Atelier C4 : A cognitive approach to the treatment of OCD: Beyond exposure and response prevention

A. Radomsky


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a heterogeneous disorder; common symptoms include washing and checking behaviour, as well as primary obsessions (i.e., repugnant, unwanted, intrusive thoughts, images and impulses).  There has been a surge in recent research on each of these forms of OCD, with publications often based solidly in a variety of cognitively-based models.  Although these models differ to some extent in their explanation of obsessional and compulsive phenomena, they share a number of important features that are consistent with broad cognitive principles.  These have enabled a new, primarily cognitive conceptualization of contamination-based OCD, building on recent cognitive formulations of obsessions and of compulsive checking. 

We will begin with a review of the theoretical and empirical work conducted on the psychopathology and treatment of different manifestations of OCD.  The workshop will continue with practical instruction on the cognitive-behavioural assessment and treatment of a variety of forms of the disorder, with particular emphasis on obsessions, compulsive checking, and contamination-based OCD (mental contamination). Attendees will learn about cognitive case formulation, the importance of ongoing assessment, and specific therapeutic interventions (with emphasis on behavioural experiments), all following from cognitive-behavioural models of OCD. Although OCD remains a serious and often debilitating disorder, our ability to substantially improve the lives of those suffering from the problem has dramatically increased in recent years. This workshop will capitalize on these recent improvements through the emphasis of new cognitive and behavioural treatment strategies for this challenging disorder.