Workshop 2: CBT for OCD in Children and Teens

OCD is a common, chronic, and often-debilitating disorder that can lead to serious social, behavioral, and learning problems. It can manifest through a wide range of symptoms, frequently making it both baffling and complex to assess and treat. Comorbid conditions can further compound the challenges of treatment. Yet, with early recognition and effective CBT interventions, up to 80% of those affected can successfully manage OCD. Unfortunately, many do not receive CBT, due in part to a shortage of clinicians with expertise in treating OCD.

In this practical workshop, you will learn how to apply CBT to the many faces of OCD in children and adolescents, including contamination, unwanted intrusive thoughts (violent and sexual), scrupulosity, and just-right OCD, along with cleansing, checking, reassurance-seeking, confessing, repeating, and mental rituals. You will be able to differentiate OCD from Tourette Syndrome, ADHD, depression, hair-pulling, skin-picking, psychosis, and autism spectrum disorders. You will learn to recognize red flags for OCD and understand what fuels OCD, especially the Vicious Cycle of Avoidance and parenting traps.

Dr. Wagner combines highly effective strategies with clinical pearls that can quickly be put to use in your practice to treat various manifestations of OCD. You will learn the innovative and child-friendly Worry Hill® CBT approach designed to optimize motivation and compliance in youth with OCD.

Topics covered include:

The many faces of OCD in youth Effects of OCD on children and teens
Tricky aspects of OCD Red flags for OCD at home and school
Normal childhood vs. OCD rituals The fuel for OCD: The OCD Triad
What’s OCD, what’s not? The Vicious Cycle of Escape
Parenting Traps Types of ERP: in vivo and imaginal
CBT: Evidenced-based treatment for OCD Collaborating with parents
Emotional Processing Theory  Parenting a child with OCD
Inhibitory Learning Theory Realistic expectations: Reducing dropout
Challenges in engaging kids and teens in CBT Parenting behaviors that delay recovery
Therapists’ hesitations about exposure How to stop enabling
The Worry Hill® approach to anxiety and OCD Managing meltdowns and explosiveness
Assessment of OCD Managing treatment reluctance
Cultivating treatment readiness in four steps When treatment does not seem to be working
Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) The art of CBT


Follow along on provided handouts as Dr. Wagner presents and save them to use as an ongoing resource. Case studies and group discussion will help you learn to develop and apply creative and specific treatment plans.

*These workshops are not designed for parents or those who are primarily interested in applying CBT in the classroom (see Workshops for Parents and Workshops for School Professionals).

To register or for more information, please email Dr. Wagner at awagner@anxietywellness.com with the workshop number and name in the subject line of your email.