Do we need a cognitive theory for obsessive-compulsive disorder?

Gideon E. Anholt*, Eyal Kalanthroff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Cognitive theories of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) ascertain that catastrophic (mis)interpretations of normally occurring intrusive thoughts are causal to the onset and maintenance of OCD. However, we suggest that various research findings challenge basic premises of the cognitive theory. Furthermore, results of clinical trials investigating cognitive and behavioral therapies for OCD challenge the added value of cognitive interventions over and above behavior therapy consisting of exposure and response prevention (ERP) for OCD. It is maintained that there is a need to search for alternative theories to improve OCD understanding and treatment. Executive dysfunctions and particularly response inhibition deficits are suggested as a potential alternative research route.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)194-196
Number of pages3
JournalClinical Neuropsychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Giovanni Fioriti Editore ditore s.r.l.


  • Cognitive therapy
  • Executive functions
  • OCD


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