Having undergone a week's intensive therapy with Sharon, I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending her to anyone seeking a trustworthy and effective therapist. Sharon has the knowledge and the skills of many other therapists in tackling OCD. But she also has something in addition, that puts her above anyone who I've seen previously for my OCD. And that thing is empathy, born out of her own experiences with this condition. The fact is, Sharon "gets it". She's been there herself, she knows the hell that you go through and she is therefore very well-equipped to help you escape the demons. It also means that she genuinely cares about you and your recovery - she really wants you to be free of OCD just like she is now. She will spend a lot of time with you, working through your problems. She will answer the phone, she will respond to a email quickly, she will re-arrange a therapy session to suit you. This combination of personal experience, academic research and empathetic approach really is priceless. My own week-long therapy was intriguing, a combination of sessions at the centre, and then field-work outside, the latter especially being a real eye-opener and proving very effective. On both the field-work days I joined up with another person with OCD, and we did the exercises together. Not only that, but during a break I was abler to sit and share a coffee with Sharon, my treatment partner for the day, and Sharon's son Craig (who has also suffered OCD) and benefit from a long, informal chat about our experiences with the condition and how we've tried to get better. Incidentally, I have no prior connection to Sharon or vested interest in writing such a glowing report, just in case you're thinking all this sounds too good to be true. The fact is, I've had severe OCD for over 33 years and Sharon is the best and most understanding therapist I have ever met. My recovery is by no means complete - I wouldn't have been constantly moving distracting objects out of my peripheral vision as I write this, if it was - but I feel I have made a great start with Sharon and am well on the way. Things have improved so much from where I began 2 months ago, and I'm confident that with her support they will only get even better.
I have suffered with OCD for about 13 years and have had treatment numerous times through the NHS, all of which failed to work. I have been on and off medication for the entire 13 years and was at my wits end when my sister found Sharon. At first I was a bit dubious but after meeting Sharon I was put totally at ease and for the first time in years I thought that there may be light at the end of the tunnel. As Sharon had been through what I was going through, I felt she totally understood me and how I was feeling. There was no question about it after my meeting with Sharon that I was going to do the course. I opted for the group therapy which was the best decision I could of made because I have made some wonderful new friends out of it and we continue to support each other on a daily basis. The course has helped me immensely and although I found it hard at times Sharon and her team were there with me every step of the way as were my new found friends. I would recommend that anyone who is suffering from OCD and feels that they have no where else to turn, contact Sharon as she is amazing. She has helped me to turn my life around and for that I will be forever grateful.
I feel compelled to write this testimonial as when I was at my lowest point and debating whether or not to do this course with Sharon I read the testimonials on the website and they persuaded me to take the plunge! I was worried that spending the money on this course was wrong or selfish, I persuaded myself I would be able to get over it on my own if I really tried. Worse still my OCD mind told me I would be punished for trying to make myself better. I finally got to the point where I was in such a bad place that finally my rational brain told me that I needed help and I think finding this course and Sharon was the best thing that ever happened to me. I did the intensive course on my own and found it great as you hit the problem head on and fast. Your brain literally hurts but it is amazing how quickly you start to change your beliefs.
When you see OCD on TV it tends to focus on people with contamination OCD and obsessive cleaners so I believed that the type I had was incurable, because it was different. However I have learnt that all OCD can be treated by the same principles. I had responsibility OCD where I believed that carrying out a series of rituals would save me and my family from harm. I was plagued by intrusive thoughts of harm coming to my family which I then had to neutralise by repeating actions, such as walking over the same spot 20 times, driving around the block 5 times. I spent over an hour praying every night having to say the same things over and over until it felt right, it was exhausting and extremely upsetting. Everything that I did felt wrong somehow so I had to do it again. I could spend 20 minutes choosing which glass to use to drink out of in case the decision I made caused something bad to happen. Going to the supermarket took hours, as I pondered every item I was buying. I felt sick with nerves and anxiety 24 hours a day. I was exhausted and constantly broke down in tears. I woke up every morning wondering how I could get through another day. What Sharon has made me see is that instead of protecting my family I was hurting them, and I now realise that to be a good mother to my daughter I need to fight the OCD.
The course that Sharon has devised just really works. It is a mix of theory and practice, so it explains why you have these feelings and gives you the tools to fight it. For example I was terrified as to why everything felt wrong, that this must mean something, but when you have explained to you why your brain is telling you this, these feelings start to go away. Then the exposure therapy (ERT) really works in exposing you to your worst fears and realising that you can get through it. I found the exposure therapy really hard but it was amazingly successful in that after doing it for 2 days my worst nightmares actually became quite comical. I also found it helped massively to have my husband attend the first 2 days of the programme. My OCD had also been a big strain on him and I think he found it beneficial to really understand what was going on in my head and for me it was a great support for him to be part of my recovery.
My highest praise has to go to the team that devised this programme as I tried so many things and this is the only treatment I have found that helps. Sharon will probably remain one of the most influential people I have met in that she really has showed me the path to freedom. It really helps massively that Sharon has suffered from OCD herself so she totally understands and can empathise with you and that makes a big difference. It also meant that there was no hiding! When we did the exposure work she could tell immediately if I was trying to avoid something or neutralise anything. I am a new and better person. I still have a way to go and I am still fighting the feelings but I totally know I can beat them.
I was so nervous about attending the five day course, but as soon as I stepped in the door on the first day, I knew I had made a very wise decision. It was so very alien to spend time with people where you weren't considered "different" from everybody else. Craig & Sharon helped me to realise that although OCD seems so very monstrous and important, that actually, the gap between OCD and recovery is very, very small. The information and support they provided me with for the five days (and long after) I will carry with me for the rest of my life, and will use every single day. They have vastly improved my quality of life and I will be forever grateful!
“Sharon came to us at a moment of despair: our daughter, who had already had problems with anxiety and panic attacks, had been getting more and more entrenched in OCD security seeking behaviour that was dramatically restricting her life, and we didn’t know what to do. At the end of the first day of Sharon’s 5-day intensive course the OCD behaviours had reduced dramatically; and at the end of the 5 days 90% had been eliminated and the rest were being dealt with by our daughter in an analytical and remedial way. She is doing amazingly well thanks to Sharon’s knowledge, understanding, humour, and exquisite kindness. We feel so lucky that Sharon has come into our lives to help our daughter get her life back.”
“Sharon I can’t thank you enough for the help you have given me and I don’t think there are enough words I can say that would fully express how much you helped me from the darkest days of my life. After a stressful year in my life with 2 close relatives bereavements and struggling with stress at work these events became a trigger for my OCD in Pure O form to show its ugly head. I struggled to come to terms with my OCD symptons mainly intrusive thoughts which left me ruminating what seemed like 24/7 which also led to anxiety attacks and then eventually depression and after receiving no help from my GP I found myself in a rut with nowhere to turn.
I read numerous unhelpful forums, tried reading books tried returning to my GP numerous times only to find myself feeling like I was a lost cause and going crazy. Fortunately for me I finally found Sharon’s OCD treatment online and gave her a call and I can’t say how lucky I was. All I can say in only a short time Sharon has given me the tools to be able to manage and overcome my OCD and also has given me a whole new way at looking at life in general. It is a learning curve and you need to be ready to put a lot of effort in and it will be tough but if you are willing to trust her and listen to her advice and keep implementing the methods she teaches no matter how hard it seems at the time then you will have success and you will get through what probably seems like a living hell at this moment in time.
Sharon has helped me a lot to overcome my OCD. The thing that I noticed straight away, is that she knows what it’s like to be in the grip of OCD. She has been through the hell of OCD herself and beat it. I could tell from the first phone call that she knew what I was going through. She has a very caring approach and I would recommend her to anyone who is struggling with OCD.”
“It’s been 6 months since I received my therapy from Sharon, it’s taken me this long to write this testimony as I’ve been so busy enjoying life again!! I can always remember as far back to the age of 5 that I used to worry a lot, and would say that I’ve always had an overactive mind, and at the age of 19 just as I was planning my wedding to my childhood sweetheart the worrying took over. I was having sleepless nights, unable to eat and rapidlylosing weight all due to having doubts as to whether I loved my fiancé; my doubts always began with a question “did I love him in the right way?” “Did I love him enough?” “Did I even like him anymore?”
A few months passed and my fiancé and myself started to see each other more often and decided to “work things out” although in hindsight I now know that there was nothing to try and work out within our relationship ,the only thing that was needed was a diagnosis of Pure o ocd. Over the next 12 months the anxiety and depression subsided as did the unwanted thoughts and our relationship moved forward. Several years later we got married and had two lovely daughters, and it was after the birth of our second child that the anxious feelings started to creep back in .I was once again plagued by unwanted thoughts and I truly believed that I may of harmed my baby this lasted for several months, again the weight fell off me I had panic attacks continually, I could no longer eat, sleep or be the mum that I wanted to be. After A trip to see my G P and a home visit from a health visitor I was diagnosed as having post natal depression. Being given this diagnoses just seemed to fuel my anxiety and as time went on my intrusive thoughts changed from revolving around my baby to my sexual orientation, self-harm and once again the rightness of my relationship with my husband.
The questions kept on coming and the harder I searched for the answers the deeper I sank into an anxious, panicky and depressed state; the only way I thought that I would find the answers to my petrifying questions was to end the relationship which I did. This only resulted in me being even more depressed and anxious, I couldn’t go a few days without wanting to see or speak to my then ex fiancé, but the “doubts” were still there confusing me more than ever. I was finding the simplest of tasks hard to complete, and it was a relief to go to bed at night to try and get away from the barrage of unwanted thoughts.
I struggled through the next 12 months and was taking antidepressants, which didn’t seem to help, the unwanted thoughts were still there, it was at this point that I had a consultation with a psychiatric nurse who diagnosed me with generalised anxiety disorder and sent me on a 6 week anxiety and stressmanagement course. This helped me a little although looking back I was already through the worst and although I could identify with some of the information given to me, a lot of it didn’t seem to make that much sense. Eventually the intrusive thoughts faded away and for the next 9 years I was able to get on with my life.
The next time my OCD came to light was after a stressful uncertain time within my work, this time I felt the impact of OCD even greater than before. I struggled for month upon month with my intrusive thoughts that were flitting from one thing to another, “say if I poison my children?” “Say if I am a manic depressant?” “Say if I want to kill myself?” ”Say if I drive into a brick wall? The impact that this had on my family was huge, I was constantly seeking reassurance from all of them, even my children, anything or anybody that would help me to feel calmer even if it only lasted for a few moments. I then visited a CBT councillor every week for 4 months, he made me look into my childhood and put every intrusive thought that I was having into a so called “Court of order” coming up with real or false facts around these thoughts. All this did was fuel my thoughts even more and by now I was exhausted, I was no longer able to work and running the home felt like a massive deal.
It was while I was off sick from work that I started to trail the internet for any self-help therapy’s that would help me with my anxiety and depression that my GP had now diagnosed me with. I came across an article that talked about self-doubt which struck a chord with me, it mentioned a form of OCD called pure o, from this I searched the net further and found out as much as I could, the articles that I read had been written as though they were about me ,never had I read anything that fitted the description of my symptoms so well. It was then that my husband and I started to look for somebody that would be able to help.
We found Sharon’s website on the net and I plucked up the courage to send an email for them to contact me, within a few hours my phone rang and it was the friendly voice of Sharon from the treatment clinic on the other end .We had a very brief chat and it was so amazing that this stranger whom I had never talked to before knew exactly how I was feeling and I knew that she knew how my mind was working. A few days later I booked Sharon for 5 days one to one intensive therapy. Between making this appointment and the date of my therapy I had many question that Sharon was always on the end of the phone to help me with, she always made me feel at ease and was very easy to talk to, I trusted her implicitly.
The treatment that I received from Sharon was second to none; she explained everything in a very simplistic way although I have since learned that this condition is far from simple!! I have learnt so much about the brain and how the mind works and lots about the many misconceptions of OCD. The biggest thing that Sharon has taught me is acceptance of the condition and not having to have 100 % certainty in life. The weeks treatment has made a huge difference to my life, within two weeks of treatment I was back to work and able to function once again. It’s not all been plain sailing, at times the sneaky OCD raises its ugly head ,but it no longer scares me in the way that it used to. If you are considering treatment with the OCD Treatment Centre don’t wait a minute longer, pick up the phone and make that call! With the knowledge and skills that you are taught and lots of hard work from yourself you can learn to manage you OCD.
I cannot thank and praise Sharon enough for her skill, expertise and kindness!”
“What a blessing for me that my daughter found your web site and that it specified that you dealt solely with anxiety attacks and OCD. Having been a sufferer of OCD for 55 years since the age of 11 and during those years seeing different Psychologist – Physiatrists – self help therapy in the form of CBT and numerous drugs, it was a complete revelation to book your 5 day intensive home course with you. Naturally having OCD for all those years I was skeptical as to how you could cure me, because all the previous treatments I have had worked to a certain point but did not get to the core of this affliction.
I learned that the core is to understand OCD at its roots which obviously would be different for each client.The main help I got from you is that the progression of the time you spent with me was that I learned to trust you because you understand completely having had OCD yourself. And I knew that during the treatment you would not ask me to go through a fear that you felt I couldn’t handle. My husband son and daughter and their spouses sat in on a lot of the course, took intensive notes and your PowerPoint presentation plus videos have and will prove to be invaluable to us all, as I continue my journey in overcoming OCD. I know that it is me that has to change my core beliefs and my whole family think I am doing well so far considering where I was 3 months ago after having complete brain lock and deep depression, and no interest in life. Sharon the difference between you and many mental health professionals I have seen is that you really care about each individual that you help, and are passionate about there being only one route to curing OCD which with your course is a whole package, but with many roads to help for OCD sufferers they only get part of a package. I and my family cannot sing your praises enough or thank you enough for helping me get my life back on track.
Since the course I have opened up to untold amounts of people about having OCD because it is a very embarrassing and secretive illness. But we have been amazed at finding there are so many people who suffer from it.Consequently I have been able to pass on information of you and your new website. We wish you every success, your son and your team in giving hope to others as you have done for me. I am sure we will always keep in touch because when someone knows another person as well as we have got to know one-another that is the mark of a true friendship. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts."