What is OCD?

DSM-5 Definition of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessions and Compulsions are behaviour patterns we may observe, and which in themselves appear to be pathological or non-conventional.  What underlies their motivation however can be far more sinister than what meets the eye.  It is often a way for a person to manage or attempt to expunge an internal thought process, which they may or may not be conscious of.  We look to break the cycle: Both the internal spiral and the physical manifestation (obsessive / compulsive behaviour patterns), which in themselves can precipitate further mental health issues and social problems.  

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is defined in the latest handbook of psychopathologies, the DSM-5, per below.  For the purpose of seeking help and treatment with neurofeedback, a complementary therapy method, we are less interested in whether to fit someone in a basket – huge overlap may exist with other defined pathologies, which include depression, anxiety, body awareness issues, psychotic behaviour and the autism and schizophrenia spectrums.  

Rather, we look for vulnerabilities as expressed in a Kaiser Neuromap and train these accordingly. 

In this sense, we may choose to identify as OCD if we feel more comfortable with a label and find it less stigmatising than other psychopathologies.  Note that this approach may differ from that of a medical professional; we are not attempting to provide diagnosis in any way, and neurofeedback is a complementary therapy that should be explored alongside medical and conventional treatment and not as a replacement, per the disclaimer.   

Behaviour patterns we can seek to address with neurofeedback training include the following; note many of these listed are described in greater detail on other pages of this website, with research links and/or case studies where applicable; for more information kindly contact Daniel Webster directly.  

Personalised Brain Training does not attempt to diagnose and/or fit persons into baskets; the groupings on this website are simply chosen for organisational purposes.  With a Kaiser Neuromap, we take a holistic view of a person’s mental strengths, challenges and vulnerabilities, and with Personalised Brain Training help individuals improve.

–  excessive worries, intrusive thoughts and ruminations

 – guilty ruminations and negative outlook

 – preoccupation with self and appearance

 – substance abuse issues

 – inappropriate risk taking, impulse-control and lack of inhibition

 – social awareness and invasive behaviour

 – hallucinations, delusions and excessive internal dialogue

 – repetitive restrictive behaviour

 – letting go – emotional and physical hoarding.

The presence of obsessions, compulsions, or both  AND the obsessions or compulsions are time consuming (e.g., take more than one hour per day) or cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning AND the disturbance is not due to the direct physiological efects of a substance (e.g. drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition AND the disturbance is not better explained by the symptoms of another mental disorder

(1) Recurrent and persistent thoughts, urges or images that are experienced, at some time during the disturbance, as intrusive, unwanted, and that in most individuals cause marked anxiety or distress; and (2) The individual attempts to ignore or suppress such thoughts, urges or images, or to neutralise them with some thought or action (i.e., by performing a compulsion).

(1) Repetitive behaviours (e.g. hand washing, ordering checking) or mental acts (e.g., praying, counting, repeating words silently) that the person feels driven to perform in response to an obsession, or according to the rules that must be applied rigidly; and (2) the behaviours or mental acts are aimed at preventing or reducing distress or preventing some dreaded event or situation; however these behaviours or mental acts either are not connected in a realistic way with what they are designed to neutralise or prevent or are clearly excessive.

Neurofeedback is a form of complementary therapy and should not be seen as a replacement for conventional medicine.  qEEG brain map-based neurofeedback training takes a more holistic approach to brain functioning, rather than just focusing on medical symptoms.  It is not intended as a form of diagnosis nor medical intervention nor medical advice per the disclaimer.

Brain Maps and Personalised Brain Training

Kaiser Neuromap brain maps and Brodmann areas

Brain Maps expose Individual Vulnerabilities

With a Kaiser Neuromap, we can identify character traits, vulnerabilities and strengths. 

Different brain areas and networks govern our behaviour.  For example, there are parts of our brain which control mood regulation; spatial distractibility; physiological arousal; our sense of self; self-critical thoughts; anger and emotional attachment; and there are various sources of anxiety.

A brain map shows us which brain areas are behaving immaturely, and thus expose us to vulnerabilities or mental health issues.

Rather than fitting people into categories – diagnosis – we can assess vulnerability to behaviour patterns.  Every brain is different.  A brain map provides a more granular approach to understanding our strengths and weaknesses.

Neurofeedback process explained, illustrating real-time analysis of brain waves and feedback given

Personalised Brain Training with Neurofeedback

Neurofeedback lets us train dysrythmic brain areas.  With sensors comfortably fitted to the brain areas we want to train, we detect brainwave patterns real-time while watching a movie.  When these patterns are inefficient, the volume drops momentarily.  This is the feedback we are giving our brain, short and instantaneously.  

The brain area we are training recognises this – while our conscious mind is focussed on the movie – and adjusts its behaviour to restore the normal volume.  With repetition, throughout a session, learning occurs.  

Meanwhile our conscious mind is solely focussed on the movie; the training process is passive in this sense.    

The drop in volume is subtle, so we continue to understand the flow of the movie.  No current or electrical stimulation is fed to the brain; sensors simply read brainwaves and the feedback is purely audio-visual.

Neurofeedback is preconscious brain training aimed at enhancing our mental, emotional and spiritual health

Neurofeedback trains our Pre-Conscious Mind

 

Rather than engaging the conscious mind, which slows us down, we are training preconscious processes

This equips us with the ability to live in the moment and attain our potential (if we have to resort to conscious control, we are not living in the moment).

Personalised Brain Training is an advanced qEEG brain map-based approach to neurofeedback training developed by the founders of the field.  Taking Othmer Method / ILF training methods further, it employs Default Network Training protocols as developed by David Kaiser.

We take a holistic approach to healthy brain self-regulation, rather than categorisation or diagnosis. 

Neurofeedback is evidence-based complementary therapy with over 2000 PubMed peer-reviewed research reports

Neurofeedback is Evidence-based

Neurofeedback training is an evidence-based complementary therapy.  Its efficacy was first demonstrated some 50 years ago, and with advances in technology, training protocols have become more efficient and the feedback method – watching movies – thoroughly enjoyable. 

Neurofeedback is evidence-based.  It’s first application was discovered in 1971 when it was used to resolve intractable epilepsy. 

There are over 2,000 peer-reviewed research reports on PubMed demonstrating efficacy across a number of pathologies. 

In the US, it is an accepted complementary treatment for many challenges. 

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