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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


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 languageAmerican English
Article number113752
JournalPsychiatry Research
StatePublished - Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Thank you to Dr. Penny Bee for her contribution of information regarding low intensity treatments for OCD provided through IAPT in UK; and to Dr. Mike Kryrios for his contribution to an earlier draft of the conceptualization section in this paper. Appreciation to Ms. Danielle Rice for her dedicated collaboration as research assistant for the ATF phase two papers, and thanks also to research assistants Amber-Lee Di Paolo and Victoria Orha.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.


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


Dive into the research topics of 'Knowledge and competency standards for specialized cognitive behavior therapy for adult obsessive-compulsive disorder'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this