043: OCD — The Hidden Emotion Technique

Using the Hidden Emotion Technique With Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

In this podcast, David and Fabrice answer questions on OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) submitted by three listeners. Is it an organic illness? Are drugs necessary in the treatment? What’s the best book to read if you want to heal yourself? What’s the prognosis?

Drs. Nye and Burns begin by explaining OCD and answering the questions. David emphasizes the importance of using four treatment models when working with OCD—the cognitive model, the motivational model, the exposure model, and the hidden emotion model if you are hoping for a rapid and complete elimination of symptoms. Treatment that focus on only one treatment method, such as exposure and response prevention, may have only limited success.

He describes his treatment of a medical student named Ralph with classic OCD. Ralph was frequently plagued by the fear he was dying of AIDS; then he’d get so anxious that he’d go to the emergency room and insist on having a blood test for HIV. These always came out negative, and this brought temporary relief, but within a few days Ralph would be worrying about AIDS again and feeling the overwhelming compulsion to get yet another blood test.

The case was especially curious because Ralph was engaged and faithful to his fiancé, so there was no rational reason for him to think he had become infected with the HIV virus. However, he’d tell himself, “Maybe I drew blood on a patient with AIDS and then pricked myself with the needle, and then forgot. And how can I know that this didn’t happen?” This are extremely typical of the kind of obsessions that plague OCD patients. Ralph would torture himself with these thoughts until he succumbed to the urge to get another blood test for AIDS.

Although years of conventional psychotherapy had failed this patient, the Hidden Emotion Technique led to an incredible recovery in just a few minutes during a therapy session. You will find this true story inspiring and amazing! And David provides an even more amazing 40-year follow up report!

In the next Feeling Good Podcast, David and Fabrice will describe more examples of patients with severe OCD who experienced dramatic relief because of David’s Hidden Emotion Technique. This technique can be helpful for all anxiety disorders, and not just OCD. However, David emphasizes that this is just one of many techniques he uses in the treatment of anxious patients. He cautions therapists against thinking three is just ONE best technique for any anxiety disorder, including OCD.

See link to podcast #027: Scared Stiff — The Hidden Emotion Model.


6 thoughts on “043: OCD — The Hidden Emotion Technique

  1. This is another amazing podcast. David, you are so gifted. As a kid, I had religious OCD/Scrupulosity that developed into anxiety and phobias. I know first hand how painful it is.

    You might be interested to know that a lot of Western Civilization was influenced by people with OCD. Martin Luther, who started the protestant reformation, was afraid of eternal damnation, and I think used to panic during thunder storms because he was afraid God was angry and was going to punish him. I wonder if that influenced his theology of salvation through grace and not works.

    Ignatius of Loyola, who started the Jesuit order in the Catholic church, used to be afraid of stepping on two twigs if they were shaped like a cross.

    I love when you said, ” I may forget a name or a face, but I never forget a soul.” That is so beautiful!

    • Thanks, Rob, for another terrific email! When I lived in Philadelphia, I went to teach in St. Louis four or five times. I would usually do a presentation for the general public as well as a workshop for mental health professionals. They were sponsored by a Jesuit group there. I always really enjoyed working with the Jesuits, who seemed very peaceful and non-judgmental. Their center was next to a river there, but I can’t recall the name. I stayed in their dormitory, too, which I also enjoyed due to the simplicity and humbleness of the setting. David

  2. I enjoy your podcasts very much. They are very good reminders of the techniques learned from your workshops. Thank you for sharing them on a regular basis.

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