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'Therapy Case Study' for HOCD Gender Confusion & Sexual Confusion

Hello there. I'm Peter Back.

I’m a hypnotherapist and psychoanalyst in private practice here at the Surrey Hypnotherapy clinic, in the Woking and Guildford area of Surrey, just outside London, UK.

HOCD stands for Homosexual Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and is a term that is used to describe having unwanted intrusive thoughts in relation to your sexual preference.

HOCD is a very misunderstood and difficult problem. It can ruin lives. Doctors don't seem to understand. And very often the help that they offer is limited to medication, often anti-depressants.

HOCD is:

  • Sometimes termed Sexual Orientation OCD (SO-OCD).
  • Not a diagnosis, but more of a ‘label’ to describe a set of symptoms. It is very different from thoughts about ‘coming out.’
  • Where you know that you are heterosexual but are having obsessive thoughts that you are homosexual.

My clients with HOCD are very often nearing their 'wits end', such that the first thing that they think of when they wake most mornings is “I think I must be gay, or turning gay!” – and they experience anxiety as they doubt themselves and fear how, by turning gay, they will ruin the life of their partner who they love and adore.


They will avoid:

  • Looking at people of the same sex, in case they are attracted to them.
  • Looking at people of the opposiite sex in case they are NOT attracted to them.

And almost every client will say at some point during their consultation the phrase “I’ve really got nothing against gay people. If they want to be gay that is up to them, I’m happy with that – but it’s not for me, I’m straight and I keep getting these very worrying thoughts that I might be gay – and these thoughts are ruining my life”.


People with HOCD tend to question absolutely everything. e.g.

  • Their HOCD and anxiety state is such that they question everything about themselves and their life:
  • They question their sexuality.
  • They question whether the way they feel should be correctly labelled as being ‘HOCD’.
  • They question whether they have too many, or not enough, of the symptoms of 'HOCD'.
  • Young women question whether their problem will be resolved before they are past child bearing age.
  • They think that they are the only person in the world has ever had their symptoms and felt as bad as they do.
  • They doubt whether it is even possible for anyone to recover from feeling as bad, mixed-up and confused, as they do.
  • They doubt whether I will be able to help them with my therapy.
  • They cannot think straight because this anxiety is always there in their thoughts, and just won’t go away.
  • They question whether they are doing the therapy correctly, or should do it differently.
  • They can take extended sick leave or leave their jobs/career because they are no longer able to function and cope with the intensity of their HOCD situation.

Doctors and psychiatrists prescribe drugs, sedatives and tranquilisers to try and ‘calm down’ their anxiety, but of course drugs cannot really help. Medication cannot actually change the thoughts that someone is having or the anxiety they experience as a result.


The best that medication can do is to ‘calm down’ the anxiety such that, to some extent, they are tranquilised, or anaesthetised from its effects. And of course, some people resort to self-medication and drugs – such as using alcohol, in an attempt to drink their sorrows away.

HOCD is something that cannot be simply ‘laughed off’, in the way that some other forms of OCD might be.


HOCD is serious, and many extreme HOCD sufferers admit to having had suicidal thoughts as a result of their HOCD.

The one thing that every HOCD client really wants is hope. Hope that their HOCD is ‘a thing’; that HOCD does exist; and that there is a treatment available for HOCD that might get rid of it for them so they can live their lives in peace; and that other sufferers with HOCD have had that treatment, and that the treatment has, at least, worked for them.


So for these reasons I have included here a 'case study' comprising just three emails:

  • An initial contact email from the client, 'Christine', giving an indication of how she felt:
  • An email that just turned up in my inbox from her very grateful mother about 10 weeks after the client had completed her therapy.
  • A testimonial provided by the client herself upon learning that her mother had contacted me to express her thanks, as a mother.

My hope is that the three emails in this 'case study' will provide some level of reassurance to those people suffering with HOCD that HOCD can be cured, and that if my therapy has been effective for this client it is very likely that my therapy will be equally as effective for any and every HOCD sufferer reading this web page (although, of course, results cannot be guaranteed).


(Note. The client's name has been changed, to 'Christine', to protect the client's anonymity.)

HOCD / SO-OCD - Case Study - 'Christine'

Enquiry received 27.07.20 from 26 year old female, Christine, in Toronto, Canada.

Client started therapy, using Zoom, on 18.08.20, following an initial Zoom consultation.


Therapy took 7 sessions (although it seems, from her mother's email, that the 5th session was the ground breaking session). Last session was on 07.10.20.

Following are the client’s initial enquiry/contact email – followed by a surprise email that I received from the client’s mother ‘out of the blue’ on 21.12.20, 2.5 months after the client’s final session.

And finally there is an email from Christine herself, on 27.01.21, after she had heard that her mother had emailed me...

HOCD / SO-OCD - Initial Contact email from 'Christine'

Initial enquiry email from client, 27.07.20:-


"I'm from Toronto, Canada and I'm contacting because I'm not sure where else to go with my current situation.

My family doctor is as aware as he can be, but in recent efforts we've only been able to get me into a two year waiting list to see a psychiatrist in Canada.

I so badly want a diagnosis just to confirm my experiences from the past 4 years.  In the first year, I just assumed I was crazy and in denial about what I really wanted- a female partner?  Even though my crushes have been regularly male.

Things are still difficult, but I find that my potential OCD happens in flare ups and then comes down again.

This has sabotaged many relationships for me, and I so badly just want to live out the remainder of my 20s with someone and eventually have a family.  Dating has been an incredible hurdle.

All of this just to ask if there's anything I can do for myself that will improve my situation.  I've been on a number of meds and I dont think my life will really improve until I get proper talk therapy.

Thank you so much for your time,


HOCD / SO-OCD - Surprise email following the completion of Christine's therapy - from Christine's mother

Surprise email from Christine’s mother received ‘out of the blue’ on 21.12.2020:-

“Hi Peter,

I hope this finds you "safe and well".  Nothing to take for granted these days.

I've wanted to write this email for some time, so here it is.

I want to express my extreme gratitude for helping my daughter Christine. She reached out to you in desperation with a late-night, slightly drunken email after finding you on the internet in the hopes that you could help her with "HOCD".

Christine is an evidence-based kinda gal and not one to consider things that appear to be outside certain criteria. The fact that she reached out tells me just how desperate she was feeling.

She came to my condo for her 6 sessions, using my computer, taking it into my bedroom, and closing the door behind her to meet with you.

I tried not to probe and from time to time asked her if she felt she was making progress. After a few sessions and seemingly no further ahead, I wondered how I might help her get the support she needed from there. I worried about the expense that she was investing, but was immensely proud of her for carrying it on her own.

And then there was the 5th session. I'll add that I've been a meditator and yoga practitioner for many years, a TM practitioner now for 2, so I am open to our universal consciousness, its mysteries and wonders. So, when I casually asked her how the 5th session went a few days later on the phone, her response, "it's just gone...there's so much space now, and there continues to be," I was SOOO happy and SOOO full of gratitude to you and to The Universe for stepping in to help Christine.

Peter, thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Christine's shared with me for some time her conflict and questions about her gender, "am I lesbian, am I bi, am I a man in a woman's body, should I transition?"
She left a relationship (as she has many times before) last February 15th, her birthday, after her then-boyfriend made her a gourmet meal and her favourite, carrot cake. She felt especially terrible breaking it off then but couldn't live with herself as conflicted as she was with her HOCD.

She's now back with her boyfriend. They got back together shortly after the success with your therapy and she continues to be happy there.

I can see why I put this email off as I look at its length.

Should you need a testimonial from a mother's perspective... 

Happy Holidays to you and yours, Peter.”

HOCD / SO-OCD - Follow up testimonial email from Christine

"Hi Peter, I hope you've been well since the summer. :)


I wanted to check in after some time. I had a great conversation with my mom recently, and had also heard you've met her via email!  


My life has returned to such a normal state, that I haven't gone back to write a testimonial, but I'd really like to fix that.  I wouldn't be moving forward the way I have been if it hadn't been for your time.  


Hopefully you can add this to your testimonial page, but if there are other resources you'd appreciate me sending this to, just let me know.


"I'd been experiencing consistent doubts about my gender, sexuality, intimacy ability for a few years by the time I had found Peter's hypnotherapy.  


I had never tried this type of therapy before, but had not found enough relief from CBT and past medications.


Even being skeptical at my own ability to progress beyond my obsessive thinking, I experienced a real shift after 3 sessions, and onward.  It's helped me to begin relationships again, and put me back towards someone I'd like to be.  All the panic around these thoughts simply isn't there!  It's still a little crazy to me. I would tell anyone to give it a shot if they are struggling with obsessive thinking and compulsions.  I'm just amazed it took me so long to find relief in such a short amount of time."


-Christine, Toronto


I've had luck beginning again with my current partner.  I'm taking it a day at a time, but the negative feelings around sexuality and identity have been nullified in a big way.


I don't know if I would have found the same kind of relief in Toronto, so I'm glad I did my research over this pandemic.  Hopefully this has been the case for a lot of new patients.


Thanks again, Peter


Take care for now!



HOCD / SO-OCD - I can help you and your Sexual/Gender Confusion

HOCD, or SO-OCD, is a very misunderstood and difficult problem. It can ruin lives. Doctors don't seem to understand. And very often the help that they offer is limited to medication, often anti-depressants.


But if you are suffering from HOCD (SO-OCD), you are not suffering from depression. (Although, at times, you may feel quite depressed due to your problem !) 


Many people suffering from HOCD (SO-OCD) are afraid or embarrassed to even talk about their problem, for fear of being ridiculed or labelled. And so the biggest problem in getting help with HOCD (SO-OCD), is finding someone who actually understands the situation. Because most of the people offering treatment for HOCD don't actually know what it is, their solutions often fail and at best give you a means of living with your problem forever.


The good news is, that HOCD / SO-OCD can be completely cured !


The first thing to realise is that Obsession and Compulsion are psychologically very different things and depend on your natural personality type. Without making this differentiation and knowing which you are suffering from, you cannot even begin to treat it.


At the root of both disorders is always some lost fear or thought, which is so deeply buried in the back of your mind that you have forgotten about it. But it is still having an effect on your feelings and behaviour. And in the case of HOCD (SO-OCD) this fear starts to focus on doubts about your sexuality.


These thoughts and ideas can be identified, and reversed where necessary, using specialised therapy in combination with Hypnosis.


I specialise in getting to the root causes of HOCD (SO-OCD), removing them and thus removing the feelings which drive obsessive thinking and compulsive behaviour. This REMOVES the problem so that there is no further need for medication or any other coping mechanisms such as exercises, thought control, special routines, CBT or any other procedures.


I am very experienced in dealing with SO-OCD / HOCD. (It is more common than you would think!) There will be no labelling or judgement. I have heard it ALL before and understand the symptoms and the suffering.

If you would like more information on this successful treatment please contact me to arrange a FREE confidential consultation (Click here), and get started on changing your life straight away.






Contact Peter to make an appointment for therapy or a free initial consultation.




Read Peter's website welcome letter.




Return and find out more about HOCD and its treatment.




Return and find out more about Sexual Orientation OCD and its treatment

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