Unfortunately, western medicine does not face the reasons for which a patient develops OCD. Instead, it supplies the medicaments and drugs to try and levy the negative effects of obsessive thoughts. It also tries to reduce anxiety, and to lessen the emotional load of associated guilt and depression, without dealing with the real problems. Conduct and energetics psychology also stay on the surface, and don’t even try to transcend the limits imposed by ego within the sufferer.
Obviously, when OCD is present, the only way to make it go away is to deal with and eradicate its causes. This rarely occurs without psychoanalysis. On the downside, psychoanalysis is quite expensive economically, because long and many sessions are usually needed, which translates as many months or even years to be fully healed. On occasions, over 100 sessions are needed, which of course speaks of the large sums of money that can be required to even try to use psychoanalysis, the success of which can hardly be guaranteed.
Should you choose to go this way, the clear option is a highly experienced and prepared psychoanalyst, which is bound to be expensive, for picking a cheap, less-prepared one would be a terrible mistake. So, in short, getting cured through psychoanalytic therapies, due to the high cost of these, usually implies many thousands of Euros invested. The advantages over a conduct psychologist are huge, for psychoanalysis goes deep into the subconscious mind, which is where OCD becomes rooted (or rather, the psychic structure and mental patterns that make you a candidate to suffer from it). Psychologists center their work mainly on consequences, and not causes, which is why they are not as effective when dealing with OCD.
Psychoanalytic methods, on the other hand, excel at therapies that unwrap and unravel the individual, which speaks about himself/herself all of the time; their life, their infancy, their past and current conflicts, their traumas, their complexes, their dreams, their feelings, their frustrations, their wishes, their projects, their happiness (or lack of it), their insecurities, etc. So, on and on the psychoanalyst creates a “map” of the individual, a sketch of their psyche, a drawing of the reasons behind that psyche, of the traumas, complexes, dreams, feelings, frustrations, etc.
Progressively, a great deal of hidden mental structures are revealed and identified, together with a great amount of repressed emotions. Oftentimes, the existence and in-bearing of these are hidden even to the patient himself/herself, for these are, after all, emotions that are subconscious, that is, beyond consciousness. The trend is for them to be “socially unacceptable” emotions, such as: anger, rage, hate, envy, low self-esteem and insecurity, humiliation, guilt, and vengefulness.
Frequently the patient is confronted with their own negative emotions and feelings, the psychoanalyst being the one in charge of flushing them out with the right techniques for them to be awoken, identified, released, and properly assimilated by the individual, without further harm. A disciple and colleague of the prestigious Sigmund Freud (father of psychoanalysis), Jung once said that the patient has to peek and behold, and look in the eyes of his/her own “shadow”, that is, the feelings most dark, asocial, painful, and unacceptable, that we all shelter within the deepest parts of our selves.
Only through the discovery, identification, acceptance, and assimilation of these can the individual become a full, complete, integral, and psychologically-healthy being. As we can see, this is a complex discipline, which required a great deal of studying, reading, and clinical practice, if one is to become a good practitioner of psychoanalysis. It only takes a quick peek into any of the books written by Sigmund Freud to realize this is no simple affair.
Psychoanalysis can some times employ emotionally harsh techniques, that imply taking the patient through an emotionally painful and very-hard-to-endure journey into their deepest traumas, but this is often required to make the patient fully conscious and aware of their mostrepressed emotions, which tend to be the ones behind OCD. Psychoanalysis, thus, becomes a journey into the deepest parts of our selves, into what Jung denominated the “shadow” or “dark side” of each of us.
It is a true shame for it to be such a lengthy, expensive treatment; in truth it has the potential to transform us deeply, and I also believe that if the whole wide World was to become the subject of psychoanalytic therapies, society itself would change, transform, and transcend, and all of us would be freer, more integral, emotionally healthier, and for sure a lot happier, for the benefit of us all.