Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for OCD (MBCT-OCD) is a relatively new treatment that is effective in reducing symptoms of OCD. It is a combination of mindfulness meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy and is based on the theory that OCD is caused by faulty thoughts and beliefs. In this blog post, we will explain what MBCT is, how it works, and why it might be a good option for you if you are struggling with OCD.
- 1 Explaining Mindfulness For OCD
- 2 Discussing MBCT For OCD
- 3 Evaluating Mindfulness-based Therapies For OCD
- 4 Listing Alternative Therapies To Mindfulness-based Therapies For OCD
- 5 Finding an MBCT Therapist For OCD
- 6 Incorporating Mindfulness Into Your Daily Life
- 7 Conclusion
- 8 A Word From Mantra Care
Explaining Mindfulness For OCD
Mindfulness is the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something. It’s a moment-to-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment.
Mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them as good or bad. So when we practice mindfulness, our goal is simply to be aware of what is happening right now without reacting to it.
How Can Mindfulness Help Treat OCD
Since obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by uncontrollable, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviors (compulsions). As a result, these obsessions and compulsions can interfere with daily activities such as school, work, and personal relationships.
Herein mindfulness meditation can be of great help to intercept obsessive and compulsive thoughts in a mental health condition like OCD. As the bedrock of mindfulness involves focusing on your breath and being aware of your thoughts and feelings without judgment. Thus, by becoming more aware of your thoughts, you can learn to control them instead of letting them control you.
Discussing MBCT For OCD
MBCT AND MBSR are two mindfulness-based therapies that are effective in treating OCD. While MBSR (mindfulness-based stress reduction) is a mindfulness program that teaches people how to deal with stress by employing the healing benefits of yoga and movement. However, MBCT ie. mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy goes a step further than MBSR with an additional component of CBT to treat OCD.
MBCT is short for mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy. It is a form of psychotherapy that combines Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with mindfulness meditation. Thus, the goal of MBCBT is to help people become more aware of their thoughts and feelings to better manage them.
CBT And Mindfulness Meditation
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a type of therapy that helps people identify and change negative thinking patterns and behaviors.
- Mindfulness meditation is a type of meditation that involves focusing on the present moment and accepting thoughts and feelings without judgment.
The Theory Behind MBCT For OCD
MBCT is based on the theory that our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all interconnected. By changing our thoughts, we can change our feelings and behavior.
Similarly, our obsessions and compulsions are maintained by two things:
- Our beliefs about our obsessions (e.g., “I have to do this or something bad will happen”)
- The avoidance of our obsessions and the resulting anxiety (e.g., not washing my hands for fear of germs)
Thus, MBCBT aims to change both of these things by helping us to see our obsessions and anxiety in a different light, and by teaching us how to respond to our obsessions more effectively.
How Does It Work
MBCBT for OCD typically consists of eight to ten weekly sessions. In each session, you will learn about how your thoughts and feelings affect your behavior. You will also learn mindfulness meditation techniques that you can practice at home.
In each session, you will learn about how your thoughts and feelings affect your behavior. You will also learn mindfulness meditation techniques that you can practice at home.
You will be asked to complete homework assignments between sessions. These may include practicing mindfulness meditation, keeping a journal, or doing exposure and response prevention (ERP) exercises.
Techniques Used In MBCT For OCD
MBCT for OCD involves both mindfulness and cognitive-behavioral techniques.
Some of the mindfulness techniques that may be used include:
- Body scan: This is a practice in which you focus your attention on different parts of your body, noticing any sensations that you feel.
- Breathing: This involves paying attention to your breath as it goes in and out.
- Sitting meditation: This is a practice in which you sit quietly and focus on your breath or an object.
- Walking meditation: This is similar to sitting meditation, but it is done while walking.
Some of the cognitive-behavioral techniques that may be used include:
- Challenging your beliefs: This involves looking at your beliefs about your obsessions and seeing if they are true.
- Exposure and response prevention (ERP): This is a technique in which you are exposed to your obsessions (e.g., by not washing your hands) and then learn how to resist the urge to do your compulsions (e.g., by not washing your hands).
- Problem-solving: This involves learning how to effectively deal with problems that may trigger your OCD.
Is It Accompanied By Medication
MBCBT for OCD is usually done in combination with medication. This is because the medication can help to reduce the symptoms of OCD while MBCT helps to change the thoughts and behaviors that maintain it.
Evaluating Mindfulness-based Therapies For OCD
MBCBT and MBSR are effective treatments for OCD.
- A study that was published in 2016 found that mindfulness meditation can help reduce OCD symptoms. The study found that after eight weeks of mindfulness meditation, participants had a significant reduction in OCD symptoms.
- Another study published in 2014 found that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) was more effective than medication for treating OCD.
Benefits of Mindfulness-based Therapies For OCD
MBCT and MBSR have several benefits.
- First, they are a relatively short-term treatment (usually 12-16 weeks).
- Second, they do not require you to disclose any personal information that you may feel uncomfortable sharing.
- Third, they can be done in combination with medication.
- Fourth, they can be done in individual or group therapy.
Limitations of Mindfulness-based Therapies For OCD
MBCBT and MBSR are not without their limitations.
- First, they require a certain amount of motivation and commitment on the part of the person with OCD.
- Second, they may not be as effective in treating severe OCD.
- Third, they may not be covered by insurance.
- Fourth, they may not be available in all areas.
Listing Alternative Therapies To Mindfulness-based Therapies For OCD
While MBCBT is an effective treatment for OCD, it is not the only treatment available. Other treatments for OCD include:
- Exposure and response prevention (ERP): This is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that involves exposing yourself to your fears and learning how to resist your compulsions.
- Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT): This is a type of therapy that focuses on accepting your thoughts and feelings without trying to change them.
- Medication: Several types of medication can be used to treat OCD, including antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and antipsychotics.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): This is a type of therapy that helps you to change your thoughts and behaviors.
- Psychodynamic therapy: This is a type of therapy that focuses on the unconscious mind.
- Surgery: In severe cases of OCD, surgery may be an option.
How To Choose The Right Therapy
If you or someone you know is suffering from OCD, there are several things to consider when choosing the right therapy.
- First, you need to decide if you want to try a medication, cognitive-behavioral therapy, or another type of therapy.
- Second, you need to consider the severity of your OCD and whether you are willing to commit to a short- or long-term treatment.
- Third, you need to consider your personal preferences and whether you are comfortable disclosing personal information.
- Finally, be sure to ask about the success rate of the treatment and whether it is accompanied by medication.
There are many different types of therapy for OCD, so it is important to choose the one that is right for you. If you are interested in MBCT, be sure to inquire about the length of treatment and whether it is appropriate for the severity of your OCD. However, if you are not comfortable with MBCBT, there are many other types of therapy available, so be sure to explore all of your options.
Finding an MBCT Therapist For OCD
If you are interested in finding an MBCBT/MBSR therapist for OCD, there are a few things you can do.
How To Get Started
If you are interested in MBCT/MBSR for OCD, there are a few things you can do to get started.
- First, you can ask your doctor or mental health professional for a referral.
- Second, you can search the internet or directory listings for therapists who specialize in MBCBT.
- Third, you can contact your insurance company to see if they have any recommendations.
What To Look Out For
When looking for an MBCT/MBSR therapist, there are a few things to keep in mind. For instance:
- First, make sure the therapist has a license and has experience treating OCD.
- Second, make sure the therapist uses evidence-based techniques.
- Third, make sure the therapist is a good fit for you.
Red Flags To Avoid
When looking for an MBCT/MBSR therapist, there are a few red flags to avoid. For instance:
- First, avoid therapists who claim to have a “cure” for OCD.
- Second, avoid therapists who use unproven or dangerous techniques.
- Keep your distance from therapists who do seem like quacks or imposters.
How OCD Mantra Can Help You
OCD Mantra is an app that provides simple yet effective mindfulness tips for OCD. Additionally, we provide resources and support for people with OCD and their loved ones. Moreover, we also offer a free email course and affordable therapy on mindfulness for OCD.
Incorporating Mindfulness Into Your Daily Life
Here are some tips on how to incorporate mindfulness into your daily life. For instance:
- Practice mindful breathing: Take a few minutes each day to focus on your breath. Slowly inhale and exhale, paying attention to the sensation of your breath moving in and out of your body.
- Observe your thoughts: When you notice that any obsession or compulsion is taking over you, take a step back and observe it without judgment. Notice the content of the thought, as well as how it makes you feel.
- Practice self-compassion: Be kind and understanding with yourself. Remember that everyone makes mistakes and that you are doing the best you can.
- Focus on the present moment: When you find yourself wondering about your worries about the future or ruminating on the past, take a few minutes to focus on what’s happening in the present moment. Notice the sights, sounds, and smells around you.
Things To Bear In Mind
Before you begin practicing mindfulness, there are a few things to know to stick around. For instance:
- Start small: Don’t try to do too much at once. Mindfulness is a marathon, not a sprint.
- Find what works for you: There are many different ways to practice mindfulness. Find the method that works best for you and stick with it.
- Be patient: It takes time to see results from mindfulness. Don’t give up if you don’t see results immediately.
Expert Tip: One of the best things you can do to incorporate mindfulness into your daily life is to practice it every day. You can start by taking a few minutes each day to sit quietly and focus on your breath. Additionally, you can try to be more aware of your thoughts and emotions throughout the day.
MBCT is a promising treatment for OCD that has a lot of potential benefits. So, if you are considering MBCT for OCD, be sure to do your research and find a qualified therapist. Additionally, try to incorporate mindfulness into your daily life. And practice it every day, and be patient with yourself as you learn how to live in the present moment.
A Word From Mantra Care
Your mental health — your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.
At Mantra Care, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, relationship, OCD, LGBTQ, and PTSD. You can take our mental health test. You can also book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.