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obsession treatment alternatives » fca

Posted by pseudoname on May 7, 2006, at 13:05:16

In reply to Obsessing about obsessing--I started with a CBT, posted by fca on May 3, 2006, at 20:06:02

> Actually looking for some honest reassurance, direction or suggestions.

A lot of OCD people have benefitted from therapy, so I know there's hope for you. I also have a couple other suggestions.

• The book "Brain Lock" (1997) by UCLA neuroscientist Jeffrey M Schwartz has some raving endorsements. People with obsessional thinking talk about it saving their sanity. His approach to compulsions & obsessional thoughts is the Four Steps: Relabel, Reattribute, Refocus, Revalue. It's a straightforward, easy-to-follow technique, slightly more focused on compulsion than obsessions, but it applies to both and you can quickly give it a try.

(I originally added my own review of Schwartz here, but if you're interested in his strategy, I think I should just keep that to myself. Despite my criticisms, “Brain Lock” is worth a look for anyone suffering from OCD.)

• Another suggestion is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, which I think does a better job than Schwartz does at using mindfulness. As far as I know, there's no OCD-specific ACT self-help stuff yet. "Get Out of Your Mind" (2005) is a general ACT self-help book, but it also discusses obsessional thinking.

Most OCD therapy is directed toward eliminating, ignoring, reducing, or changing obsessional thoughts. Clients may turn to ACT when these methods have failed. The ACT therapist's OCD manual says “[ACT] is based on the idea that instead of helping you win the struggle you have been in, it might work better to help you step out of that struggle. [ACT] is focused on the things that have kept you struggling, and it seeks to change those things. It is pretty fundamental work, dealing with the relationship between you and your psychological experiences…”

If you're interested, there's even an ACT patient forum (like Babble, but smaller) that the clinicians participate in, too.

Anyway, fca, I hope your work with your new therapist goes well. I'm sorry that your first session with him/her wasn't reassurring. Best wishes.




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