Ocd Case Study

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In my essay I am going to give an evaluation of the contributions of 4 main psychological perspectives in regards to treatment of specific disorders that are associated with OCD and apply these psychological perspectives to a given case study. I will demonstrate how each psychological perspective could tackle the given disorder as it can be treated in different ways. Obsessive compulsive disorder is a heterogeneous mental disorder characterised by intrusive and unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and an irresistible urge to perform ritualistic and repetitive behaviours along with the intense anxiety when these behaviours are suppressed. Every individual’s behaviour can be explained with the help of psychological perspectives which can provide an…show more content…
Freud suggested that unresolved unconscious conflicts at anal stage of psychosexual development cause fixation that eventually lead to development of obsessions and ritualistic behaviours at later life. To apply the Freudian idea to the given case study, it can be assumed that Diane’s unresolved conflicts have caused a fixation at anal stage of her development. The repressed angry thoughts expressed themselves in Diane’s behaviour resulting in anxiety and fear of stepping on the pavement cracks. From psychoanalytic point of view OCD is conceptualised in terms of constant conflict between feelings of love and hate. According to Freud, mixture of feelings of love and hate that Diane presumably felt for her mother were the results of her obsessional thoughts and fear of losing the mother, and could actually mean an unconscious wish of Diane to kill her mother. In order to remove the feelings of guilt resulting from those thoughts, Diane engaged in ritualistic praying that have given her a relief. In terms of treatment, Freud believed that people could be cured by making conscious their unconscious thoughts and motivations, thus gaining “insight” (McLeod, 2007). The therapies such as psychoanalysis, free association and dream analysis are used to deal with unconscious mental processes. It is assumed that some anxiety disorders such as phobias, OCD,…show more content…
For example, the poor memory system applies to the case study where Diane recalls to have trouble remembering whether she turned off the gas or not. According to cognitive perspective, patients with OCD have different obsessive thinking patterns which cannot be dismissed and often are misinterpreted leading to exaggerated sense of responsibility. This concept can be applied to Diane’s case where she took a big responsibility as a child for her mother’s life by obsessively praying for her safety. Individuals with OCD blame themselves for having these thoughts and for the terrible things that will happen as a consequence of them (Shafran, 2005). Another episode from the case study where Diane had intrusive obsessional thoughts of strangling her own children with the dressing gown cords suggests that Diane had maladaptive cognition and she believed that her thoughts would help to cause events (thought-action fusion) e.g. ‘If I wish my children dead, that increases the chances they will die’, and for that reason she had an urge to control those unwanted thoughts and carried out the compulsive rituals. Salkovskis et al (2003) also outlined that neutralising intrusive thoughts usually involves carrying out actions that are intended to reduce any potential threat. This supports the cognitive model as it shows the importance of maladaptive cognition
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