Course Description


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common condition associated with unwanted thoughts, images, or urges (obsessions) and repeated behaviours aimed at reducing anxiety or preventing danger (compulsions). This workshop will provide step-by-step cognitive and behavioural strategies for treating OCD. Participants will learn about the theoretical foundations and practical application of well-established behavioural approaches (e.g., exposure and response prevention) and cognitive approaches (e.g., experiments, cognitive restructuring), as well as emerging acceptance and mindfulness-based approaches. Assessment strategies will also be reviewed. Although the focus will be primarily on treating adults, adaptations for children will also be covered. The class will also discuss the evidence concerning key treatment decisions and modalities (e.g., group vs. individual treatment; teletherapy; combining CBT with medication; intensive treatments; clinician-supported self-help, etc.).  Methods for enhancing motivation and engagement will be reviewed, as will strategies for dealing with treatment-interfering behaviours. Special considerations for treating OCD during the COVID-19 pandemic will also be discussed. Participants will receive a detailed list of resources.

Learning Objectives:

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

  • Describe best practices in the assessment of OCD;
  • Describe evidence-based behavioural strategies for treating OCD, such as exposure and response prevention;
  • Describe effective cognitive strategies for treating OCD, such as cognitive restructuring and experiments;
  • Describe emerging mindfulness and acceptance-based strategies for OCD; and
  • Describe strategies for resolving ambivalence, promoting engagement, and dealing with treatment-interfering behaviours.


Martin M. Antony is professor in the Department of Psychology at Ryerson University, provincial clinical lead for the Ontario Structured Psychotherapy Program, and president of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. Previously, he was founding director of both the Anxiety Treatment and Research Clinic and the Psychology Residency Program at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and previously served as president of the Canadian Psychological Association. He has published over 30 books and over 250 scientific articles and chapters in areas related to cognitive behavior therapy and anxiety-related disorders. He has given more than 425 presentations to audiences across four continents, and has been interviewed, featured, or quoted more than 450 times in various print, radio, television, and online media outlets, including CBC, CNN, Globe and Mail, National Post, Toronto Star, New York Times, Washington Post, Scientific American Mind, and many others.


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