Knowledge and competency standards for specialized cognitive behavior therapy for adult obsessive-compulsive disorder

Debbie Sookman, Katharine A. Phillips, Gideon E. Anholt, Sunil Bhar, Victoria Bream, Fiona L. Challacombe, Anna Coughtrey, Michelle G. Craske, Edna Foa, Jean-Philippe Gagné, Jonathan D. Huppert, David Jacobi, Karina Lovell, Carmen P. McLean, Fugen Neziroglu, Rebecca Pedley, Sean Perrin, Anthony Pinto, C. Alec Pollard, Adam S. RadomskyBradley C. Riemann, Roz Shafran, Gregoris Simos, Ingrid Söchting, Laura J. Summerfeldt, Jeff Szymanski, Michael Treanor, Barbara van Noppen, Patricia van Oppen, Maureen Whittal, Monnica T. Williams, Timothy Williams, Elna Yadin, David Veale

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a leading cause of disability world-wide (World Health Organization, 2008). Treatment of OCD is a specialized field whose aim is recovery from illness for as many patients as possible. The evidence-based psychotherapeutic treatment for OCD is specialized cognitive behavior therapy (CBT, NICE, 2005, Koran and Simpson, 2013). However, these treatments are not accessible to many sufferers around the world. Currently available guidelines for care are deemed to be essential but insufficient because of highly variable clinician knowledge and competencies specific to OCD. The phase two mandate of the 14 nation International OCD Accreditation Task Force (ATF) created by the Canadian Institute for Obsessive Compulsive Disorders is development of knowledge and competency standards for specialized treatments for OCD through the lifespan deemed by experts to be foundational to transformative change in this field. This paper presents knowledge and competency standards for specialized CBT for adult OCD developed to inform, advance, and offer a model for clinical practice and training for OCD. During upcoming ATF phases three and four criteria and processes for training in specialized treatments for OCD through the lifespan for certification (individuals) and accreditation (sites) will be developed based on the ATF standards.
Original languageEnglish
Article number113752
JournalPsychiatry Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021


  • Accreditation
  • Certification
  • Cognitive therapy
  • Evidence based treatment
  • Exposure and response prevention
  • Training

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