Obsession, Compulsion and OCD are technically related though it is worth looking at them individually to get a clearer understanding of each of their workings and difficulties.
Obsession is a multi-faceted condition sometimes taking the form whereby the sufferer has to complete some form of ritual. It could be washing their hands 12 times an hour – not 13 or 11 – exactly 12. Maybe, clean the house from top to bottom 3 times a day. Continually counting items in a cupboard. Checking the doors are locked multiple times. Re-reading a comment before committing to on the internet. Repeated behaviour that has to be carried out at certain times of the day, often astoundingly repetitious, that has no logic but must be carried out.
The issue with using hypnotherapy with Obsession is that, although it is easy to break the routine and the habit, this can then often lead to excessive anxiety and even panic attacks. The obsessive person usually harbours a feeling that if they don’t do the particular thing, some ghastly fate would befall him or other people. Which is why I don’t employ this methodology.
For the person that is suffering Obsession, doing the ‘thing’ they do is critical and forced upon them. They ‘may’ enjoy doing it or think they enjoy it but the sufferer has to do their ritual regardless and most would say it is something they don’t enjoy doing. They are forced by something in the psyche to carry out the Obsession.
Obsession is best treated with B.W.R.T. This is usually over taken over 4-8 sessions. We have to work on the reasons for starting the Obsession, removing the anxiety if the ritual is not carried out and then unlocking the old-self and creating a new-self that doesn’t employ Obsession.
Compulsion, though it can seem similar to obsession, it is actually quite different. As mentioned, obsession is forced by part of the psyche, whereas the Compulsive individual enjoys whatever their ‘Compulsion’ is. The problem is though this Compulsion may interfere with work or relationships. There is a compulsion to follow a task through to the end even though there is very little satisfaction in completion. This could be seen in someone with a computer game wanting a new high score. He will play the game way up to the last minute – sometimes beyond – before switching off and then rushing to catch up with where he should have been. The game is almost instantly forgotten immediately until the next time.
Compulsion is treated in much the same way as Obsession but with an emphasise on working on what not doing the Compulsion would lead to and remove this. Where Obsession there is usually a disaster waiting to happen for the person if they dont carry it out, Compulsion can be linked to a distraction from doing something else.
OCD, is the abbreviation used in psychiatry for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It differs little, if at all from Obsession.
B.W.R.T is one of the few therapies with a good record of treating this tricky condition.