Getting UNSTUCK: Exposure Therapy for OCD

Presenting Author(s): Dr. Janet Caryk, Dr. Wes Miller

Date and time: 24 Mar 2018 from 15:10 to 16:00

Location: Hawthorn A  Floor Map

Learning Objectives:

  1. Educate clinicians on the prevalence of OCD and provide information on how to identify individuals who may have OCD
  2. Present information on Evidence Based Treatment for OCD: Exposure and Response Prevention
  3. Provide information as to how clinicians can assist individuals with OCD.

Literature Reference:

Abramowitz, J. S., Deacon, B. J., & Whiteside, S. P. (2012). Exposure therapy for anxiety: Principles and practice. Guilford Press.

Katzman, M. A., Bleau, P., Blier, P., Chokka, P., Kjernisted, K., & Van Ameringen, M. (2014). Canadian Anxiety Disorders Guidelines Initiative: Clinical practice guidelines for the management of anxiety, posttraumatic stress and obsessive-compulsive disorders. BMC Psychiatry, 14(1), S1.

McKay, D., Sookman, D., Neziroglu, F., Sabine Wilhelm, S., PhD, Stein, D., Kyrios, Matthews, K., Veale, D. (2015). Efficacy of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in adults, Psychiatry Research, 227, 104-113

Sookman, D. (2015). Specialized Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: An Expert Clinician Guidebook. Routledge.



Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is the fourth most common mental disorder and among the ten leading causes of medical disability world-wide (World Health Organization, 1999). is a serious mental health This disorder is marked by the presence of obsessions (i.e. recurrent and persistent unwanted and disturbing thoughts), compulsions (i.e. repetitive behaviors or mental acts), or both. It is the fourth most common mental disorders and among the ten leading causes of medical disability world-wide (World Health Organization, 1999). The obsessions and compulsions are time-consuming and life interfering. OCD often starts in childhood and has an estimated prevalence rate in children, adolescents, and adults of 1% to 4%. OCD can associated with severe emotional suffering and can seriously affect an individual’s academic, occupational and relational functioning. Early diagnosis and intervention of OCD is imperative. Few clinical resources are available in the Alberta when it comes to specialized treatment for this condition. Effective specialized and timely treatment is crucial to reduce unnecessary suffering and degree of disability. Currently, Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is regarded as a highly efficacious and effective treatment for OCD. The purpose of this talk is to provide education mental health professionals with information in regards to how OCD manifests in the general population, provide information on the evidence-based treatment of ERP and explain how clinicians can assist individuals with OCD. This presentation will include the documentary “UNSTUCK: An OCD Kids Movie.” This is a 22-minute inspiring film produced in 2017 that depicts the reality of adolescents living with OCD. The documentary showcases the use of ERP by following the lives of six brave teens, each suffering with different manifestations of OCD.

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