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Cognitive therapy of obsessive thoughts.

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Mark FreestonORCiD


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Six people with obsessive thoughts without overt compulsions received cognitive therapy based on a comprehensive cognitive-behavioral account of obsessive-compulsive behavior using techniques developed specifically for OCD (Freeston, Rheaume, & Ladouceur 1996). They were treated within a multiple-baseline, experimental single-case design supplemented by a standardized assessment battery using both clinician assessment and self-report. The treatment targeted faulty beliefs specified by the model in a flexible manner based on a case-formulation approach. Participants did not receive instructions or practice in systematic exposure and response prevention. They were encouraged to act in away that was coherent with their new understanding of obsessive thoughts. Participants received an average of 16.2 sessions of therapy. Follow-up assessment was conducted at 6 and 12 months following the end of treatment. Using a double criteria for clinically significant change, 4 participants (66%) were improved on the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale at posttreatment, and 5 (83%) were improved at 6- and 12-month follow-up. These results indicate that alternative strategies to structured exposure and response prevention can be effective. The possibility of integrating structured exposure techniques within this treatment framework is discussed.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Freeston MH; Leger E; Ladouceur R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Cognitive and Behavioural Practice

Year: 2001

Volume: 8

Issue: 1

Pages: 61-78

ISSN (print): 1077-7229

ISSN (electronic):

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/S1077-7229(01)80045-6


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