Consider trying Prolonged Exposure.
If you want a workbook to assist you with this, Edna Foa, PhD has written several that are considered cutting edge, user friendly and intuitive. You can perform a search for “OCD Workbook, Edna Foa” online. There is also a Therapist Guide by the same author. She has the same concept for a workbook and a separate therapist guide, for PTSD. Lots of good solid overlap, to organize your treatment…
In the following blogs, I will be referencing the work of Edna Foa, PhD at the University of Pennsylvania. It is not my own research and it is based on previous research- Stress Innoculation Training and Systematic Desensitization. I see her work as taking it to a much more systematic level and validated repeatedly by research.
When you look at how to work with OCD, one must understand it and how it works by itself. Understand what we do to reinforce it and what we do to let the thoughts evaporate on their own. We do not stir the emotions, nor do we avoid them and they go away on their own. We do not reassure the person in pain, we allow them to feel the pain and go all the way through it, until they realize that the thoughts will go away on their own, if they go through the feelings. Avoidance of feelings is a mistake.
“Specific thinking mistakes occur in OCD:
Unless one avoids the triggers, or rituals in response to them, the anxiety or distress will last forever or will cause a nervous breakdown.
Thinking about an action is the same as doing it,or wanting to do it.
If one does not ritualize, the things one is afraid of will happen, actually do happen.
If one does not try to prevent harm, it’s the same as causing harm or condoning it.”
I would ask the reader to consider these mistakes in their own life. Consider when you make these mistakes, what happens next?