The OCD cycle consists of 4 parts: obsessions, anxiety, compulsions, and temporary relief.

Obsessions are unwanted distressing thoughts, worries, urges, fears, intrusions, images, and doubts. Obsessions can sound like, “what if,” “do it,” “you know you want to,” “you’re going to,” “I am,” “It’s only a matter of time before you. Obsessions are extremely scary and feel incredibly real. OCD sufferers do anything in their power to eliminate these obsessions.

Due to the unpleasant nature of all obsessions, OCD sufferers immediately experience an anxiety response because of how unsettling they are.


Experiencing distress, fear, worry, disgust, shame, guilt, etc., during this phase of the OCD cycle is common.

Since the anxiety response is so crippling, the person searches to relieve the discomfort through compulsive behaviors.

At CalmOCD we value spending time helping the OCD sufferer identify all compulsions they participate in both physically and mentally so they can work on gaining confidence in resisting them.


Common compulsions include avoidance, distraction, rumination, self-reassurance, checking, researching, praying, etc.

Compulsions are behaviors the individual does to eliminate the fear and anxiety the obsessions cause. Compulsions can be both physical and mental. Often, OCD sufferers are unaware of the mental rituals they are engaging in! With all subtypes of OCD, exposure response prevention remains effective in treating OCD.

The final stage of the OCD cycle is temporary relief.


Once the OCD sufferer has engaged in compulsive behavior, they experience temporary relief; however, the cycle then continues back to the obsession and reinforces the original trigger making it stronger than before.

OCD sufferers quickly realize the more they engage in one specific compulsion, the shorter the duration of relief is for them. During their constant search for relief, OCD sufferers adopt new compulsions to feel better. Every time a person does a compulsive behavior, it reinforces the specific fear, making the OCD grow larger. Patients learn it is never enough and OCD is never satisfied.

When people start treatment at CalmOCD they are participating in a life where they perceive the obsessions and the anxiety as the problem.

This makes sense because of how miserable it feels! Through healing, OCD sufferers start to realize the problem in the OCD cycle is not the obsessions or anxiety but the compulsions. They notice they can learn to have a different relationship with their obsessions and anxiety and have the strength to feel uncomfortable without continuing the compulsions and chasing short-term relief. Patients learn the only way to find peace, long-term relief, and calmness is to reduce compulsions. This is a challenge, but absolutely possible with treatment!

Research indicates traditional talk therapy will not be helpful in an OCD/anxiety sufferer’s recovery. Behavioral therapy is a unique type of treatment. We are helping patients have a different relationship with their anxiety. Instead of avoiding and trying not to feel anxious, they will learn to embrace their anxiety and choose to live a meaningful life. Anxiety sufferers start to view OCD/anxiety triggers as opportunities to conquer hard things and get back in control of their lives.

Ready to Start Your Healing Journey?

If interested, please follow the steps below! Due to the high volume of inquiries please allow 48 hours for a response.


Submit an online inquiry


You will receive a response from CalmOCD within 48 hours and a 15 minute complimentary consultation will be scheduled

Intake Session

If CalmOCD seems to be a good fit based on your individual needs, an intake session will be scheduled.