Does Mindfulness help in the treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)? An audit of client experience of an OCD group.

Hamilton Fairfax, Kayleigh Easey, Sara Fletcher, Jane Barfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

Background: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) can have a debilitating effect on the sufferer, their family and quality of life. Despite an evidence-based treatment for OCD, it is recognised as one of the hardest psychological problems to treat. CBT and in particular ER-P has also been associated with high drop out rates as some clients found it too stressful to engage in exposure interventions. There is a need, therefore, to consider other ways of enhancing expositing treatment. This article presents client experiences of an OCD group which incorporated Mindfulness as a central part of the intervention. Methodology: Fifteen clients who attended an OCD group over the last six years were contacted and interviewed by Research Assistant. Although this was a routine part of evaluating the service, specific questions about Mindfulness and techniques in the group were asked. Results: Twelve of the clients described Mindfulness as helpful and it was the most remembered skill from the group. It was and continued to be practiced by a majority of participants. Client reported improvements included, general focusing, concentration, helping with exposure, noticing awareness, challenging anxiety, acceptance, challenging the need to repeat behaviours, slowing down thinking, helping to relax and improving sleep. Conclusion: The influences of Mindfulness on possible mechanisms for change in OCD are discussed in particular a process of experiential engagement is explored in relation to concepts of 'reperceiving' and 'affective reactivity'. The contribution of Mindfulness to the therapeutic relationship is also discussed, and the importance of relational process in understanding outcome.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCounselling Psychology Quarterly
Volume29
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014

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