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Department of Psychology, University of Parma, Italy
Director: Paolo Moderato, Ph.D.
Recent advances in the assessment
and cognitive-behavioral treatment
of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Seminar for psychology students and metal health professionals held on April 15, 2003,
at the Department of Psychology of the University of Parma, Italy, by
Joel Becker, Ph.D.
Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Psychology
University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) & University of Southern California (USC) (Translation by Paolo Migone, M.D.)


and by


Gabriele Melli
Istituto di Psicologia e Psicoterapia Comportamentale e Cognitiva (IPSICO), Florence

The DVD of the seminar is available, 
in both languages (English and Italian).
For informations, contact
Paolo Migone, M.D., Via Palestro 14, 43123 Parma, Italy,
tel./fax +(39) 0521-960595, E-Mail <>


Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an Anxiety Disorder that can be diagnosed in approximately 2.5% of the population. In this seminar, effective cognitive-behavioral techniques for the treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder are presented and discussed. After a brief introduction by Prof. Francesco Rovetto, Prof. Becker traces an historical review from the first behavioral theories to the latest studies on the specific cognitive domains: overvaluation of danger, excessive importance attributed to thoughts, excessive sense of responsibility, perfectionism, excessive thought control, inability to tolerate uncertainty. The various therapeutic techniques are presented and discussed in detail.

In the last part of the seminar, of about half hour, Dr. Melli talks (in Italian, without English translation) about the typical cognitive-behavioral treatment protocol for the obsessive-compulsive patient, also with clinical examples that show their application to Italian patients: detailed assessment, motivational interventions, exposure and response prevention techniques, cognitive interventions.

In summary, the most recent advances in the diagnosis and treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder are presented, according a cognitive-behavioral approach, with the necessary critical remarks towards the excesses of some cognitive theorists.

Joel L. Becker, Ph.D., works at the Center for Cognitive Therapy in Beverly Hills (California), and teaches at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and at the University of Southern California (USC). He was trained in both psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral approaches. Currently he is specialized in marital therapy and in the psychotherapy of anxiety disorders. One of his seminars on anxiety disorders, titled "Anxiety Disorders: cognitive-behavioral psychotherapeutic techniques", was held on June 6, 2000, at the Department of Psychology of the University of Parma, and the videotape is available (see web site

Gabriele Melli teaches at the Istituto di Psicologia e Psicoterapia Comportamentale e Cognitiva (IPSICO) of Florence, Italy, and is secretary of the Italian Association for the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (AIDOC).


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Wroe, A.L., Salkovskis, P.M., & Richards, H.C. (2000). Now I know it could happen, I have to prevent it: A clinical study of the specificity of intrusive thoughts and the decision to prevent harm. Behavioural and Cognitive Therapy, 28, 63-70.

Joel Becker, Ph.D.
Center for Cognitive Psychotherapy
9665 Wilshire Boulevard, # 520
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Tel. (310) 858-3831
E-Mail <>

For further informations: <

Other videos:

John F. Clarkin, "Personality and personality disorders" (1997) (6 videos, 17 hours)

Joel Becker, "Anxiety Disorders: Cognitive-behavioral psychotherapeutic techniques" (2000) (2 videos, 5 hours)

Joel Becker & Gabriele Melli, "Recent advances in the assessment and cognitive-behavioral treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder" (2003) (1 video, 3 hours)

Robert R. Holt & Morris N. Eagle, "The scientific status of psychoanalysis" (2000) (1 video, 2.5 hours)

Robert R. Holt, Philip S. Holzman, Roy Schafer, Herbert J. Schlesinger, Fred Schwartz, Peter H. Wolff et al., "40th Anniversary of the Rapaport-Klein Study Group: Reflections on David Rapaport" (2003) (1 video, 2 hours, in English)

Adolf Grünbaum et al., "Questions and answers on psychoanalysis and philosophy" (1998) (2 videos, audio only with images)

Robert R. Holt, "A History of the Research Center for Mental Health, New York University (NYU)" (2006) (1 video, in English)

YouTube channel of the journal Psicoterapia e Scienze Umane

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