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Revista Brasileira de Terapias Cognitivas

Print version ISSN 1808-5687On-line version ISSN 1982-3746


PETERSEN, Marcela Leão. Cognitive-behavioral therapy in the treatment of mental compulsions. Rev. bras.ter. cogn. [online]. 2019, vol.15, n.2, pp. 92-99. ISSN 1808-5687.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is characterized by the presence of obsessions, compulsions or both. Some of the compulsions occur as unobservable mental rituals (mental compulsions). Related to worse prognosis, mental rituals have a prevalence of 9.8 to 25% and cause significant functional impairment. Some consider patients with mental rituals more difficult to treat through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Exposure Therapy and Response Prevention (ERP), but the evidence about the specific treatment of these symptoms is still controversial. The aim of this study is to verify the evidence about the effectiveness of CBT/ERP in the treatment of mental rituals and which specific techniques can be used. A systematic review of the literature was carried out through electronic databases. The expressions "mental rituals", "mental compulsions", "covert rituals", " covert compulsions" were searched combined with the expression "obsessive compulsive disorder". Articles published until 2018, written in English, Portuguese and Spanish were selected. The results are favorable to the use of ERP. Specific techniques as the distraction with interesting activities and to think the opposite about the mental compulsion can be used.

Keywords : Obsessive-compulsive disorder; Mental compulsions; Cognitive behavioral therapy.

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