Problem Area: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

EST Status: Strong Research SupportStrong: Support from two well-designed studies conducted by independent investigators.

Modest: Support from one well-designed study or several adequately designed studies.

Controversial: Conflicting results, or claims regarding mechanisms are unsupported.

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Brief Summary

  • Basic premise: As individuals confront their fears and discontinue their escape response, they will eventually reduce their anxiety.
  • Essence of therapy: Individuals with OCD repeatedly confront the thoughts, images, objects, and situations that make them anxious and/or start their obsessions in a systematic fashion, without performing compulsive behaviors that typically serve to reduce anxiety. Through this process, the individual learns that there is nothing to fear and the obsessions no longer cause distress.
  • Length: approximately 12 sessions

Treatment Resources

Editors: Brian Marx, PhD; Alexandra Greenfield, MS

Note: The resources provided below are intended to supplement not replace foundational training in mental health treatment and evidence-based practice

Treatment Manuals / Outlines

Books Available for Purchase Through External Sites

Training Materials and Workshops

Measures, Handouts and Worksheets

  • Treating Your OCD with Exposure and Response (Ritual) Prevention Therapy: Workbook (Yadin, Foa, & Lichner)
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory – Revised (Foa et al.)

Self-help Books

Important Note: The books listed above are based on empirically-supported in-person treatments. They have not necessarily been evaluated empirically either by themselves or in conjunction with in-person treatment. We list them as a resource for clinicians who assign them as an adjunct to conducting in-person treatment.

Smartphone Apps

Clinical Trials

Meta-analyses and Systematic Reviews