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Leslie

I am new here! - OCD Checking advice please :)

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Hi,

I am a checker and my main issue is leaving the house as I have to go round the house from top to bottom over and over again checking windows, taps, that the gas is off, that my cat is ok! (She's an indoor rescue cat you see) etc etc. I have had EMDR therapy in the past (about a year ago) as my therapist thought my OCD was down to a traumatic death in the family that happened in childhood and that kind of therapy is meant to be good in situations as such however after my course of 12 weeks I went back to my old ways. Now I am ready to face this head on again and wondered where people think the best place to start would be? (Self help, support group, go to GP, look for a CBT therapist myself, anything else?). Any suggestions and help is much appreciated.

 

Leslie x

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Hi Leslie,

Welcome to the forum :)

My understanding of EMDR is that although it can be useful in processing trauma, there isn't evidence that it can treat OCD (even if it was triggered by a traumatic event).  So therefore even if your OCD has its roots in trauma, it still needs to be dealt with using the gold standard treatment, which is CBT.

In terms of how you go about getting CBT, you have a few options, and others on the forum can help you more with the details (including Ashley, who is the head of the charity and can really help point you in the right direction.) But briefly, you could go to your GP and ask to be referred, or you can self-refer via IAPT.  The quality of CBT obtained this way varies dramatically.  Personally I got CBT through IAPT and it was terrible.  Others have had a more positive experience.  I think there are other routes through the system though other than IAPT.  I'm not sure though, I don't have a lot of knowledge of this.  I do know that many people have a very positive therapy experience through the NHS.

Then there is the private route, which can be better (but not necessarily), you can access therapy more quickly and you can choose your therapist - but it can be very pricey. If you go down this path make sure to do lots of research.

Then there is self-help, which in my opinion is a totally valid choice but you have to be prepared to put the hard work in without the guidance of a therapist which can make it harder, but not impossible.  A really good place to start is "Break free from OCD" by Paul Salkovskis, or "Pulling the Trigger" by Adam Shaw.  These both give a really clear explanation of both the cognitive and behavioural aspects of treatment, they both really helped me.  Even if you decide to get therapy as well, these books can help you develop a better understanding beforehand.

Whatever you decide, there is definitely a way out of this and CBT will help you get there :) 

GBG x

 

 

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Hi Leslie, welcome to the forum :)

Can't add much to what GBG said. I highly recommend Break free from OCD, the self-help book, for your checking problem, there is an example of someone who checks in it that might be helpful. 

I also agree with looking into CBT. GBG is right either your can go to your GP or you can self-refer to your local IAPT. The quality of CBT can vary but if things don't work out, you can always be stepped up to more specialist help in the NHS. 

Private therapy can equally be as variable but the minimum you should look for is a therapist with experience in treating OCD and BABCP accreditation. 

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38 minutes ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

Hi Leslie,

Welcome to the forum :)

My understanding of EMDR is that although it can be useful in processing trauma, there isn't evidence that it can treat OCD (even if it was triggered by a traumatic event).  So therefore even if your OCD has its roots in trauma, it still needs to be dealt with using the gold standard treatment, which is CBT.

In terms of how you go about getting CBT, you have a few options, and others on the forum can help you more with the details (including Ashley, who is the head of the charity and can really help point you in the right direction.) But briefly, you could go to your GP and ask to be referred, or you can self-refer via IAPT.  The quality of CBT obtained this way varies dramatically.  Personally I got CBT through IAPT and it was terrible.  Others have had a more positive experience.  I think there are other routes through the system though other than IAPT.  I'm not sure though, I don't have a lot of knowledge of this.  I do know that many people have a very positive therapy experience through the NHS.

Then there is the private route, which can be better (but not necessarily), you can access therapy more quickly and you can choose your therapist - but it can be very pricey. If you go down this path make sure to do lots of research.

Then there is self-help, which in my opinion is a totally valid choice but you have to be prepared to put the hard work in without the guidance of a therapist which can make it harder, but not impossible.  A really good place to start is "Break free from OCD" by Paul Salkovskis, or "Pulling the Trigger" by Adam Shaw.  These both give a really clear explanation of both the cognitive and behavioural aspects of treatment, they both really helped me.  Even if you decide to get therapy as well, these books can help you develop a better understanding beforehand.

Whatever you decide, there is definitely a way out of this and CBT will help you get there :) 

GBG x

 

 

Wow! Thank you so much for such a quick and informative response :-). I went through the doctors originally to get the EMDR help but tbh although my therapist was a lovely lady I didn't really find it helped at all as she did the rapid movement technique (moving her hand from side to side) then just kept saying "what are you getting?" As in what thoughts are coming to mind and to be honest sometimes I wasn't even getting any thoughts at all! Haha. It's not even necessary that my OCD is to do with the event anyway. 

I definitely think I will go down the CBT route. I might just look for a therapist in my area or go to a support group to start with. I'm not too fussed about the expense (even though I'm not made of money lol) as I really want to tackle this asap.

Please can I just ask what you did to start out getting help? 

Thank you for listening and your help and support.

Leslie x

 

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35 minutes ago, Gemma7 said:

Hi Leslie, welcome to the forum :)

Can't add much to what GBG said. I highly recommend Break free from OCD, the self-help book, for your checking problem, there is an example of someone who checks in it that might be helpful. 

I also agree with looking into CBT. GBG is right either your can go to your GP or you can self-refer to your local IAPT. The quality of CBT can vary but if things don't work out, you can always be stepped up to more specialist help in the NHS. 

Private therapy can equally be as variable but the minimum you should look for is a therapist with experience in treating OCD and BABCP accreditation. 

Thank you for your quick response and for that book recommendation I will look into getting it! 😊 Can you get these sorts of books from book shops or do you have to order online?

I will weigh up my options and see what's best I do want help quickly so may have to go private.

What route did you take please?

Thank you for listening and your help and support. It's much appreciated.

 

Leslie x

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You can get Break free from OCD in large book shops but it is available from OCD-UK or online (amazon etc) too :)

I went through the process before IAPT existed, IAPT are only in England btw, not sure where you are, so I've not been through the recent system. When i went (years ago) waiting lists were over a year so i went private. The therapist unfortunately was very poor so didn't help at all. Waiting lists now can be only weeks so it might still be worth a try. If you get Break free from OCD it has advice on what to expect from therapy, what to look for in a therapist. So my advice is start there :)

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43 minutes ago, Leslie said:

Wow! Thank you so much for such a quick and informative response :-). I went through the doctors originally to get the EMDR help but tbh although my therapist was a lovely lady I didn't really find it helped at all as she did the rapid movement technique (moving her hand from side to side) then just kept saying "what are you getting?" As in what thoughts are coming to mind and to be honest sometimes I wasn't even getting any thoughts at all! Haha. It's not even necessary that my OCD is to do with the event anyway. 

I definitely think I will go down the CBT route. I might just look for a therapist in my area or go to a support group to start with. I'm not too fussed about the expense (even though I'm not made of money lol) as I really want to tackle this asap.

Please can I just ask what you did to start out getting help? 

Thank you for listening and your help and support.

Leslie x

 

I went through IAPT before I knew anything about OCD, and it was basically worse than useless (just for me,  not necessarily IAPT in general.) I've never gone private so I'm only going off what others have said here. 

That was a few years ago now (6/7) and after that I discovered this forum and several self-help books and they have been absolutely transformative to me.  Honestly I have no desire to go down the therapy route again.  But that's just me.  I know a lot of people get a huge amount out of therapy.

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