Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a type of anxiety disorder that features unwanted thoughts (obsessions) which can cause stress and...
Saskia Huntley graduated from the University of Bath with a first class MSci (integrated BSc and MSc with Hons) in Psychology. Saskia is aiming to continue down the psychological path and pursue her Counselling Psychology Doctorate.
This includes weekly Clinical supervision with Counselling Psychologist Sharmin Aktar where Saskia discusses a selection of clients in a confidential manner and is assisted in providing the most evidence based treatments to her clients in order to help them achieve their treatment goals.
Saskia has strong research experience, so she always aims to provide the best possible evidence-based treatment for each specific individual. Saskia understands that individuals come from a wide range of backgrounds and will need a therapy plan catered to their own specific needs. The initial session allows Saskia to understand what difficulties an individual is experiencing and works with that individual to develop a therapy plan which will be mutually beneficial, allowing the client to form a clear vision of the therapeutic journey. Saskia understands that coming to therapy and talking about one’s difficulties can be challenging in itself; therefore, she always tries to make individuals feel comfortable and heard in a safe, confidential and non-judgmental environment.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Saskia has experience with a range of psychological disorders such as; depression & low mood, anxiety & panic disorders and relationship issues. In particular, Saskia has a special interest in treating Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). In accordance with NICE guidelines, Saskia is trained in treatment protocols for both Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) for OCD. This integration of CBT with ERP currently has the strongest evidence base for treating both obsessions and compulsions experienced by individuals with OCD. Therefore, Saskia collaboratively works with her clients to tailor both these treatment methods to each specific individual’s needs.
Saskia’s CBT treatment protocol training places particular focus on the Salkovskis, Forrester & Richards (1998) cognitive-behavioural model of OCD. This model emphasises focus on the client’s interpretation of intrusive thoughts and obsessions. The Salkovskis et al. model explores the idea that it is not the intrusive thoughts associated with OCD that are problematic in themselves (everybody has them), but rather it is the meaning clients give to these thoughts. The thoughts clients have about their intrusions may drive behavioural responses that are intended for safety, but actually perpetuate OCD. It is therefore Saskia’s goal in treatment to collaboratively work with her clients to develop an alternative, less-threatening interpretation of what the intrusions mean, then to test this alternative interpretation through a process of information-gathering. This information-gathering might include symptom monitoring, behavioural experiments, and empirically supported ERP exercises.
Saskia continues to update her professional development to ensure she can continue treating OCD using the most up to date evidence-based protocols that allow her clients to achieve their treatment goals.