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Woon, L.S. Kanapathy, A. Zakaria, H. Alfonso, C.A. (2017). An Integrative Approach to Treatment-Resistant Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Psychodyn. Psych., 45(2):237-257.

(2017). Psychodynamic Psychiatry, 45(2):237-257

An Integrative Approach to Treatment-Resistant Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Luke Sy-Cherng Woon, M.D., Anita Kanapathy, MBBS, Hazli Zakaria, MBBS, Dr.Psych. and César A. Alfonso, M.D.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a debilitating psychiatric disorder that often runs a chronic unremitting course. Treatment outcomes can be unsatisfactory despite the availability of various somatic and psychological therapies. Psychodynamic psychotherapy in combination with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with exposure and response prevention (ERP) could help patients with treatment-resistant OCD achieve better outcomes. An integrative approach can help patients gain insight, strengthen the therapeutic alliance, improve treatment adherence, and provide symptomatic relief when other treatments seem insufficient or have failed. We describe the treatment process of a person with treatment-resistant OCD who received pharmacotherapy, concurrent CBT/ERP, and a brief course of psychodynamic psychotherapy. Case formulations from cognitive behavioral and psychodynamic perspectives are presented. The authors discuss the advantages of doing a psychodynamic assessment and formulation in treatment refractory cases and the wisdom of integrating psychotherapy interventions for OCD, as well as the unique clinical features of cases that warrant a multimodal treatment approach.

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