Heuristic Self-Search Inquiry into One Experience of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Engin Ozertugrul, Walden University


Self-healing experiences of obsessive-compulsive individuals from first-person accounts have not been adequately explored. In this study, I used the heuristic self-search inquiry (HSSI) method and integral psychology framework to explore the process of self-healing during my encounters with OCD. I collected data via self-dialogue, specifically self-reported narrative, in order to reflect my own inner dialogue of thoughts and feelings. Together, these approaches comprised a unique method for exploring my OCD experiences, since previous heuristic works have not used self-reported dialogue in a real dialogue form. The self-reported narrative data was autobiographical and collected via informal conversational style, via hand-written notes and without audio recordings. I analyzed data with a dialogic/dialectic approach and with Moustakas' analytic phases/processes. Interpretations revealed my experience of a curative transformation through reasoned (dialectical) and relational (dialogical) HSSI. The results indicated that my own OCD healing did not depend on corrective actions (as the biomedical model posits) but depended on changes in my own contextual existence. These findings suggest that dialogic/dialectic integrated HSSI is a useful tool for researchers, professionals, and people who face OCD daily because the results demonstrated that belief in one's abilities can flourish in the presence of confusion and despair and can have profound positive effects in the healing process. This research provides a helpful contribution to the therapist-centered literature on OCD by providing a client-based perspective of the disorder and a potential pathway for self-healing.