Pediatric obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common condition that can take a substantial toll on the entire family system. Research suggests that families of youth with OCD face a unique set of difficulties in that they often are intimately involved in the child's symptoms. This involvement, also known as symptom accommodation, can be quite taxing, and it is often accompanied by high levels of distress, anxiety, and family conflict. These family responses, while natural and understandable, pose very real problems for treatment. Growing research suggests that poor family functioning undermines successful child OCD treatment.
Helping Families Manage Childhood OCD provides clinicians with a comprehensive set of strategies for identifying and intervening with family dynamics that are likely to interfere with successful treatment of pediatric OCD. Moving beyond commonly employed techniques such as parent education and behavior management training, this manual includes skills training in emotion regulation for the entire family. It offers step-by-step strategies for helping family members to identify and manage their own emotional responses to OCD and provides a foundation for more effective and collaborative problem-solving around OCD. Through interactive exercises, families develop strategies for communicating around and troubleshooting difficult OCD episodes as well as strategies for promoting a more positive home environment in which to work on OCD.