Rob Willson – Overcoming OCD and BDD

In episode 59 of the podcast I interviewed Rob Willson. Rob is a therapist and author of many books including “Overcoming OCD” which you co-authored with David Veale and “Managing OCD with CBT for dummies” which you co-authored with former guest Katie d’Ath. He is the chair of the Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) Foundation, the world’s first charity exclusively devoted to BDD. Rob worked at the Priory hospital north London for 12 years and has trained many CBT therapists at Goldsmiths college, University of London.   

Rob Willson

I had a good chat with Rob OCD and BDD recovery. We discussed why it’s good to know your values, why you can overcome and not just manage your condition, the comfort of knowing you aren’t the only one, applying recovery techniques systematically and consistently, getting creative in therapy, if you understand how a problem is maintained you can understand how to beat it, adapting ERP to your strengths, giving the thoughts less attention, and how to support a loved one with OCD/BDD. Enjoy!


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You can also listen on Android and over devices through most podcast apps, such as Stitcher.

Show notes:

Rob’s therapy story (5:40)

Can OCD be beaten, or just managed? (10:00)

First 20% of recovery is hardest, and last 20% is tricky. Rob’s advice for both parts (11:25)

The one thing someone should know about their ocd/BDD? (16:40)

David Veale said “Go see Rob he won’t give up”. Rob’s advice for a therapists who are having a tough time getting progress out of someone with OCD/BDD? (18:30)

What’s the importance of having “lived experience” people involved with teaching. .. is it important? (25:00)

Intrusive thoughts get a lot of attention, but not much is said on urges, impulses and emotions. Is this something that comes up in your sessions and would you deal with them the same way a thought? (29:20)

What can you do when both you and a friend or partner are struggling with OCD. What are the best ways to offer support when you’re also having a hard time? (33:00)

Rob’s current research (37:00)

Rob’s Elevator advice (39:50)

Rob’s advice for living an amazing life (40:40)

What Rob would have on his billboard (43:50) 

Find out more about Rob:

Website: RobWillson.com / The Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation (BDD)

Twitter: @RobCBTherapist

Rob’s books on OCD and BDD (Amazon.co.uk/Amazon.com)


Professor David Veale

VIA strengths test


This podcast is also brought to you by nOCD. Download the app for free and they will donate $0.50 to an OCD charity on your behalf: http://m.treatmyocd.com/ocdstories

No therapists in your country, or area? 7 day free trial access: https://www.betterhelp.com/ocd – Read the below.

In an ideal world you would see a therapist for ERP (or ACT) in your area to treat your OCD. But sadly this isn’t possible for everyone. Therapists who treat OCD are growing in number, but until everyone is within access to a therapist, technology can help.

Better Help” gives you access to a therapist from around the world. You can video chat, voice chat or simply text chat with them. Breaking down the barriers to treatment.

To try them out go to https://www.betterhelp.com/ocd and fill out their questionnaire. Once complete you get a 7 day free trial to see if you like the service and your therapist. If you decide it’s not for you, you can cancel before the free trial ends, and you won’t pay a penny!

The beauty of this service is not only getting help where ever you are, if you get matched with a therapist who you think doesn’t treat OCD you can request a “rematch”, you can keep doing this until you find a therapist you like and can help with your OCD. When selecting ask them about their experience and qualifications in treating OCD.

7 day free trial access: https://www.betterhelp.com/ocd

Why not use the ERP tracking app by nOCD with your new therapist – download here (it’s free): http://m.treatmyocd.com/ocdstories

BetterHelp has therapists from all disciplines not just CBT, ERP and ACT. Please ask them if they do ERP, and CBT for OCD. Unless at this time you just want someone to chat with about non-OCD issues.

To your success,
Stuart and The OCD Stories team

Support our videos and get rewards by becoming an The OCD Stories patron: https://www.patreon.com/theocdstories

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