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Hypnotherapy Psychotherapy Counselling Reiki


Habits, Obsessions and Compulsions

Habit: A recurrent, often unconscious pattern of behaviour that is acquired through frequent repetition and often difficult to give up.

Obsession: An idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person's mind.

Compulsion: An irresistible urge to behave in a certain way, especially against one's conscious wishes.

We all have habits of one form or another. Some we may not even be aware of, some that are annoying to others and some that are just part of our makeup and personality. Some habits though can be detrimental to our health, relationships and general wellbeing and some can turn into obsessions, which over time can become intrusive, unhealthy and impact on our lives in a very negative way.

Habits are conditioned responses that happen automatically to certain stimuli. They are often triggered by stress, boredom, anxiety, agitation and emotional issues. The habit, whatever it may be, normally always provides the individual with some form of pleasure or reduction in stress, anxiety etc and therefore an association is made between the trigger and the response that the unconscious believes is beneficial.

Obsessions and compulsions are not the same thing.

With an obsession, you may constantly be thinking about doing something or worrying about something. For example, someone who is obsessed with cleanliness and germs may have an all-consuming desire to wash their hands. However, once they have done this, the worry doesn't disappear but continues to play on their mind and all they can think about doing is going to wash their hands again. There is no relief for someone with obsessive behaviour or thoughts. It dominates their life. It can affect both men and women and generally those who are perfectionists.

Someone with a compulsion does at least get some relief once they have carried out the compulsive behaviour; however, they often tend to feel guilty afterwards about their behaviour. An example of compulsive behaviour may be someone who compulsively over-eats. They binge on food, feeling an immediate satisfaction as they do so but then feel guilty afterwards and promise to themselves they won't do it tomorrow. Unfortunately the pattern continues day after day.

Whether you are affected by bad habits, obsessions or compulsions or indeed a combination of all of these, through the use of hypnotherapy and other psychotherapy techniques, we can work together to change this.

We can identify the triggers and alter the responses to those triggers to so that they become positive ones. We can investigate ways to reduce the occurrence of the trigger, change our self-beliefs, create positive thinking and learn how to relax possibly by the use of self-hypnosis. We can also identify the root cause of the problem and in doing so deal with this effectively so that the problem is resolved permanently.

There are numerous habits, obsessions and compulsions that clients have come to see me for help with, such as nail-biting, hair pulling (trichotillomania), smoking, drinking too much alcohol, eating chocolate, gambling, OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, constantly washing hands, checking things, carrying out rituals, obsessions over cleanliness, exercising excessively, fanatical over tidiness and order...the list goes on. Some of these easily overlap into other areas detailed on this website such as addictions and stress. At the end of the day, they are all just labels. You are unique and the therapy will be tailored specifically for you and the issues affecting you.