Most people get caught up or obsess about various things from time to time. It is perfectly normal to have irrational thoughts or fears to some extent. It becomes a problem however, when you can’t seem to get these thoughts out of your head, resulting in overwhelming anxiety and stress. Often, these thoughts lead to repetitive behaviors and actions aimed at reducing your anxiety. These compulsions only offer temporary relief. You never feel satisfied that you’ve done enough. It’s only a matter of time before your cycle of thoughts and behaviors resume.
Although all types of OCD share common features, the type of OCD I most often come across in my practice is known as Scrupulosity. Scrupulosity, refers to a form of OCD where your thoughts and behaviors relate to moral or religious fears. These include thoughts, questioning whether you fulfilled your religious obligations properly, or if you’re having heretical beliefs.
The most, well-researched method of OCD treatment, is a form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy known as Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). Utilizing this method can lead to a significant reduction of symptoms in a matter of weeks. While using this technique, I help clients learn how to calmly and faithfully adhere to their religious mandates while reducing excessive behaviors. With a reduction of anxiety, religious devotion actually improves, as clients are more easily able to engage in normative religious practice. Engaging serenely with your values and beliefs, ultimately leads to a happy and fulfilling life.
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