Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Perinatal OCD (pOCD): WORKSHOP PRESENTATION ONLINE via ZOOM

Registration closes @12 noon on 20.04.23

Description of the workshop:

This workshop will cover understanding of the particular issues and skills needed to work with ‘perinatal OCD’, that is, OCD occurring in mothers or fathers during pregnancy or the first year after birth.  Perinatal OCD has gained increased clinical and research attention as it has become recognised as one of the most common perinatal mental health problems, affecting up to 7% of women at this time. Parents may be more susceptible to OCD at this time due to the context of objectively increased responsibility and the challenge of providing continuous care for a cherished and vulnerable infant.  OCD can interfere with key tasks of caregiving and have an impact on the family system.  In addition, parents are often worried about the impact of their behaviour and anxiety on their children.  Recognition and early treatment of the disorder can help parents begin a new trajectory, even if they have longstanding difficulties.

You will have a good understanding of how to assess and treat OCD and will have experience in active work with OCD.


Learning outcomes from the workshop will be:

  • Diagnosing and formulating OCD in the context of pregnancy and birth including consideration of high-risk pregnancies, birth complications and PTSD.
  • Understanding a range of pOCD presentations including unwanted intrusive thoughts, contamination, mental contamination
  • Working with clients to gain a shared understanding of their difficulties and what is excessive in the context of parenthood and pregnancy
  • Use of a range of active treatment techniques to help clients work towards their goals
  • Skills to work with families who may be supportive, accommodating or in conflict with the client



Challacombe, F.L., Bavetta M, & DeGiorgio S (2019). Intrusive thoughts in perinatal obsessive-compulsive disorder. British Medical Journal (clinical research ed), 367, 16574 doi:

Challacombe, F. L., Salkovskis, P. M., Woolgar, M., Wilkinson, E. L., Read, J. & Acheson, R., (2017). A pilot randomized controlled trial of time-intensive cognitive-behaviour therapy for postpartum obsessive-compulsive disorder: effects on maternal symptoms, mother-infant interactions and attachment. Psychological Medicine, 1478-1488. DOI:10.1017/S0033291716003573

Fairbrother N, Collardeau F, Albert AYK, Challacombe Fiona L, Thordarson, Dana S, Woody Sheila R, Janssen, Patricia A (2021). High prevalence and incidence of obsessive-compulsive disorder among women across pregnancy and the postpartum. J Clin Psychiatry. 2021;82(2):20m13398. Doi:


Fiona Challacombe

Fiona is a clinical lecturer at KCL and a clinical psychologist at CADAT London.  She is a researcher in the field of perinatal anxiety disorders and conducted the first treatment trial of CBT for perinatal OCD. Her current focus is on improving treatments for women with anxiety disorders during pregnancy.  In her NHS work at CADAT she leads a service for mothers and fathers with anxiety disorders who have young children.  She is co-author on the self-help books Break Free from Maternal AnxietyBreak Free from OCD and a therapist manual CBT for OCD.  She is patron of the service user led charity Maternal OCD who work to raise awareness of the problem, provide information and support research in this area.

Additional Information

Cancellation & changes policy

If you cancel more than 14 days prior to your booked event, we will refund your fee minus a charge of 15% to cover our administration costs. We regret that cancellations 14 days or less before the booked event cannot be refunded or changed/transferred.

If you wish to change/transfer your booking after confirmation we will do our best to accommodate you if you notify us 14 days prior to your booked event, and if there is space to do so. However there will be an administration charge of £15 per change/transfer.


Workshops often contain clinical material. This is always anonymised as far as possible but delegates are none the less reminded to respect confidentiality.

All that is discussed in your therapy sessions will be treated as confidential, with the following exceptions.
We are required to seek supervision by our professional body (The British Psychological Society or equivalent) as a means of ensuring good practice. We will usually inform your referrer of your progress, but the details that we disclose will be discussed with you. We do have a statutory obligation to break confidentiality under rare circumstances, namely, if we believe that a client is of danger to themselves or to others (under the Mental Health Act, 2001) or if we believe that a child is at actual risk of physical or sexual abuse (The Children Act, Section 47, 1989).

If we felt that it would be helpful to request additional medical, social or legal information, we could only do this with your consent. Similarly, should another medical, social or legal professional request information from us, we would not release this without your consent.


OCTC makes every effort to ensure that this programme is delivered as advertised. However, should a presenter have to cancel, we will endeavour to find another suitable presenter. We will inform attendees as soon as is reasonably practical and, if requested, will offer a refund. In the rare event that we are unable to substitute a presenter, we may cancel a workshop and refund payments already made by attendees. OCTC will not refund travel and accommodation costs that attendees may incur.
All the workshops in this programme are carried out by highly experienced therapists and trainers. The individual presenter is responsible for the content of the workshop and any views expressed do not necessarily represent those of OCTC.
Although highly informative, none of the open workshops or workshop series confer a formal qualification or assurance of competence in CBT (or a specialist area of CBT) since we are unable to assess attendee competency within the training event. However, credit and award-bearing courses that lead to formal qualifications are offered by OCTC in conjunction with the University of Oxford. More about these courses is available on our website

Levels of competence

Before booking a place on a workshop, please ensure that it is pitched at the appropriate level of competence for you. The guide to levels is as follows:


Basic workshops are for people from a variety of backgrounds, who have at least one year’s clinical experience. Cognitive behavioural knowledge is not necessary for attendance at these workshops, though in practice, a number of attendees will have some skills in the area, and are refreshing/updating their knowledge.


Intermediate workshops are directed towards people who already have knowledge of CBT, and experience in using cognitive formulations and treatment methods – for instance, they are able to identify and test automatic thoughts, and design behavioural experiments. Most participants will be using CBT as part of their clinical practice, and may still be acquiring new CBT skills.


Advanced courses are directed towards those professionals who use CBT routinely as part of their clinical practice. They have probably undertaken a significant number of training courses and/or workshops, and use a broad range of cognitive behavioural strategies to work with a range of presentations at varying levels of complexity.

Making reservations

Bookings can only be considered confirmed after we have received your online registration or application form and payment (or invoicing details, including an official purchase order document).

The registration closing date for each workshop is shown on the workshop description page.  Please note that no applications received after this deadline will be permitted.

If you are booking a workshop place for someone else, you must complete your own details in the billing field, but ENTER THE WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS NAME/ADDRESS in the shipping field. If you wish to order items using a paper order form instead of online, you can view or download an order form in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format. Once downloaded, print it out, fill it in, and send off with your payment [cheque made payable to OXFORD HEALTH NHS FOUNDATION TRUST] to the address on the form.


The cost of the workshops includes hot drinks on arrival, mid-morning and mid-afternoon, but not usually lunch unless stated. However, for workshops that do include lunch, if you have any special dietary requirements please let us know at the time of application.

Special needs

We welcome applications from diverse backgrounds. If you have any particular needs, please contact us
prior to booking.