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Cognitively Focused Treatment For OCD
Cognitively Focused Treatment For OCD
Cognitively Focused Treatment For OCD

Cognitively Focused Treatment For OCD

Maureen Whittal

Professionals: $175.00 CAD +tax
Students: $140.00 CAD +tax


On June 24th & 25th 2022, Dr. Maureen Whittal delivered a full-day workshop focused on cognitively focused treatment for OCD. This on-demand workshop is a recording of that presentation.

Workshop Outline

Exposure and response prevention (ERP) is the gold standard psychological treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). For those who complete treatment, 80-90% receive benefit. The average decline in symptoms is approximately 50%-60%, with relapse rates of less than 10%. Nevertheless, doing ERP can be difficult for some patients, and individuals with covert compulsions may pose a particular challenge for exposure-based treatments. Cognitive therapy (CT) strategies address some of the limitations of ERP and appears to be equally effective in reducing OCD symptoms. This workshop will focus on CT strategies for various OCD presentations (e.g., contamination, checking, primary obsessions, mental rituals, etc.) and address common appraisals of inflated responsibility, overestimation of threat, over importance of thought and the need to control them, as well as the need for certainty. Case studies and video examples will be used to demonstrate aspects of treatment. The focus on appraisals, and the cognitive targeting of the meaning of unwanted intrusions, will provide additional tools to facilitate behavioural change.


Learning Objectives

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Understand how and why cognitively-focused treatments for OCD were developed in the context of the gold standard of exposure and response prevention

  • Conceptualize cases using the appraisal model, focusing on the meaning of unwanted intrusive thoughts 

  • Identify cognitively-focused treatment strategies to address the over importance and need to control thoughts, inflated responsibility, and overestimations of threat.

About the Presenter

Dr. Maureen Whittal received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology in 1995 from West Virginia University. From 1998 to 2009 she was the Manager and Director of the UBC Anxiety Disorders Clinic, and in 1999 she co-founded Anxiety Canada, a non-profit organization. Dr. Whittal is currently Clinical Associate Professor in the UBC Department of Psychiatry and is Adjunct Faculty in the UBC Department of Psychology. She is also the former Editor of Cognitive and Behavioral Practice. Dr. Whittal is an acknowledged expert in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). She is certified by the Academy of Cognitive Therapy (ACT), she holds a Diplomate in CBT with the American Board of Professional Psychology and was awarded Fellowship status by the Canadian Association of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.
Dr. Whittal is internationally known for her work in anxiety disorders, particularly obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). She ran 3 treatment trials in OCD and has published numerous research articles and chapters. Dr. Whittal has also lectured and provided workshops to professionals across North America, the United Kingdom and Europe.

Training Modalities

Didactic content, video and audio case examples, experiential exercises, Q&A

Who should attend

This workshop is suitable for CBT therapists with some prior experience working with people with OCD.

Continuing Education (CE) Credits

Bespoke Mental Health Canada is approved by the Canadian Psychological Association to offer continuing education for psychologists. Bespoke Mental Health Canada maintains responsibility for the program. 
After viewing this workshop, participants have the option to complete an evaluation form and a workshop knowledge quiz in order to be eligible to receive a certificate confirming the number of credits awarded. This certificate will be sent via email.
Participants who completed this workshop are eligible to receive 5.5 CE credits


Professionals: $175 CAD +tax
Students*: $140 CAD +tax
* Proof of student status may be required in order to qualify for a student rate.

Key References

Yule, M., Whittal, M.L., & Robichaud, M. (in press). Cognitive Treatment for OCD. D.T. Tolin (Ed)., Oxford Handbook of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders. Oxford University Press.
Yule, M. & Whittal, M.L. (2017) Cognitive therapy for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. C. Pittenger (Ed). Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Theory and Application. Oxford University Press. Pp 421-430.
Rachman, S. J. (2003). The treatment of obsessions. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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