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Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in Children & Adults: CBT Interventions that Work

  • Courtyard Marriott 75 Felton St Marlborough, MA, 01752 United States (map)

Presenter: Peter Moran, Ph.D.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is perhaps the most problematic manifestation of anxiety. It can cause significant impairment and can occur throughout the lifespan.  Children and adolescents are increasingly struggling with this disorder which can create significant difficulties at school, at home and in social situations. It has been estimated that as many as 500,000 children suffer from this disorder in the United States.

Obsessions in children and adults may include worries about germs, getting sick, dying, bad things happening, disturbing thoughts or images, or improper thoughts or images of sex. Compulsions may include washing and cleaning, repeating actions until they are just right, starting things over again, repeating the same question, checking, touching, tapping, counting, and hoarding.

The Journal of Anxiety Disorders estimates that over 25 percent of those who seek treatment for OCD also meet the criteria for a substance use disorder. Individuals who experience OCD symptoms for the first time in childhood or adolescence are more likely to develop a drug or alcohol problem, often as a way to cope with overwhelming anxiety and fear. Treating an addictive disorder without addressing the emotional symptoms of OCD is unlikely to be effective.

Cognitive-Behavior Therapy has been proven to be an effective treatment for this difficult disorder. This practical, skills based training will identify the most effective, cognitive-behavioral interventions that have been proven to be effective. Specific assessment instruments, CBT techniques that target faulty thinking and beliefs, and related pharmacology will be reviewed.

Following this training, participants will understand:

  • The etiology and assessment of OCD in children and adults
  • The common comorbid presentations
  • Specific Cognitive-Behavioral interventions for treatment