Concepts and Controversies in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

by Jonathan S. Abramowitz, Arthur C. Houts

Series: Series in Anxiety and Related Disorders

Few syndromes in psychopathology generate as much popular curiosity and clinical exploration as does obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Since the 1970s, research on OCD has increased exponentially. Speci?c advances include an improved grasp of the heterogeneity of the disorder, identi?cation of putative subtyping schemes, and the development of increasingly sophisticated theoretical models of the etiology and maintenance. Perhaps most importantly, research has led to advances in treatment; andwhereasthe?rstlinetherapies(cognitive-behaviortherapyandserotonergicm- ication) are not entirely effective for every sufferer, they have transformed OCD from an unmanageable lifetime af?iction into a treatable problem that need not reduce quality of life. Despite the aforementioned advances, there have emerged a number of sharp disagreements concerning OCD. Differences have surfaced over phenomenological issues, etiological models, and approaches to treatment, and often occur (but not exclusively) along disciplinary lines between biologically oriented and cogniti- behaviorally oriented authorities. For example, medical approaches posit that abn- mal biological processes cause OCD, whereas psychosocial formulations emphasize the role of learning and dysfunctional cognitions. Yet because theoretical conjecture andempirical?ndingsfromwithineachtraditionaretypicallyaddressedtowardd- tinct and narrow audiences, clinicians, researchers, and students with broad interests are hindered from gaining a clear grasp of the diverse (and sometimes polarized) perspectives.

  • Springer New York; November 2006
  • ISBN: 9780387233703
  • Read online, or download in DRM-free PDF (digitally watermarked) format
  • Title: Concepts and Controversies in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Series: Series in Anxiety and Related Disorders
  • Author: Jonathan S. Abramowitz (ed.); Arthur C. Houts (ed.)
  • Imprint: Springer

In The Press

From the reviews:

Abramowitz and Houts' volume on Concepts and Controversies in OCD is a winner. This is a must read for discerning clinicians, graduate students and researchers wanting to stay on top of the latest information and clinical disagreements about OCD. Experts formally debate the important issues about symptom subtypes, the relationship of OCD and spectrum conditions, biological and psychological models, and cognitive versus behavioral versus pharmacological treatments. This is a cutting edge work likely to catalyze important discoveries about OCD and related problems.

Gail Steketee, PhD
Professor, Co-Chair of Clinical Practice
Boston University School of Social Work

"Over the past 30 years, clinical scientists have devoted considerable attention to the experiences of people suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). … The unique feature of this volume is that it revolves around a series of exchanges or discussions. ... The book’s principal value lies in the presentation of information from a number of different fields of study. … The topics included in the volume are well chosen … . The editors have done the field a great service … ." (Thomas F. Oltmanns, PsycCRITIQUES, Vol. 51 (27), July, 2006)

About The Author

Jonathan S. Abramowitz, Ph.D., ABPP, is Associate Professor and Director of the OCD/Anxiety Disorders Program at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. He conducts research on OCD and other anxiety disorders and has published over 50 journal articles and book chapters. He also maintains an active consultation and clinical practice. He serves on Advisory Boards for the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation and Anxiety Disorders Association of America and has received awards from the American Psychological Association, National Institutes of Health, Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation, and Mayo Clinic.

Arthur C. Houts, Ph.D., was Professor and Director of Clinical Training at The University of Memphis until he retired in 2003 to work full time at The West Clinic, a large oncology center in Memphis, TN. He has published broadly in adult and child clinical psychology, as well as in the field of science studies. Dr. Houts is currently developing technology to provide better quality of life assessment in cancer care and is building a research network of oncology practices for clinical trials.