Nightingale Hospital psychotherapist Majella Cogan featured on Refinery29 UK, discussing obsessive thoughts

Nightingale Hospital psychotherapist Majella Cogan has spoken on the interesting topic of superstitions; and how to stop yourself obsessing over intrusive thoughts with the use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Cogan’s comments appear in the story How The Pandemic Turned Me Into A Superstitious Person’ written by journalist Juliana Piszkorz for Refinery29; as Piszkorz explores her growing ‘obsession’ with superstitions.

When discussing the COVID-19 pandemic, and the numerous lockdown measures, Cogan highlighted that everyone was affected in one way or another.
“We don’t have access to any of our usual ways of coping,” Cogan said.
“We can’t go to the gym, we can’t go to the pub with our mates, so most people are having a bit of a wobble. It’s coming out in weird ways such as in our sleep, people spontaneously crying, and this isn’t the clinical population. These are people in my circle, me too at times.”
Some individuals, such as Piszkorz, found themselves fixating on things such as superstitions.
“Superstitions differ from culture to culture,” Cogan explained, “but their function is to give a sense of protection, it’s a response to anxiety.”
When dealing with intrusive or obsessive thoughts, Cogan, a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist, explains that she encourages her patients to first become objective.
“Imagine you’ve got a camera and you’re zooming and zooming out until you can see the big picture. You first want to get a bit more clinical about the things going on between your ears,” she says.
“The thinking is that once we are able to observe our behaviour from a distance, we can start to disengage emotionally and process our anxiety more rationally.”
You can read the full article on Refinery29.

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  • Majella Cogan

    Majella Cogan

    Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist

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“When you have a problem and you drink, take drugs or gamble, the problem won’t go away. Stay and tackle the problem”