OCD Treatment - How To Change Unhealthy Behavior

behavior change Jul 31, 2018

OCD Treatment - How To Change Unhealthy Behavior


In this video, I talk about the transtheoretical model of behavior change and how it applies to OCD treatment. The five stages of change are pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. In this video, I give a brief description of each stage and how it applies to the treatment of OCD.

Video Transcript

00:00 All right. Hello and welcome to this episode on the transtheoretical model of behavior change. My name is Matt and I want to just say welcome, uh, this, uh, to this kind of series where we're talking about OCD treatment and ocd recovery and I'm kind of just introducing the concepts and answering a lot of the common questions that I get to really help you on your journey to recovery from ocd. So in this video, like I said, I want to talk about this idea of behavior change. And so one of the things that, you know, we, uh, that we talk about a lot in ocd treatment is this idea of Erp or you know, not reacting to your thoughts and uh, you know, and so one of the ways that we really target ocd recovery is this idea of behavior change, right? And I, and I've talked about this in previous videos, how, you know, one of the common things that people think is those is a thought problem.

00:48 But the reality is, is that when we, when we change how we react to our thoughts, what we do is we don't reinforce that loop. And that ultimately allows us to break out of that cycle. Now, the whole now identifying all of the behaviors that you're doing is obviously a huge step, uh, to, to your recovery process that are keeping you trapped. All the different compulsion's, whether they're physical or mental, and I'll talk about that in a future video, but I wanted to talk about this idea of behavior change just as an, as an overall concept and introduce this, this model that I'm a big fan of and that I use with my clients called the transtheoretical model of behavior change. And really it's a, uh, it's a five-part. Well, I mean, in theory there's, there's a, a sixth part which is the, the like relapse if that happens, but there's five real stages to behavior change.

01:35 Okay. And in order to kind of parallel this with a, with an easy example, I'm going to. I'm going to talk about this idea of dieting. Okay? Just because I think it's a very applicable, um, example when we talk about recovery or change in life, right? Because we all can relate to this idea of dieting, right? I mean, there's, there's times in my life or I'll be doing very well on my diet and then I'll have to fall back into some bad routines and then you don't have to change, make a change, right? I'm choosing to, to behave differently. Right. That's all behavior changes. Right? So, um, let's, let's go ahead and introduce the five stages of behavior change. So first stage is pre-contemplation, right? And when we talk about pre contemplation, it's really exactly what it sounds like. It's like before you're ever even contemplating change, right?

02:23 I mean, I'm, I'm in pre-contemplation and not even thinking about the idea of changing, right? So when I, and when it comes to dieting, that's when I'm like just eating pizza and drinking soda or you know, a drinking alcohol more or you know, I'm, I'm eating chips and snacks and cookies, right? And I'm just going about my life, right. You know, not even, not, not working out, right? Just, just kind of doing stuff, right, doing unhealthy things more importantly. Right? And I'm in pre contemplation. I'm not worried about it, I'm not thinking about it. Right? And so that's stage one and when it comes to ocd, usually this is the, the, the part of the behavior change process where someone's not even aware that by doing compulsion's it's actually keeping them trapped and stuck in ocd. And so that's that pre contemplation phase. Right now in Stage two, we talk about this idea of contemplation.

03:14 So we moved from pre contemplation to contemplation, which is just this idea of thinking about change, right? I'm like, I'm thinking like, oh, maybe I should make a change. And I like, you know, and usually this happens because of a specific event. Usually the shift from pre contemplation, contemplation happens because something like someone says, Oh man, you know, that that stomach's not looking very good. Or you know, whatever. Like you see yourself in the mirror, you're like, Ugh, you know? And, and then so, so that. But that one moment can often shift someone from pre contemplation to, hey, maybe I should consider a change, right? I'm contemplating change, I'm not doing anything right, but I'm contemplating change. Alright? And then, so an OCD, a lot of times it's this, just even this awareness that understanding that your behaviors are keeping you trapped, right? Or even learning that you, that you actually have OCD, right?

04:07 A lot of people are so stuck in ocd for so many years, never even realizing that that's the problem. And so sometimes that pre contemplation from contemplation jump can really be, um, just, just this idea of shifting and understanding what OCD is and how it works. So then the third phase is this idea of preparation and that's exactly what it sounds like. It's this idea of I'm going to prepare for change and one of the ways that we prepare, prepare for change is by usually developing a plan or we, you know, educate or we have some kind of um, you know, guide that comes in that helps us kind of prepare to make a change. So when it comes to dieting, you know, maybe it's creating a meal plan, maybe it's creating a, maybe it's cleaning out the cupboards of all the junk food. Well, you know, whatever it is, maybe it's planning to go to the gym x amount of days, right?

04:58 Or whatever it is that you do. And then when it comes to preparing for OCD recovery, right? That shift from contemplation to preparing, it's actually like, hey look, you know, making sure you have a plan of action, right? Identifying the compulsive behaviors that you're planning to eliminate, setting up a hierarchy, right? Those are all things we do to prepare for change. Okay. And then we move into stage four, which is action and obviously this is really the meat and potatoes of change, but these three, a lot of people like to just jump into action. Right? And I think that's probably one of the most surefire ways to fail. It's kind of like the person that's like, okay, I'm going to go on a diet, I'm going to lose 40 pounds in 40 days. Right? Or, or, you know, they have these wild goals that happen, right?

05:41 And in an OCD it's like I'm going to heal in seven days and they start just acting in doing exposures and then they don't have success right away. And then they kind of drop off or, or don't continue on the change. So in order to make lasting change, right, these, these steps are important because preparing before you take action is going to help your success along the way. So action when it comes to dieting, could be a variety of things. Obviously it's eating better foods, making better choices, and when it comes to ocd, it's a lot of the Erp and the acceptance and commitment therapy work that I'm going to talk about in a future, a couple episodes. And then finally the last step of behavior change is this idea of maintenance. And really that's this, this idea of maintaining the change that you've, that you've implemented.

06:24 So when it comes to dieting, again, we're talking about maintaining the healthy behaviors, not eating junk food, all that other stuff. And when it comes to OCD, what we're really talking about is maintaining a kind of compulsion free lifestyle, right? And not engaging in behaviors that are going to keep you in that loop, not reacting to thoughts, uh, you know, as heavily as you may have, um, and all, all the, you know, doing the meditation and the mindfulness and all the behaviors that we start implementing. It's really maintaining that change, right? It's because just like your physical health, we know that physical health doesn't just, you don't reach a point where your physical health just stays, stays in one spot. It's always going up or going down, right. Your, your weight is something that's constantly going to fluctuate based on how you're acting. Right? And, and, and the behaviors you're engaging.

07:13 And so the, the, the physical health is a perfect parallel for mental health as well. It's like what behaviors are you engaging in and are those behaviors that are improving your health or are they making her health declined? And in the same exact way with ocd, it's like we know we're implementing new behaviors and we have to keep doing those to maintain our health and improve our mental health as well. And so that really is this idea of the trans theoretical model of behavior change and how it applies to the OCD recovery process. And so, again, those are the five stages that pre contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance. And then there's, you know, that, that there's always relapsed that could fall in any one of those stages. And then just starting back that process again and again on that, uh, on that loop of change.

07:57 So hopefully, um, that really helped you understand that concept of behavior changes. Again, it's one of the things that I think is so important. And so if you are on that process of OCD recovery or you know, you're looking to implement change or you want guidance. I'm a below this, I have a in a, in the notes, I have a couple links to help you with some different resources on your journey to recovery. And again, thank you so much for tuning in and, uh, and, and being a part of this show. And, um, again, I will see you guys on the next episode where I'm going to dive in to, um, exposure and response prevention. So I'll see you then. Until then, please subscribe like this video, comment below and have a wonderful day.


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