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J Clin Psychol. 2004 Nov;60(11):1169-80.

Cognitive-behavioral treatment of repugnant obsessions.

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  • 1University of Waterloo, Department of Psychology, Ontario, Canada.


Obsessions often occur in the form of repugnant sexual, aggressive, or blasphemous thoughts, images, impulses, or doubts. This article describes the phenomenon of repugnant obsessions and reviews the cognitive-behavioral model of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Caveats and recommendations are provided and a case illustration is presented. Repugnant obsessions are highly amenable to treatment; but developing an idiographic conceptualization of the client's obsessive-compulsive cycle is important. Treatment resources are presented throughout.

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