Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder

Cover of Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder (medium)
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Format: DVD
Availability: In Stock
Other Format: VHS
Running Time: Over 100 minutes
Item #: 4310711
ISBN: 978-1-59147-217-9
Copyright: 2005
APA Psychotherapy Training Videos are intended solely for educational purposes for mental health professionals. Viewers are expected to treat confidential material found herein according to strict professional guidelines. Unauthorized viewing is prohibited.

In Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder, Dr. R. Reid Wilson demonstrates and discusses his cognitive–behavioral approach to treating obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD). OCD is a common anxiety disorder that involves obsessive thinking accompanied by compulsive behavior. Dr. Wilson's approach is to focus closely on a client's thought processes so as to make the client realize the irrational—and ultimately irrelevant—content of the obsessions.

In this session, Dr. Wilson interviews a female client with long-standing OCD cleaning and ordering rituals. He illustrates how to gain rapport, confront fearful belief systems, encourage motivation, and challenge the need for confidence. He clarifies the benefits of viewing OCD as a mental "game" in which she can "win" by changing her responses to the symptoms of the disorder. He explains the four primary homework assignments in his treatment of OCD: Treat the content as irrelevant, accept the obsessions when they arise, seek out uncertainty, and seek out distress.


This cognitive–behavioral approach focuses on the client's thoughts and on ways to bring the client to a realization of the irrationality of the content of obsessive–compulsive thought. In this video, the therapist demonstrates the approach in the following ways:

  • interviews a patient with long-standing OCD cleaning and ordering rituals;

  • illustrates how to gain rapport, confront fearful belief systems, encourage motivation, challenge the need for confidence;

  • clarifies the benefits of viewing OCD as a mental "game"; and

  • explains the four primary homework assignments in the cognitive "behavioral treatment of OCD."

About the Therapist

R. Reid Wilson, PhD, is associate clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and a clinical psychologist in private practice in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Dr. Wilson is an international expert in the treatment of anxiety disorders, with books translated into seven languages. He is author of Don't Panic: Taking Control of Anxiety Attacks (1996) and Facing Panic: Self-Help for People with Panic Attacks; coauthor, with Edna Foa, of Stop Obsessing! How to Overcome Your Obsessions and Compulsions (2001), and coauthor of Achieving Comfortable Flight, a self-help package for the fearful flier.

He designed and served as lead psychologist for American Airlines' first national program for the fearful flier. Dr. Wilson served on the board of directors of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America for 12 years. He served as program chair of the National Conferences on Anxiety Disorders from 1988 to 1991. His free self-help Web site, anxieties.com, serves 500,000 visitors per year.

Suggested Readings
  • Foa, E. B., & Wilson, R. R. (2001). Stop obsessing!: How to overcome your obsessions and compulsions (Rev. ed.). New York: Bantam Books.
  • Swinson, R. P., Antony, M. M., Rachman, S., & Richter, M. A. (Eds.). (1988). Obsessive-compulsive disorder: Theory, research, and treatment. New York: Guilford Press.

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