Cognitive Therapy for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Status: Strong Research Support


The underlying premise of cognitive therapy assumes that anxious patients experience distorted, dysfunctional thoughts about themselves, the world, and the future, which produce and maintain their anxiety. OCD has been hypothesized to relate to an inflated sense of personal responsibility related to events that may cause harm to either the self or others; Cognitive therapy aims to help the person identify, challenge, and modify these dysfunctional ideas. This is often achieved through Socratic dialogue with the therapist, and through homework assignments in which the patient is instructed to identify and challenge negative automatic thoughts. Cognitive therapy techniques are often used in conjunction with exposure and response prevention.

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