Treating Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) with Mindfulness and CBT

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Presented by Jon Hershfield, MFT

Course Description

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is the fourth most commonly diagnosed psychiatric condition and one of the ten most debilitating conditions. Two to three percent of adults and one to two percent of children experience it. OCD is characterized by unwanted intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive ritualized behaviors (compulsions) aimed at reducing discomfort associated with those thoughts.

There is hope. OCD is treatable with a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with an emphasis on exposure with response prevention and mindfulness skills. The demand for treatment for OCD remains significantly higher than the supply of those trained to treat it with proven-effective approaches.

If you treat clients who show signs of OCD, you need these approaches in the scope of your practice. Over four weeks, you’ll develop the diagnostic skills to identify OCD in your clients, recognizing effective and ineffective approaches to treatment of OCD, and improve your skills for implementing evidence-based approaches for long-term symptom reduction. In this course, you’ll learn to enhance traditional CBT tools by integrating mindfulness.

This course covers:

  • Assessment and diagnosis of OCD
  • Common manifestations of the disorder
  • How to psychoeducate OCD clients on their condition and get them on board for treatment
  • Use of cognitive therapy tools in challenging distorted thinking associated with OCD
  • Implementation of exposure and response prevention both in vivo and in imaginal forms
  • Role and implementation of mindfulness skills, including meditation
  • Role of the family in the treatment of OCD

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify common symptoms that are relevant to diagnosing OCD.
  2. Explain the role of negative reinforcement in the obsessive-compulsive cycle.
  3. Apply cognitive therapy tools to OCD symptoms.
  4. Design exposure hierarchies using in vivo and imaginal ERP.
  5. Describe the role mindfulness plays in reducing obsessions and compulsions.
  6. Utilize meditation techniques in the context of mindfulness skill development for OCD.
  7. Describe the role of genetics and family dynamics in mediating OCD.
  8. Assess the role of family accommodation and reassurance in OCD treatment.


Session 1: OCD 101
October 15, 2018, 1 PM—3 PM EDT

  • Assessment and Diagnosis of OCD
  • Types/manifestations of OCD
    • Common obsessions
    • Common compulsions
    • Disorders related to OCD
  • Psycho-educating clients
    • Obsessive-compulsive cycle
    • ERP
    • Habituation
    • Inhibitory learning

Session 2: Cognitive and behavioral therapy for OCD
October 22, 2018, 1 PM—3 PM EDT

  • Cognitive therapy
    • Cognitive distortions overview
    • Cognitive restructuring/thought records
  • Exposure and response prevention
    • Building a hierarchy
    • In vivo ERP
    • Imaginal ERP

Session 3: Mindfulness for OCD
OCTOBER 29, 2018, 1 PM—3 PM EDT

  • Psychoeducation on mindfulness
  • CBT and mindfulness
  • Meditation and its role in OCD treatment

Session 4: OCD and Families
November 5, 2018, 1 PM—3 PM EDT

  • Genetics and family dynamics in OCD
  • OCD in children
  • Family accommodation and reassurance
    • Working with spouses/partners
    • Working with parents


For mental health professionals, beginners to advanced


Basic understanding of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) recommended.

Recommended Readings

Mindfulness for OCD Workbook - book cover imageThe Mindfulness Workbook for OCD
by Jon Hershfield, MFT and Tom Corboy, MFT

Freedom From Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
by Jonathan Grayson, PhD


Abramowitz, J. S. 2006. “The Psychological Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.”  Canadian Journal of Psychiatry 51 (7):407-16.

Craske, M. G., M. Treanor, C. C. Conway, T. Zbozinek, and B. Vervliet. 2014. “Maximizing Exposure Therapy: An Inhibitory Learning Approach.” Behaviour Research & Therapy. 58: 10-23.

Storch, E. A., G. R. Geffken, L. J. Merlo, M. L. Jacob, T. K. Murphy, W. K. Goodman, M. J. Larson, M. Fernandez, and K. Grabill. 2007. “Family Accommodation in Pediatric Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.”  Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology 36 (2): 207-16.


This training is worth 8 CE credit hours if attended live. While we can only provide CE to those who are present – i.e. logged in – for live presentation(s), all Praxis webinars are recorded for later viewing. Registrants may then access these recordings at any time for up to six months from the conclusion of the training to which they pertain.

Continuing Education
Read more about our continuing education credits—how they work and how to get your certificate(s).

Technical Requirements
This is an online learning event. Access to a computer and high-speed internet is required. Refer to our FAQ page for further information on technical requirements for this training.

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All prices listed in US dollars and times in US Eastern time zone.