Oxford Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

What is OCD?

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

An obsession is an unwanted, unpleasant thought, image or urge that repeatedly enters a person's mind, causing anxiety. The word "obsession" usually describes something enjoyable, but in OCD the obsession can be unpleasant or frightening.

A compulsion is a repetitive behaviour or act that someone feels they need to carry out to try to prevent an obsession coming true. For example, someone who is obsessively scared they will catch a disease may feel the need to wash their hands every time they touch something they believe is contaminated.

OCD symptoms OCD symptoms can range from mild to severe. For example, some people with OCD may spend an hour or so a day engaged in obsessive-compulsive thinking and behaviour.

For others, the condition can completely take over their life.


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“Katharine has changed my life. I cannot thank her enough for the guidance she provided me”

Sept 2015

Although OCD affects individuals differently, most people with the condition fall into a set pattern of thought and behaviour. The pattern has four main steps:
Oxford CBT - OCD Diagram
  • obsession – your mind is overwhelmed by a constant obsessive fear or concern, such as the fear your house will be burgled
  • anxiety – this obsession provokes a feeling of intense anxiety and distress
  • compulsion – you adopt a pattern of compulsive behaviour to reduce your anxiety and distress, such as checking all your windows and doors are locked at least three times before leaving the house
  • temporary relief – the compulsive behaviour brings temporary relief from anxiety but the obsession and anxiety soon return, causing the cycle to begin again

Treatment for OCD

The treatment found to be the most effective in successfully tackling Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a special form of talking therapy called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
The principal aim of this therapeutic approach is to enable the person to become their own therapist and to provide them with the knowledge and tools to continue working towards complete recovery from OCD.

Research has shown that 75% of people with OCD are significantly helped by Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.  What's more, this form of therapy does not have any risks or side effects associated with it, which is why it remains the treatment of choice for tackling OCD by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and specialist centres such as the Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma (CADAT)

Contact us to book a session of CBT for OCD.