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Control Issues

When people have control issues they tend to spend a disproportionate amount of time and effort trying to ensure that things go according to their plans or that un-predictability is minimised.

This may be expressed as behaviours in which they try to control what other people do (act in a controlling way) or alternatively, by becoming obsessed about detail or what might seem to others to be unnecessary details or conditions (obsessive behaviour).

People having these types of traits have what is called a high desire for control and are ultimately seeking to minimise the unpredictability of life which cannot, of course, be predicted!

In this sense, people with control issues are attempting to control the ‘uncontrollable’ and will inevitably fail.

The paradox of control issues

OCD is a mental health problem directly linked to control issues and almost always associated with routine and patterns of behaviour such as checking door locks multiple times to ensure that they are properly locked (in fact the door is no more locked on the 50th check than it was on the 1st check!) or cleaning the house three times a day to make sure that any unexpected visitors will only ever see an immaculate house.

The problem with all of these control issues is that the person doing them believes that they are ‘in control’ whereas in reality they are clearly ‘out of control’.

Standing outside your house to 20 minutes whilst you check the door lock 100 times is not being in control at all.

mad scientist with control issues writing lots of formulas on screen

Control issues, Desire for Control and the Locus of Control

Having a high desire for control is not of itself an unhelpful trait, provided that you only try to control things that are controllable and that you believe that you have the skills and resources to get a positive result out of your effort.

There is very little point in spending five hours a day trying to control the weather as your chances of success are ZERO.

On the other hand, if you spend five hours a day trying to control any unhelpful thoughts that you might be having with a view to improving your mental health, then that might be worth doing as your chances of success are pretty good.

If you have a high desire for control and a very external locus of control, then it is likely that you are going to experience lots of anxiety.

The locus of control measures how much you believe that it is yourself that determines your own life outcomes (an internal locus of control) or that your life is largely determined by influences and powers outside of your sphere of influence (an external locus of control).

Of course, if you have an internal locus of control and a high desire for control then what you WANT and what you believe you can DO about things are very much aligned and less likely to result in anxiety.

Control issues as trying to predict the future

To a large extent, people with control issues are trying to predict future outcomes.

If we consider the example of obsessively cleaning the house it generally turns out that the principal reason for cleaning so frequently is to try and ensure that if visitors unexpectedly turn-up (trying to predict an unplanned visit) that they will only be able to form a positive opinion of the house owner because the house is always immaculate (or it is whenever they turn-up).

In this case, not only are they trying to predict unexpected visits, but they are also trying to ensure that visitors only ever have a positive opinion of them.

At a more fundamental level, what’s wrong with people having a negative opinion anyway?

Control Issues and Anxiety

Because control issues are almost always related to outcomes in the future, the predominant mental health problem that results from these types of behaviours is anxiety.

Anxiety is the emotional response to worrying about something that ‘might happen’ (is therefore in the future) rather than something that has happened (in the past).

Psychological Therapy for Control Issues

Tranceform Psychology can offer a range of different psychological therapy solutions for control issues which you can read about below.

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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Control Issues

If you’re committed to overcoming your Control Issues then we highly recommend following our Advanced Tranceformental CBT programme with Paul which is available as an Online Therapy as well as a self-directed programme.

The Tranceformental programme is a highly successful & pragmatic mental health counselling course, run over 10 sessions, that will teach you everything you need to know to understand your problem, identify how unhelpful thinking and limiting beliefs might be reinforcing the issue, and then show you how to make any changes to your unhelpful thinking styles or maladaptive safety behaviours that you may have developed as part of your coping strategies.

Our Tranceformental CBT programme is an evidence-based, research supported approach used by mental health practitioners around the World.

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Alternative Therapy Options for Control Issues

Although our preferred form of mental health counselling for Control Issues is Tranceformental CBT we also offer alternative psychotherapies for those who might prefer a different approach.

These include:

Psychodynamic therapy which focuses more on emotional problems and relies on the Therapeutic Relationship to bring about change. Available with Paul.

General Counselling which is less structured but still provides a safe and non-judgmental environment to discuss issues which is therapeutic in its own right.

Hypnotherapy is an alternative form of therapy that can be applied to a very wide range of problems and is available with Joan.

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Free Initial Consultations for Control Issues

We offer all prospective clients an initial consultation to discuss your Control Issues prior to commencing any treatment plans.

The consultation is free and lasts around 50 minutes.

During this consultation we will discuss the various options that are available to you and make a considered recommendation based on your individual personal circumstances.

Initial consultations are also available as part of our online therapy service.

At TranceForm Psychology we recognise the importance of the therapeutic relationship in helping people to bring about effective change, so its important to be able to ‘meet’ to discuss our change programmes BEFORE proceeding.

Our policy is to help people make a fully balanced & considered decision about undertaking work with us, including both the financial and personal implications.

Related Concepts

self help cbt course on PC screen

Overcome Your Control Issues with Our Self-Help CBT Programme – Only £99!

Self-help CBT has been shown to be highly effective for control-related problems and can be carried out in the comfort of your own home.

Structured over TEN, in-depth modules, our Self-Help CBT course will teach you everything you need to know to change the way you think about and experience your control issues without having to visit a therapist.

Click Self-Help CBT for control-related problems to find out more.

Get in Touch With Us.

Psychologist Paul Lee in Wombourne Clinic

Contact Paul

View Paul's Profile

Tel: 07434 776125

paul@tranceformpsychology.com

Hypnotherapist and Psychotherapist Joan Lee in Wombourne Clinic

Contact Joan

View Joan's Profile

Tel: 07434 776504

joan@tranceformpsychology.com

Contact Binder

View Binder's Profile

Tel: 07438 389931

binder@tranceformpsychology.com

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