OCD and intrusive thoughts

OCD and Intrusive thoughts.

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common mental health condition where a person has obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours

The official description is:

An obsession is an unwanted and unpleasant thought, image or urge that repeatedly enters your mind, causing feelings of anxiety, disgust or unease.
A compulsion is a repetitive behaviour or mental act that you feel you need to do to temporarily relieve the unpleasant feelings brought on by the obsessive thought.

OCD misunderstood

People often think of OCD as only excessive washing your hands, checking the door is locked, or not stepping on cracks etc. but those are just tiny examples of a larger field. The main issue is how the intrusive thoughts cause often damaging compulsive behaviours due to increasing anxiety. This is often followed by anger, frustration and even guilt.

Here are some examples of types of OCD

  • Cleaning – contamination
  • Health anxiety
  • Somatic OCD
  • Arranging / counting OCD
  • Organisation OCD
  • Completion OCD
    Hoarding – sentimental / deprived
  • Body dysmorphic disorder
  • Worry / harm OCD
  • Violence OCD
  • Religious OCD
  • POCD - paedophile OCD
  • HOCD – Homosexual or gay OCD
  • Promiscuity OCD 

types of OCD

OCD traps

  1. All the strategies you use (e.g. checking, seeking reassurance, washing, avoidance) don’t work, because your anxiety only goes down for a short time and comes back again.
    2. Using these strategies also does not give you a chance to find out whether the meaning or interpretation you gave to the obsessions was really correct.
    3. These strategies produce the opposite effect you wish to achieve. That is, even though you hoped these strategies would help you to control the obsessions, they often make you think about the obsessions even more!

OCD cycle

Why our approach really works

Talking about your OCD doesn’t make it go away as it is a cyclic thinking pattern and talking doesn’t break the loop.
All the latest research shows that Exposure and Response Prevention therapy (ERP), which is a type of CBT, supported by mindfulness and hypnotherapy are much more effective.
In our experience, overcoming OCD takes on average 3 to 6 sessions.

Contact us to discuss and book your first session

To discuss how OCD and intrusive thoughts are affecting you and how we can help, please call Mark on 0121 251 6172 or email via our contact page.


More and more people are becoming interested in mindfulness and how it can help them; it is even available on the NHS in some areas.  Mindfulness helps people overcome anxiety, depression, addiction and more. Sessions are run 1-2-1, in small groups, in schools, in the workplace, in hospitals etc.

Example uses include


So what is it and how does it work?

Mindfulness means ‘to be mindful’ or ‘being present in the here and now’.  One of the reasons it is so powerful is that we all live in the future and past, most of the time, so worry about what might happen or has happened. Mindfulness brings you into the present and stops the distress.

Be mindful not mind-full


Many people stop at this point and use it as a kind of mental pause button. As nice as that can be, what happens when you release the pause button? Mindfulness is far more powerful than just a mental pause, it has the ability to retrain your mind and body and enable you to build personal resilience.

When correctly taught, you will be able to use the mindful state of non-judgement that removes the emotional affects, and enables you to build more useful understanding and responses.

It is human design that when you learn things correctly, you learn them mindfully by paying conscious attention. Unfortunately it is also human design that we accidently learn things unconsciously and therefore have no control over its impact. This can be corrected through mindfulness training.

Mindfulness sessions will leave you relaxed and in control of your life.

Please contact us to discuss how we can help and how you can book your mindfulness sessions. Call 0121 251 6172 or email via the contact page


Mindfulness and ACT

Here is a little more information on how mindfulness is used in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

It tends to be more ‘bite-sized’ based on research that shows that even brief periods of regular mindfulness practice (5- 10 mins or just mini mindful moments!) can still be beneficial and help us to ‘rewire’ our brain.

While many people think mindfulness means meditation, this is not the case. Mindfulness is a mental state of openness, awareness and focus, and meditation is just one way amongst hundreds of learning to cultivate this state.

Russ Harris

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy gets its name from its main themes - to accept things that are out of your control and commit to changing things that can be changed to make your life better. In summary, ACT uses mindfulness and acceptance skills to develop a more flexible relationship with your thoughts, feelings, memories and sensations. Time is also taken to clarify what gives your life meaning, your values. Without being held back by tricky thoughts and feelings and with a new sense of purpose and direction, you can begin to build a more enriched and meaningful life.

  • The objective of ACT is not elimination of difficult feelings; rather, it is to be present with what life brings us and to "move toward valued behaviour“.
  • To develop emotional /psychological resilience and flexibility through mindful practice.
  • Mindfulness is awareness - primary thinking, not judgement thinking – secondary thinking.
  • It is an attitude of openness and curiosity (non-judgement).
  • It is a process of learning.
  • It is the art of living consciously.

ACT six core principles for psychological flexibility

  1. Acceptance: Allowing unwanted private experiences (thoughts, feelings and urges) to come and go without struggling with them.
  2. Cognitive defusion: Learning methods to reduce the tendency to reify thoughts, images, emotions, and memories.
  3. Being present: Awareness of the here and now, experienced with openness, interest, and receptiveness. (mindfulness)
  4. The observing self: Accessing a transcendent sense of self, a continuity of consciousness which is unchanging.
  5. Values: Discovering what is most important to oneself.
  6. Committed action: Setting goals according to values and carrying them out responsibly, in the service of a meaningful life.

Call us to discuss and book your first session on 0121 251 6172

solihull hypnotherapyHypnotherapy in Solihull

Hypnotherapy in Solihull can help you find a hypnotherapist in Solihull. Many people in the local area want help but would rather it not be too close to home just in case your confidentiality is compromised when people notice you leaving a therapy centre on Solihull high street.

Luckily we are close enough to help, yet far enough away to ensure your complete confidentiality with whatever we can help you to resolve.

Solihull is one of the most prosperous towns in the Midlands and in 2013 was actually voted the best place to live in the United Kingdom by the uSwitch Quality of Life Index.

Yet in spite of all this there has been an increase in residents of Solihull suffering from anxiety and stress. Some turn to smoking, drinking etc but many are finding it difficult to relax and even sleep.

Luckily this is where we can make a difference by helping you to stop smoking and so much more.

We are based at the West Midlands Hypnotherapy Centre in Cotteridge, 2 minutes walk from Kings Norton train station. A mere 20 minutes drive or even accessible by public transport (49, 45, 47, 18 and 11A)

For more details and discuss how we can help you please call 0121 251 6172

hypnotherapy selly oakHypnotherapy in Selly Oak

Hypnotherapy is Selly Oak is helping so many people from students of Birmingham University to patients of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and local residents alike.

Selly Oak was originally named at the old oak tree that stood at the junction of the Bristol Road and Oak Tree Lane. This great oak still has a commemorative plaque at its new home in Selly Oak Park. The original Oak tree was felled in 1909 for safety reasons.

Maybe you are interested in Hypnotherapy in Selly Oak because you would like to stop smoking

Maybe you are interested in Hypnotherapy in Selly Oak because you would like to relax and build you confidence.

Hypnotherapy can help overcome some many issues because few people realise that anxiety, phobias, stress and so much more is actually caused by a type of negative self-hypnosis and our job is to help you resolve this so that can again sleep peacefully.

We are less than 10 minutes away by car or bus. We are only two stops away by train as we are less than 2 minutes walk from Kings Norton train station. Selly Oak Hypnotherapy can be easily accessed at our therapy centre in Middleton Hall Road, Cotteridge

To find out how we can help you please call 0121 251 6172

eating disordersEating Disorders

We are contacted regularly by people who, like you, are asking for help to overcome an eating disorder. Many people think that hypnotherapy NLP and CBT are only for people to lose weight but the truth is the wider area of eating disorders can and do benefit even more from these forms of therapeutic interventions.

According to the NHS website

 Eating disorders are characterised by an abnormal attitude towards food that causes someone to change their eating habits and behaviour.

Yet the site and support only seem to focus on three main areas:

  • Anorexia Nervosa – the aim is to keep weight as low as possible by starvation and over-exercise.
  • Bulimia - weight control by binge eating and then deliberately vomiting or using laxatives.
  • Binge Eating – feels compelled to over eat.

The media doesn't help...

The TV seems to have picked up on another category and in typical media fashion, have given it the name ‘FREAKY EATERS’. Which is hardly a helpful label for the many people out there who are finding it extremely difficult to eat certain foods and/or food combinations.

You may be amazed to find out that we receive calls on a virtual weekly basis, from both men and women, who can’t eat vegetables, or meat, or cheese, or carbs, or… well the list just goes on….

But we can help...

Our aim at the West Midlands Hypnotherapy Centre is to help you gain back the control so that you can choose much more freely what you want to eat.

Rather than call it ‘an eating disorder’ how about you consider it as ‘disordered eating’ where eating habits have gotten out of order and the thoughts and beliefs surrounding certain foods is no longer of use to you.

Your unconscious mind always does the best for you with the information it has but sometimes this information can get skewed and have a negative impact. If for a moment we consider the brain as a really powerful computer running programs all of the time then maybe the program it has been running around food has gotten corrupted or out-of-date so needs an updated. Your brain is a powerful tool but like all tools it needs to be maintained, this is where we can help.

We will help you learn to relax and gain back the freedom to choose.

Please call 0121 251 6172 to discuss and to consider booking an appointment, or contact via email


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