Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) affects approximately 3% of children and adolescents. Children with OCD may experience obsessions (uncontrollable, intrusive and scary thoughts) and/or compulsions(repetitive behaviours that they feel driven to do to in order to reduce anxiety or prevent something terrible from happening). Children with OCD are usually aware that these thoughts and behaviours are not “normal” and often find them very distressing. In childhood, OCD can affect the entire family, such that family members often have to assist with completing rituals, or modify family routines to alleviate the child’s distress.

OCD Busters trial

We are currently conducting an exciting study at the Gold Coast and Brisbane campuses examining the effectiveness of an intensive individual treatment program for children between 7 to 17 years of age with OCD.

The treatment is FREE and involves:

  • Comprehensive psychological assessment, including psychiatry review
  • 3 intensive sessions of therapy with an experienced therapist
  • One follow up session with the therapist
  • A series of follow up phone calls spanning 6 months.

During the intensive sessions, children, with the guidance of an experienced therapist, are taught skills to help face their fears without performing their OCD habits or compulsions.

If you would like more information and to find out how you child can participate, please contact us on 5678 8317 or email at [email protected]

OCD Busters resource material

More about the OCD research program

Traditionally, treatment is conducted over at least 12 weekly x 1 hour sessions. However recent studies in the US have shown that intensive treatments are as effective as traditional approaches for children with OCD. The present study involves prolonged intensive sessions, which are maximised to 3 hours, spaced weekly. We have recently conducted a similar trial using this format with great success. A second aim of the study is to explore innovative ways of improving this intensive treatment and gaining longer lasting outcomes for children and adolescents. The study is overseen by international experts Associate Professor Lara Farrell (Gold Coast) and Professor Allison Waters (Brisbane).

Griffith University Paediatric OCD Research Program is led by Associate Professor Lara Farrell, and provides evidence-based, cognitive-behavioural treatment (group and individual format) for children and youth with OCD spectrum disorders. Dr Farrell has been involved in OCD research for many years and she is particularly interested in improving current approaches to treatment of OCDin children and youth.

The research program offers assessment and state-of-the-art treatment by a team of experienced clinicians to children and youth on both the Gold Coast and Brisbane campuses.