Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for OCD: Stand-Alone and Post-CBT Augmentation Approaches

  • Steven Selchen
  • Lance L. Hawley
  • Rotem Regev
  • Peggy Richter
  • Neil A. Rector


Mindfulness, defined as the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment and nonjudgmentally, promotes engagement with internal experience and has been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in meta-analyses, but few have tested its potential benefits in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The following study aimed to test the preliminary efficacy of an OCD-tailored 8-week course of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) to treatment-seeking patients with OCD. Treatment-seeking participants (N = 37) with a principal DSM-5 (APA 2013) diagnosis of OCD completed an 8-week MBCT group intervention (adapted from Segal et al. 2013) tailored to OCD either prior to receiving CBT (n = 19) or following a 14-week CBT intervention (n = 18). Participants completed measures of obsessive–compulsive symptoms (including the Y-BOCS), depression (BDI-II), mindfulness (FFMQ), and Obsessive Beliefs Questonnaire (OBQ) at baseline and post-treatment. Repeated measures analysis of variance demonstrated significant change from pre- to post-treatment in both MBCT treatment groups, with no condition or condition by time effects. These preliminary results demonstrate the potential efficacy of MBCT for OCD with large and significant reductions in obsessive–compulsive symptoms from pre- to post-treatment both as a stand-alone treatment, prior to other first-line interventions and as an augmentation treatment for patients showing only partial response to CBT.


Mindfulness MBCT OCD CBT 



The authors would like to thank Dr. Danielle Katz for her editorial assistance.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

All aspects of the clinical protocol were approved by the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre (SHSC) Research Ethics Board.


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Copyright information

© International Association of Cognitive Psychotherapy 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven Selchen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lance L. Hawley
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rotem Regev
    • 1
  • Peggy Richter
    • 1
    • 2
  • Neil A. Rector
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatrySunnybrook Health Sciences CentreTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Sunnybrook Research InstituteSunnybrook Health Sciences CentreTorontoCanada

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