Hypnosis for OCD

Hypnosis for OCD

How to use hypnosis for obsessive compulsive disorders (OCD)

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common mental health condition where a person has obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours.

OCD can affect men, women and children. Some people start having symptoms early, often around puberty, but it usually starts during early adulthood.

OCD can be distressing and significantly interfere with your life, but treatment can help you keep it under control.

forms and varieties of OCDWhat will I learn in this blog?

• That OCD can have many forms and varieties
• Some people are more likely to be have it than others
• Looking at the cause of the behaviour is often useful
• How hypnosis could help you to get back in control

What are the symptoms of OCD?

According to the UK Health Service, the NHS, if you have OCD, you’ll usually experience frequent obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours.

An obsession is an unwanted and unpleasant thought, image or urge that repeatedly enters your mind, causing feelings of anxiety, disgust or unease.

A compulsion is a repetitive behaviour or mental act that you feel you need to do to temporarily relieve the unpleasant feelings brought on by the obsessive thought.

For example, someone with an obsessive fear of being burgled may feel they need to check all the windows and doors are locked several times before they can leave their house. Women can sometimes have OCD during pregnancy or after their baby is born. Obsessions may include worrying about harming the baby or not sterilising feeding bottles properly. Compulsions could be things such as repeatedly checking the baby is breathing.

What causes OCD?

The Mind UK website says there are different theories about why OCD develops. None of these theories can fully explain every person’s experience, but researchers suggest that these are likely to be involved in causing OCD:

Personal experience

Some theories suggest that OCD is caused by personal experience. For example: If you’ve had a painful childhood experience, or suffered trauma, abuse or bullying, you might learn to use obsessions and compulsions to cope with anxiety.

If your parents had similar anxieties and showed similar kinds of compulsive behaviour, you may have learned OCD behaviours as a coping technique.

Ongoing anxiety or stress, or being part of a stressful event like a car accident or starting a new job, could trigger OCD or make it worse.

Pregnancy or giving birth can sometimes trigger perinatal OCD.


Some research suggests that people with certain personality traits may be more likely to have OCD. For example, if you are a neat, meticulous, methodical person with high standards, you may be more likely to develop OCD.

Biological factors

Biological factors of OCDSome biological theories suggest that a lack of the brain chemical serotonin may have a role in OCD. However, it’s unclear this is the cause or is an effect of the condition. Studies have also looked at genetic factors and how different parts of the brain might be involved in causing OCD, but have found nothing conclusive.

Even though we don’t fully understand what causes OCD, it can still be successfully treated.

People with OCD are often reluctant to seek help because they feel ashamed or embarrassed.

OCD is a health condition like any other, so there’s nothing to feel ashamed or embarrassed about. Having OCD does not mean you’re “mad” and it’s not your fault you have it.

There are 2 main ways to get help: refer yourself directly to a psychological therapies service – find a psychological therapies service in your area or see a GP – they’ll ask about your symptoms and can refer you to a local psychological therapies service if necessary.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy has shown to work well with OCD, and so has clinical hypnotherapy.

How does hypnotherapy help with OCD?

Hypnotherapy works from 2 different directions, firstly to look and see what has actually caused the compulsive or obsessive behaviour in the past, and then to give you the tools you need to be able to fight that pattern by increasing your feelings of calmness, physical relaxation and control.

You see, what often happens with OCD is that we get a circle of behaviour that gets out of control. Firstly, concentrating on the thing that makes you obsessed makes you … well, obsessed! That continued concentration can turn a small puddle of worry into a massive sea of anxiety; your mind becomes a stressful place, where the anxious thoughts seem to dominate all the other, more tolerable thoughts.

This has a knock-on effect on your body; it goes into ‘fight or flight’ mode, your muscles tense, blood pressure increases, heart rate goes up, digestion slows down, your senses heighten, it’s as if the body is preparing for some really physical challenge.

This tsunami of physical tension and mental torment crush confidence, reality and perspective, often to the extent that it can lean to a full-blown panic attack, where the person effectively shuts down or is unable to function.

Now, that vicious circle is very powerful, as one thing feeds of another, so, using hypnotherapy, we use that structure, but turn it on its head to make a ‘virtuous’ circle.

In this, we use hypnotic techniques to increase some of the things you need to be able to rationalise that is happening to you when you start to get obsessed or feel the compulsion is out of control, and do something about reversing the trend before it becomes a full-blown life challenging event.


Calmness is the antidote to OCD

Calmness is the antidote to OCD. When your mind is calm, you see things in their true perspective, and with their correct levels of meaning. Because your outlook is more rational, thinking and optimistic, it prevents the negative thoughts from getting a hold and taking you someplace you don’t want to go.

Now, there is a side-effect of being calm, and it’s that your body relaxes. No longer at DEFCON 1 and under attack, your muscles relax, your heart rate and blood pressure are adequate and you feel at ease with yourself.

Of course, there is natural effect from feeling and being calm and relaxed, and that’s confidence. The too main ingredients of confidence are mental calmness and physical relaxation, when you think about times in your life that you’ve been most confident, they have always been when you felt calm and relaxed.

usbConfidence naturally leads to feeling and being more competent. So you can see things more clearly with the correct level of meaning with true importance. And because your mind is calm, your body is relaxed, you feel confident, you see things in their perspective. The quality of your natural sleep also becomes progressively better and better, so that you wake up in the morning feeling and being calm, relaxed, in charge, in control, happy and at ease.

In the sessions, you are taught to relax to a very deep level and you can also have a specially-recorded self-hypnosis session. To use at home, then you can gradually replace the old feelings with the new ones, until they just feel right.

It’s important to find a therapist that respects your confidentiality, so that you feel comfortable telling them all about your issues.

Remember, your exterior world is a reflection of who you are on the inside. To change your outer world, you have to change your inner world. That’s where hypnosis really comes in.

To find out more about hypnosis and how it works, have a look here.

What else can I do?

Betterhelp has some great ideas to help you on the route to better mental health:

Take A Break

WellnessIf you feel overwhelmed by obsessive behaviours, take a break. When you are experiencing these compulsions, the anxiety and distress you feel can often be overwhelming. Take a moment to relax and cool down. Focus on your breathing and pay attention to the tenseness in your shoulders and throughout your body. As you breathe, you should feel your body start to relax.

Another thing you can do is take a simple walk (or run) in the park or at the gym. Exercising releases endorphins – happy chemicals that relax your mind and body. Try to focus on the trees around you or listen to an upbeat song while you do this.

Look After Yourself

The first thing you should do any time you are faced with a challenge is to focus on yourself.

Set time aside to pay attention to yourself and your needs or wants. You can take this time to complete activities that will make you feel happy or stress-free. Some people choose to drink a glass of wine or take a bubble bath. Others prefer to enjoy a meal out of the house or go to the movies. What you choose is up to you – just make sure it is fun and stress-free!

Resist Your Urges

When you feel an obsessive thought start to come on, do your best to resist the urge to complete the behaviour as best you can. This is not to be confused with ignoring the urge. It can be helpful to acknowledge your thoughts but dig down deep and try as hard as possible to resist the urge to act.

Get Support

Your support system is perhaps the best tool you have to manage compulsive behaviour. This can be a person or group of people you trust or a licensed counsellor or therapist.

Avoid Drugs And AlcoholAvoid Drugs And Alcohol

For many trying to manage their obsessive behaviour on their own, turning to drugs or alcohol can be tempting.

While drugs and alcohol may provide instant relief, remember that it is only temporary. Many health risks associated with drug and alcohol use can be as difficult or worse than OCD, and the effects of drugs and alcohol can make your condition worse in the long run.

Invest In a Gadget

Technology can be a helpful tool in your journey to overcome your OCD.

Let’s say you have obsessions around making sure the oven is turned off or the door is locked. Consider installing a camera facing the areas you find yourself checking multiple times. This is a way you can reassure yourself that you have taken care of the issue and will help you to calm your anxiety.

Recognise ‘Fake Thoughts’

Intrusive thoughts are unwelcome, irrational thoughts that come on suddenly. They can range from mild to extremely disturbing.

For those experiencing obsessive behaviour, intrusive thoughts can be extremely difficult to shake off. When you think an intrusive thought, be careful not to engage it. Acknowledge it but don’t give it power.

Be Patient

The most important thing you can remember is to be patient with yourself and grant yourself grace where needed.

CASE STUDY 1 – Anxiety

John JunoJohn Juno had been suffering from OCD and anxiety for many years, it was even affecting his sleep? Could hypnotherapy be the answer to his problems?

“Great experience. Quite nothing that I’ve ever experienced. Like anything that is outside of traditional medicine, I approached this with a bit of skepticism but when I fully committed to getting this done and put my faith in Jonathan I was able to slowly overcome sleep anxiety.

I will definitely recommend Hypnotherapy as an alternative to managing anxiety with ‘pills’ that may do more harm than good in the long term.”




What did I learn here?

That OCD can be challenging; it often has roots into our personal life experiences, however, it can be treated.

Sometimes people feel that their OCD is simple, or silly, or not worth bothering anyone with, however, if it’s something that’s taking over your life, it really can be stopped.

That hypnotherapy is very efficient in helping people to sort out a wide variety of problems and challenges. Most problems can be solved in 2-4 weekly hypnosis sessions.

If you’d like to find out more about how hypnosis can help you, have a look at our website.

We offer a free initial consultation, either by a Telehealth video link or at our clinic in Novena Medical Centre. Or call us personally for a chat on 6397 6073.