When does a habit cross the boundary from normal to a restricting repetitive habit ?
A mild degree of degree of repetitive pattern is necessary to our sense of stability.
Over cautious attitudes can develop out of adverse life experience - which may need help to recover and rehabilitate.
These patterns often develop out of early upbringing which has been over-critical, over protective or neglectful or which has otherwise fostered a sense of personal inadequacy or insecurity.
But where a person feels compelled to follow a pattern which they cannot let go or change, they begin to be cut off from the normal world - both by their own and others’ reactions.
Often to take a chance to change and be different - even in minor ways - to stand out or be different is experienced as exposure, vulnerability or threat.
The fear can make sufferers angry and rejecting in the face of encouragement. Losing interest in their surroundings they become cut off and end up feeling stuck, isolated and unable to change.
This anxiety then provokes deeper involvement in the ritual patterns which sedate the system and provide a sense of security - further shutting the world out.
This a retreat into repetitive habit and ritual pattern eats up time and life, displaces other useful and healthy activity and itself becomes a defence against a fear of change or doing something new.
Once rigidly or extensively established, this is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD - a pattern which is powerfully resistant to change.
Cognitive behavioural analysis is effective in the systematic identification of the pattern and its components, their meanings and function in the person’s own belief system.
But then much ingenuity is required to free up these patterns. Often direct attempts at modification evoke powerful resistance and increased rigidity. Both conscious and unconscious levers are necessary to shift many patterns.
Ericksonian Hypnosis, NLP and paradoxical techniques are some of the most powerful psychological tools that can be brought to bear in by-passing and changing these damaging patterns.
Contact Keith Bibby Copyright ©Keith Bibby - January 2011
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder/OCD
Keith Bibby - Bsc(Hons) Dip EHL/NLP ECP UKCP