Subtypes of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Implications for Specialized Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Document Type



Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Although obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a heterogeneous condition, OCD subtypes have received limited attention in trials of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). Because many patients with OCD do not respond optimally to CBT, it is important for clinicians to consider whether variability in treatment response is related to symptom presentation. Treatment modifications for patients without overt compulsions or with hoarding symptoms show promise. In this article we discuss the available research addressing the treatment of OCD subtypes, review the clinical characteristics and treatment recommendations for prominent OCD subtypes, raise the prospect of using dysfunctional beliefs as a potentially helpful conceptual approach to subtyping OCD and matching treatment to subtypes, and consider future directions in the treatment of OCD subtypes.

Article Number


Publication Date

Fall 2005

Peer Reviewed



APA Citation: Sookman, D., Abramowitz, J. S., Calamari, J. E., Wilhelm, S. & McKay, D. (2005). Subtypes of obsessive-compulsive disorder: Implications for specialized cognitive behavior therapy. Behavior Therapy, 36(4), 393-400.