thoughts are just thoughts that you can let pass by. 

For many people, this involves confronting an obsessive thought, not performing their usual ritual, and learning to manage the anxiety it may cause. Through this form of therapy (which is called exposure and response prevention), you can learn to diminish the stress caused by these situations. It’s challenging at first but easier with repetition. 

CBT teaches you to respond differently to your thoughts and the negative emotions they may cause. That’s the first step in changing your behaviours.

Can OCD Go Away With Therapy?

With therapy, you can learn to better cope with the effects of OCD. You can manage your symptoms to restore peace and calm to your inner world. Managing OCD can be a lifelong journey for some. But at One Life, we’re here to help guide you along the way. 

Your therapist will put together a custom treatment plan to help treat compulsive behaviours and intrusive thoughts. If you’re ready to seek counselling for obsessive-compulsive disorder, we’re just a phone call away.

What Are the Different Types of OCD?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder presents itself in so many ways that it’s difficult to categorize into “different types”. However, a few common thought patterns and behaviours that people with OCD have include:
  • Obsessive thoughts about contamination
  • Preoccupation with rituals and routines
  • The compulsion to check doors, stoves, and lights
  • Fear of developing a serious health condition, such as cancer, a brain tumor, or a fatal illness
  • Repeated thoughts about the consequences of one’s actions
For some, OCD causes repetitive and intrusive thoughts. And for others, it results in rituals and routines that are difficult to break. Your experience of OCD may be vastly different from another person’s, and that’s perfectly normal.

What Causes OCD To Flare Up?

While researchers haven’t yet found the cause of OCD, there are a few theories about why it occurs.

Certain triggers may cause symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder to worsen. Stress is one of those triggers. A traumatic life event, like losing a loved one or experiencing abuse, can also cause your symptoms to get worse. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is more common if one of your family members also has it.

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Virtual or In-Person Counselling

We want to make it as convenient as possible to get the help you need. That’s why we offer both virtual and in-person counselling. If you’d rather be in the privacy of your home, or you can’t make it to the office with your busy schedule, book an online appointment.
Want to see a therapist in person? We do that too. Just let us know, and we’ll be happy to accommodate you either way!

Call One Life for OCD Counselling Today

Do you feel like obsessive-compulsive disorder is taking over your life? Take back control through our therapy services. At One Life Counselling & Coaching, we’re here to support you along that journey.

Through OCD counselling, you can learn to find calmness and acceptance inside yourself. Learn to anchor yourself when your thoughts go awry and regain control of your mind.

Let us know if you’d prefer to meet during the day, evening, or on weekends, and we’ll be happy to set that up for you. We’re open 7 days a week.
With no waitlists, we’re ready to get started whenever you are. We’re always taking new clients! Contact One Life Counselling & Coaching today.
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