Course summary

Practice Level: Intermediate

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a serious mental health disorder that can create a life of chaos in those struggling with obsessive thoughts and/or compulsive behaviors. Yet, it is treatable for those who seek and receive appropriate support. Mental health providers are integral in the treatment and recovery process for OCD as they can help patients recognize and understand their obsessions and/or compulsions, establish and deliver a treatment plan, and finally offer support through the process. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Elements, History, Treatments, and Research presents the information that clinicians need to diagnose, assess, and treat OCD. The purpose of this course is to prepare social workers, counselors, marriage and family therapists, and psychologists to identify the symptoms of OCD and use their understanding of the disorder, intervention approaches, and treatment options to support OCD patients cultivate and maintain a more stable and practical life.

This learning material provides information about OCD etiology and diagnostic criteria that clinicians can use in their work with patients striving to overcome their obsessions and compulsions. This learning material also helps providers understand the history, theories, and research of OCD, identify potential causes of and treatment barriers to the disorder, and recognize the effects of OCD in many facets of life. Upon completion of this course, providers will be able to assess OCD symptoms and establish treatment plans that best support their patients.

Course Format

This course is based on a book that can be purchased here and a posttest. When you’re ready, purchase the test by clicking the “Add To Cart” or “Enroll” button. This will let you take the test and receive your certificate for CE credits.

Learning Objectives

1. Describe the symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder.

2. Differentiate between OCD and other related disorders that have obsessive and compulsive traits.

3. Discuss the evolution of theories and research regarding OCD throughout history.

4. Explain the neurobiological etiology of OCD.

5. Discuss the role of neurobiological pathways, structure, and neurofunctions in OCD.

6. Identify causes of OCD.

7. Describe barriers that interfere with access to OCD services and effectiveness of OCD treatment.

8. Recognize the direct and indirect socioeconomic costs of OCD.

9. Identify psychological factors that may affect the OCD treatment process.

10. Explain the different treatment options and intervention approaches for OCD.

11. Describe adjunctive therapies and coping skills that enhance and augment OCD treatment.

12. Differentiate excellence and perfectionism.

13. Discuss how OCD can negatively affect work and educational settings.

14. Identify behaviors characteristic of relationship OCD.

15. Recognize family dynamics and accommodations that affect OCD treatment and recovery.

Course Syllabus

Diagnosis, Symptoms, Phenomenology, and Incidence

Obsessive Compulsive Related and Comorbid Disorders


Theory and Research

Development and Causes

Effects and Costs

Assessment and Treatment

Adjunctive Psychosocial Treatment and Coping Strategies

In Society—Up Close

At Work and School—Up Close

In Relationships—Up Close


Leslie J. Shapiro, LICSW

Leslie J. Shapiro, LICSW has been treating OCD and related disorders since 1989. She has been a staff behavior therapist at the OCD Institute, the flagship residential level of care for severe OCD, since its inception in 1997. Shapiro was awarded the first interdisciplinary career-development research grant at McLean Hospital to support her pilot project on conscience-related factors in OCD. She continues this research at the Office of Clinical Assessment and Research at the OCD Institute. Her other roles have included committee membership for Partners for Research Advancement in Nursing and Social Work at McLean Hospital, adjunct professor at the Boston University School of Social Work, and teaching, supervising, and training students and staff at the OCD Institute.

Accreditation Approval Statements is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. maintains responsibility for this program and its content., provider #1115, is approved as an ACE provider to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Regulatory boards are the final authority on courses accepted for continuing education credit. ACE provider approval period: 08/08/21-08/08/24. Social workers completing this course receive 14 clinical continuing education credits. has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6991. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

Courses have been approved by, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for educational credits. NAADAC Provider #91345 is responsible for all aspects of the programming.

We are committed to providing our learners with unbiased information. CE4Less never accepts commercial support and our authors have no significant financial or other conflicts of interest pertaining to the material.

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