The start of the relationship feels like a meeting of kindred spirits. The other person ticks many of the boxes that had been left unticked in the past. They “get” us. They share our values. They care. They understand our quirks. They even have similar quirks. We feel like best friends and lovers. They are interested in us as and not just as a sex object. But the sex is intense. A dream gets ignited. A hope of a happy future with this person is born.
Some clients arrive for their first therapy session skeptical, worried, or downright reluctant to talk about their childhoods.
I assure them I have no interest in getting them to do something they don’t want. Nevertheless, if they are willing, then I am curious—exploring their childhoods helps me to understand their concerns more fully.
OCD refers to obsessive compulsive thoughts and behaviour. These can include obsessive thoughts around four types of vulnerabilities which are: 1) health and illness, 2) danger, 3) poverty and 4) losing control. Specifically, we can think obsessively about sex, death, relationships and contamination, amongst others. We may behave compulsively by cleaning, checking and double-checking, repeatedly asking our partner the same question, for example. We also tend to avoid certain situations which makes us feel particularly anxious. On a physical level, it is common to experience a tightness in our chests, shallow breathing, sweaty palms, palpitations, dizziness or brain fog when in the grips of obsessive and compulsive thoughts and behaviours. We may also generally feel low in mood, lonely, empty and tired because of our condition.