More Than Medication: Achieving Goals Through Psychotherapy in Patients in Patients With Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

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There are numerous variables to consider when planning treatment for a psychiatric disorder as complex as obsessive compulive disorder (OCD). Beyond the efficacy of the medications, one must take into account patient preferences and beliefs, as well as the impact of the disease and treatment on social and occupational functioning. Psychotherapy, specifically cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), can serve as an addition to pharmacotherapy or as an alternative treatment, if necessary, for OCD. However, psychotherapy remains underutilized. In this article, the authors review the available evidence supporting various treatment options for OCD and describe how psychotherapy (specifically CBT) can be used as monotherapy for OCD or as an adjunct to medication. Effective strategies for delivering CBT via its two modalities (exposure-response prevention and cognitive therapy) are described and illustrated by a composite case.