At the Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center of Silicon Valley, we offer cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for Scrupulosity/Religious Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Our approach is practical, goal-oriented, compassionate, and scientifically-based while focusing on your individual needs. We are located on the border of San Jose and Saratoga by Westgate Mall and serve the Silicon Valley communities of San Jose, Saratoga, Mountain View, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Los Gatos, Palo Alto, Los Altos, Cupertino, Campbell.
What is Scrupulosity/Religious Obsessions?
Scrupulosity/Religious OCD involves the fear of doing or thinking something that might be offensive to God or your religion and excessive worry about going to hell. If you have Religious OCD you may believe that you have to follow your religion perfectly and that any deviation, not matter how small, has significant consequences. You may try to “make up” for any perceived transgression with compulsions, such as repeatedly seeking reassurance from loved ones and religious leaders and excessive praying.
Though this subtype of OCD isn’t as commonly talked about as other forms of OCD, it appears to be one of the first documented references to OCD in the 1600s when religious leaders noticed some churchgoers attending confession multiple times a day and constantly seeking reassurance that their sins would not damn them to hell.
Symptoms of Scrupulosity/Religious Obsessions
- Excessive concerns about having committed a sin, going to hell, being “pure”, or committing blasphemy
- Fear of loosing control of impulses and sinning inadvertently
- Excessive trips to confession or other religious means of absolution
- Repeatedly seeking reassurance from religious leaders and loved ones
- Repeated cleansing and purifying rituals
- Excessive praying
- Repeating passages from sacred scriptures
Cognitive Behavioral Model of Scrupulosity/Religious Obsessions
According to the CBT model, it is normal to experience intrusive thoughts and impulses that are counter to your religious beliefs from time to time. If you have Scrupulosity/Religious OCD, however, you might view these experiences as threatening and assign a great deal to importance to these thoughts. For example, you may have the thought your friend’s spouse is attractive and then interpret that thought to mean that you want to commit adultery and are going to hell. This causes you significant distress or anxiety. You may then attempt to soothe yourself with a ritual or compulsion that temporarily reduces your anxiety such as excessive praying, asking others for forgiveness, or practicing cleaning rituals. Because anxiety is relieved in the short-term, the anxiety cycle continues with the next intrusive thought.
Cognitive Behavior Treatment of Scrupulosity/Religious Obsessions
The goal of CBT for Religious OCD is to teach you that you can manage the anxiety associated with obsessive religious thoughts without performing compulsions or rituals. You will learn a type of CBT called Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). Treatment will include education about Scrupulosity/Religious OCD and how it is different from devoted religious practice. You will learn cognitive strategies that will help you respond differently to anxiety and intrusive thoughts as well as behavioral strategies to help you delay and/or eliminate compulsive behaviors. ERP/CBT will help you face your fears, in session and in the real world, and practice new ways of responding to your anxiety. With practice and experience facing your fears, you will find yourself to be less disturbed by intrusive thoughts and more able to cope with anxiety and uncertainty.
How to Get Help for Scrupulosity/Religious Obsessions
The Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center of Silicon Valley is located at 1475 Saratoga Avenue on the border of San Jose and Saratoga by Westgate Mall. With our convenient location between highways 85 and 280, we serve the Silicon Valley communities of San Jose, Saratoga, Mountain View, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Los Gatos, Los Altos, Palo Alto, Cupertino and Campbell, CA. Contact us at (408) 384-8404 for more information on how we can help you manage your Scrupulosity/Religious Obsessions.
Serving the Silicon Valley communities of San Jose, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Cupertino, Campbell, Mountain View, Los Altos, Sunnyvale, Palo Alto and Santa Clara, CA
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