OCD Case 1

This case involves a 43 year old male who was suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) who was finding that it was starting to impair his professional life and income as it was now a distraction from work. He worked as a freelancer writing computer code and the OCD was interrupting his thought process.

As with nearly all OCD cases the underlying reason has to do with some ritual to do with luck. The OCD behavior either is for bringing good luck or keeping bad luck away, and discovery of that luck related reason is key to the therapy.

In this case it was to keep bad luck away and his eastern European upbringing had a significant dose of superstition that was deeply rooted in his core beliefs. His family would perform various rituals that included opening doors with their left hand and choosing the left most door if given a choice. As this was taught to him as a child before the age of 6 when core foundational behavior is taught, breaking the behavior became difficult if not impossible for him to do alone.

In the first session he expressed doubts that hypnosis would work but he was so desperate he was willing to give it a try. So during the intake I focused on learning about all the rituals his family a performed on a regular basis. What I discovered is his OCD behavior was for both aspects of luck being bringing good luck and keeping bad luck away. As time went on over the years he kept modifying the rituals to enhance their effect on luck resulting in OCD behavior. He was eventually heading for 100% of his behavior being driven by this.

As a self-taught example for him about the effects and impact of hypnosis, because he did not believe hypnosis would help, the day after his first session he experienced 32 OCD episodes by noon being 530% of what was normal. Before seeing me he averaged about 12 in a day. He called me in a panic as he was out of control. I pointed out to him that because he did not believe hypnosis would work he actually reversed the suggestion making things worse thus self-proving that hypnosis does work. I told him that all he had to do was accept the obvious that hypnosis works and things would get better. Once he accepted that in his mind, the rest of his day was fine with no further episodes that day and significantly fewer until the next weekly session.

As therapy progressed on a weekly basis there was a need to dismantle the root beliefs based in superstition. The first of a series of layered suggestions was to suggest to leave well enough alone and go back to the unenhanced behaviors he was taught as a child. He accepted that as he saw that his enhancements were actually bringing bad luck.

From there we focused on leaner versions of the rituals making them less intrusive in his daily life until they got to such a low level of impact on his life he was able to not have any overt episodes. He did not want to completely remove his beliefs and making them more efficient to perform with just a thought and not action was his request and was the final outcome.