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Overview

CBT helps treat the symptoms of OCD in various ways. Since OCD makes a person avoid people, objects, and situations because of their fear that something bad would happen if they do, CBT could have the person do the opposite of avoiding these situations in order to test if their OCD is actually lying. Seeing that no harm would happen reduces the validity of their fearful thoughts.
Another way CBT could help treat OCD is to show the person that having thoughts in itself doesn’t mean anything, moreover encouraging the person to not be afraid of having intrusive thoughts and not engage in actively avoiding them, which end up fuelling those thoughts.
CBT also discourages the person with OCD from seeking reassurance as a means to dispute their negative obsessive thoughts and beliefs and reassurance seeking is a form of compulsion, engaging in which only strengthens the person’s obsessive belief of being capable of certain things, which keeps the anxiety high.
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How effective is CBT for OCD?

CBT is very effective in helping the person with OCD challenge the negative meanings that they have attached to their thoughts which fuel their anxiety and keep the OCD cycle going, while helping the person find alternative meanings to attach to these obsessive thoughts.

How does CBT for OCD work?

CBT helps the person with OCD understand that their thoughts influence their emotions and their actions. By first making the person aware of the current thoughts that they are thinking, a CBT therapist will help the person to challenge and response the destructive thoughts with alternative, more positive thoughts, and change the way the person behaves in response to their triggers.

How many numbers of sessions are required?

The number of sessions depends on the severity of the person’s OCD symptoms and their response to CBT sessions.