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ISTDP therapy: a game-changer in treating OCD


Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy ISTDP is a type of psychotherapy that is making waves in the field of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) treatment.


It has been found to be incredibly effective in helping people with OCD resolve their symptoms and improve their quality of life.


In this article, we'll be exploring how ISTDP can provide significant improvements in treating OCD.



Understanding OCD



Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, or OCD, is characterised by recurrent, intrusive thoughts and compulsions or behaviours that are aimed at reducing anxiety or preventing harm.


OCD can take on various forms, from compulsive checking to obsessive thoughts, counting, cleaning, or arranging.

Living with OCD can be challenging, as it can impact a person's quality of life, relationships, and ability to function at work or school.


People with OCD often feel shame and guilt about their symptoms, and may try to hide them from others, leading to isolation and further distress.

Research suggests that OCD involves dysfunction in the areas of the brain that regulate emotions and decision-making, as well as excessive activity in the circuit that connects the frontal cortex and the basal ganglia.

Previous treatment options for OCD include medication's, such as SSRIs, cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), exposure and response prevention (ERP), and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).


However, these approaches may not be effective for everyone, and some people may continue to experience symptoms despite treatment.

ISTDP therapy is a newer approach to treating OCD that has shown promising results.


By addressing the underlying emotions and conflicts that drive the compulsions, ISTDP aims to help individuals break free from the cycle of obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours.


In the following sections, we will explore how ISTDP therapy works and its benefits in treating OCD.



How ISTDP therapy works in treating OCD


ISTDP is an evidence-based psychotherapy that focuses on the emotional and psychological processes underlying our thoughts and behaviours. It is a powerful treatment option for individuals struggling with OCD.



In traditional therapy methods, individuals with OCD are often encouraged to confront their fears and try to resist compulsions.


While this approach can be effective for some, it often fails to address the deeper emotional issues that drive OCD, many people may find that this approach allows some relief for a short period, but the issue will resurface at a later point.


ISTDP therapy, on the other hand, focuses on resolving the underlying emotional conflicts that contribute to OCD.

ISTDP therapy aims to help patients understand and manage their emotions, allowing them to work through their anxiety in a healthy way.


This type of therapy can be used to help patients with OCD to identify and express their emotional needs, understand and resolve underlying conflicts, and develop new, healthy coping mechanisms to replace compulsive behaviours.

One key component of ISTDP therapy is its focus on building emotional awareness.


Through techniques such as focusing on physical sensations, the therapist helps patients to become more aware of their emotions and the physiological changes that occur in their bodies when they experience anxiety.


By increasing emotional awareness, patients can better manage their feelings and respond to anxiety in a healthier way.


Case studies and success stories of using ISTDP therapy for OCD


In recent years, there has been an increasing amount of research supporting the effectiveness of ISTDP in treating OCD.


Many individuals have reported positive outcomes and improved quality of life after undergoing ISTDP therapy for OCD.

One success story involves a young woman who had been struggling with intrusive thoughts and compulsions for many years.


She had undergone various traditional forms of therapy, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Exposure Response Prevention (ERP), but had not seen significant improvements in her symptoms.


After trying ISTDP therapy, however, she was able to better understand the underlying emotional triggers and learn how to manage them, after she had been able to resolve the underlying internal conflict, there was a significant reduction in her symptoms and felt empowered to take control of her life.

Another case study involved a man who had experienced OCD symptoms for several years, leading him to feel overwhelmed and hopeless.


After working with an ISTDP therapist, he was able to identify and confront the root causes of his anxiety, his anxiety around a lack of control had resulted from his insecure relationship with his mother growing up.


The compulsive nature of his control in adult life was a result of unresolved pain and emotions from his upbringing that he had yet to fully process.


The compulsions had worked to stop him from consciously being aware of the sadness and anger he felt for his treatment as a child, likely due to it being unsafe for him to fully acknowledge these emotions when younger.

After he had worked on resolving these underlying feelings he was able to take meaningful steps towards recovery. With the support and guidance of his therapist, he was able to regain his confidence and enjoy a higher quality of life.


If you want help resolving your OCD then book an appointment today.


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