After eight long years of rock-busting in conventional counseling practices, Melanie Wells founded The LifeWorks Group in 1999 to offer clients a fresh, innovative approach to the everyday problems of life. Since that inauspicious beginning (we had two pleather chairs, a broken copier and about $7 in the bank) LifeWorks has trained hundreds of interns and helped tens of thousands... Read More
When most people envision Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), they imagine: sparkling clean kitchens, frenzied handwashing, painstaking organization, or difficult-to-please micromanagement.
But for many people who suffer from OCD, this assessment misses the mark.
OCD and “messiness” are not mutually exclusive states. In fact, your life can be chaotic—your home, a disorderly mess—and you can still suffer from crippling OCD!
That’s because OCD consists of two components: obsessive thoughts & compulsive (or uncontrollable) actions. We imagine that “compulsive actions” must always consist of rituals that can be seen; but often, individuals with OCD engage in mental compulsions—actions such as counting, praying, or mentally assessing your environment for safety—that are not easily detectable.
Although the true roots of OCD are most likely genetic or neurochemical, the characteristic compulsions of OCD typically develop as a soothing mechanism to curb unwanted or distressing thoughts.
These intrusive (or obsessive) thoughts commonly include:
To neutralize the intensity of these obsessive thoughts, individuals with OCD develop compensatory behaviors known as compulsions. These repetitive techniques—although affording temporary relief—are ultimately ineffective at the long-term reduction of anxiety. In fact, over time, these compulsive rituals become so all-consuming that participating in the behaviors and attempting to conceal them from others generates overwhelming distress.
Common compulsive behaviors include:
Although many of these thoughts and behaviors are common in individuals without OCD—for a sufferer of OCD—obsessions and compulsions are extremely time-consuming, anxiety-provoking, and functioning-inhibiting. Fortunately, help is available for managing your OCD!
Our innovative team of counseling experts uses an arsenal of successful techniques to ensure that you regain control and functionality over your life—while still having fun in the process! In addition to traditional talk therapy methods such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), we also offer: