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A Single Belief as a Maintaining Factor in a Case of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

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A severe case of obsessive-compulsive disorder with 30-year chronicity was successfully treated with 7 sessions of cognitive therapy. The client, a 38-year-old male, was diagnosed as OCD by two independent clinicians. The cognitive treatment model targeted a central obsessional belief concerning the utility of the OCD. Once this single belief central to his compulsive behaviors had been dismantled, the client ceased to perceive his compulsive behaviors as useful and this led to a complete remission of symptoms at post-treatment which was maintained at 6-month and 3-year follow-up. The strategies included linking the content of the intrusion to the feared consequences and subsequent appraisals in order to specify the maintaining belief and comparing the past to the current functionality of the belief. The treatment procedure may be generalizable across other types of OCD.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-12-01

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  • Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy is devoted to the advancement of the clinical practice of cognitive psychotherapy. This scholarly journal seeks to merge theory, research, and practice and to develop new techniques by an examination of the clinical implications of theoretical development and research findings.
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