This is an On-Demand course that includes an audio recording and a handout of slides that accompany the talk.

Jonathan Abramowitz

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a heterogeneous condition with a seemingly infinite variety of obsessional themes and ritualistic behaviors.  Even the most experienced clinicians can feel bewildered when trying to assess, conceptualize, and use cognitive-behavioral treatment techniques (e.g., exposure and response prevention) for such a dizzying array symptoms. The wide variability in obsessions and compulsions, however, can be distilled down to four symptom dimensions or subtypes: (a) contamination, (b) fears of responsibility for harm and mistakes, (c) the need for order and completeness, and (d) unacceptable/taboo obsessions.  This work has paved the way for the development of "dimension specific" cognitive-behavioral assessment and treatment strategies.  This workshop will introduce participants to an empirically supported dimensional approach to assessing and treating OCD symptoms that maximizes efficiency when working with clients. New empirically-informed strategies for assessing symptom severity and conducting a functional (behavioral) analysis for each symptom dimension will be discussed.  The bulk of the workshop will focus on how to integrate and apply exposure, response prevention, and cognitive therapy techniques for each of the four OCD symptom dimensions.  Common pitfalls in providing these treatments will also be covered.

Learning Objectives

After completing this course participants will be able to:

  • Identify the four core symptom dimensions of OCD.
  • Describe the assessment and conceptualization of obsessions, avoidance strategies, and rituals within each symptom dimension.
  • Explain exposure, response prevention, and cognitive therapy strategies for helping patients overcome each of the four symptom dimensions.


Jonathan S. Abramowitz, PhD is Professor and Associate Chair of Psychology, and Research Professor of Psychiatry, at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill. Dr. Abramowitz is Director of the UNC Anxiety and Stress Disorders Clinic, and a North Carolina Licensed Psychologist with a Diplomate from the American Board of Professional Psychology. He is an international expert on anxiety and OCD, and has published over 200 books, book chapters, and peer-reviewed research articles. He is editor of two scientific journals, including the Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders, which he founded in 2011. Dr. Abramowitz is a regular presenter at professional conferences and has received awards for his contributions to the field from the American Psychological Association (Division 12), the Mayo Clinic, and his alma mater, Muhlenberg College.  He is President-Elect of ABCT.

Licensing and Continuing Education Requirements

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The Evidence-Based Practice Institute is approved by the American Psychological Association to offer continuing education for psychologists. The Evidence-Based Practice Institute maintains responsibility for the program and its content.  The Evidence-Based Practice Institute allocates 1.5 CE credits for this course following APA guidelines. After you successfully complete the course, fill out an evaluation form, and pass an exam, your CE certificate will be emailed to you.

Licensing and continuing education requirements vary by state. Please contact your state's regulatory authority to verify that this course meets your licensing and/or continuing education requirements.


Past Reviews

A helpful overview of various elements of OCD and its treatment. - Melissa Hadfield, LICSW