Obsessive - Compulsive Disorder Therapy
Therapy for Obsessions, Compulsions, & Ruminations in Seattle
What is OCD?
The main symptoms of OCD are obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are thoughts, images, or impulses that occur repeatedly and feel beyond your ability to control. These obsessions are often accompanied by intense feelings of fear, disgust, or uncertainty and doubt and take up a considerable amount of your time.
Compulsions are repetitive behaviors or thoughts that have been put in place to help neutralize, counteract, or make the obsessions go away. You may be aware that the compulsion is only a temporary solution, but without a better way to cope, may continue to rely on this compulsive behavior.
Obsessions are often thoughts about:
- fear of acting violently or aggressively towards yourself or others
- what is right or wrong, good and evil
- being responsible for harm to others, or something terrible happening
- perfectionism, exactness, needing to know or remember
- fear of acting on a sexually related impulse, or sexually harming others
Compulsions are often behaviors or thoughts about:
- cleanliness regarding your body or around the house
- Checking in various forms
- Repeating routine activities, body movements, or actions
- Reviewing events, praying, counting, "canceling" or undoing an event
These symptoms left untreated can leave you feeling anxious, exhausted, overwhelmed and can get in the way of you living your life.
How do you treat OCD?
Often times patients have tried to stop the obsessions and compulsions only to have them return again, or replace the compulsion with a different thought or behavior. My approach to OCD is to try to learn from your particular obsessions and compulsions and to try to make sense of "Why this particular obsession? Why this particular compulsion?"
This is where I can help. Having a trained professional who has seen these patterns before can help you make sense of your own patterns.
Often times these obsessions and accompanying compulsions are stand-ins or replacements for a different idea that was originally in the obsession's place.
For example, compulsions that focus on cleanliness typically stem from obsessional thoughts about being unclean. The compulsion can focus on hand-washing, consciously, as a fear of germs. However, the original idea that has been pushed out of awareness may have been a fear around something more intense, like a fear of contracting a sexually-transmitted disease, fear of unplanned pregnancy, "moral impurity", or some other highly emotional thought regarding "uncleanliness".
Our work focuses on helping you become aware of, process, and make sense of your OCD symptoms to help alleviate the intensity of these symptoms.
Until you make a connection between the original distressing thought and the obsessional thought, these obsessions and compulsions remain stubborn and difficult to free yourself from.
OCD Therapy with Patrick Rettig Therapy can help you understand yourself and your OCD symptoms and restore a greater sense of self-control. If you're ready to live a life beyond OCD symptoms click the button below to reach out to Patrick Rettig Therapy so we can get you feeling better.