OCD is quite a chatter box. During the course of therapy a client will inevitably ask me, “When is this chatter going to stop?” Even though the client is doing everything they need to be doing, OCD just won’t shut up!
I reply with blazing hope. Be patient. You can bear all things during therapy with patience. When the going gets rough hang in there. Don’t quit! I’ve seen 100’s of clients get better, just when they thought they never would.
It’s as if there’s a switch in the brain and it suddenly gets flipped on. When this happens it’s visible on the clients face. After many weeks, sometimes months the client is transformed. And I say, “It’s nice to finally meet you.” And we laugh. It feels so good.
But it wasn’t easy getting there. Exposure & Response Prevention(ERP) is the scariest thing you’ll ever do. Believe me, OCD will tell you not to do it! Every nerve ending in your body will tell you to stop.
Acceptance and Commitment(ACT) therapy is mental Kung Fu. Reverse psychology. Letting the thoughts be there and doing nothing to “fix” them. Agreeing with the thoughts and letting your core values drive your behavior no matter how you feel.
Practicing ERP and ACT is tedious work. There’s a lot of repetition. Things aren’t clear right away. It’s uninspiring at first. Once you disprove OCD it gets a little more inspiring and empowering. But in the beginning and middle it’s slow, tiresome and the symptoms are often unrelieved.
Patience is the hero. It’s magical. It will protect you while you slowly plod forward. It’s the capacity to accept or tolerate suffering. It’s the ability to continue moving forward despite the lack of relief.
I made a video for you (see below) and when I finished I had a craving for something sweet. I don’t eat much sugar so I found a bag of very old fortune cookies. I grabbed one and cracked it open to read the fortune. I couldn’t believe the message! Unbelievable!
Check out this video I made for you!