Behavioural Experiment OCD Worksheet

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What is the theory behind this Behavioural Experiment OCD Worksheet?

Behavioural Experiment is a technique used in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to test one’s new or old beliefs and assumptions about the self, others and the world in general. It allows individuals to explore how harmful their maladaptive beliefs are and what positive outcomes can come out of replacing them with helpful beliefs. 

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is characterised by recurrent intrusive thoughts that are followed by neutralising ritualistic behaviours. These behaviours  are a type of ‘safety behaviours’ i.e they are done to prevent something bad from happening. The chances of that bad event happening can be tested using Behavioural Experiments 

How will the worksheet help?

The worksheet will provide a behaviour experiment log that clients with OCD can use to test the outcome of their negative intrusive thoughts and beliefs. It will require them to test the likelihood of their beliefs actually coming true in the real world. When they realise their beliefs and the following compulsions do not actually cause any harm the intensity of their obsessions may decrease with successive experimentations. 

How to use the worksheet?

Instruct the client to write the belief or thought that they are targeting and mention the percentage they believe in it. Then they have to write the specifics of how they intend to carry out this experiment for e.g by exposing themselves to triggers and making efforts to avoid following the beliefs with compulsions. They have to write what they think might happen and then compare that with what actually happened. Then they have to write their reflections on the outcome. 

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