Intensive treatment of pediatric OCD: the Case of Sarah

Lara J. Farrell*, Rachel Sluis, Allison M. Waters

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


While cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) either alone or in combination with pharmacotherapy (e.g., selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) has received strong empirical support for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD; Geller & March, 2012), this treatment is often inaccessible for children and their families. Barriers to accessing CBT include a lack of trained therapists, clinician and patient beliefs about CBT, and geographical and financial barriers (Goisman et al., 1993; Marques et al., 2010; Turner, Heyman, Futh, & Lovell, 2009). Furthermore, while the majority of therapists endorse a CBT orientation, exposure therapy is rarely used in routine clinical practice (Whiteside, Deacon, Benito, & Stewart, 2016). This case study therefore describes an intensive 2- or 3-session treatment of childhood OCD (e.g., Farrell et al., 2016) to improve efficient and rapid delivery of evidence-based treatment. The case of Sarah illustrates this intensive treatment model and highlights clinical considerations for therapists when delivery a concentrated, time-limited treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1174-1190
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • OCD
  • CBT
  • exposure therapy
  • intensive treatment


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