Treating the Family: Addressing Family Accommodation in the Treatment of OCD - Part One



Jami Socha, PhD
Laura Lokers, LMSW
February 1, 2018
- 1:00 pm

The webinar aims at helping clinicians identify and address family accommodation as it relates to OCD. Case examples – representing both adult and child cases – were used to illustrate the challenges and successes of addressing accommodation.

Family accommodation is generally defined as any way in which family member(s) play a role in the maintenance of obsessions and compulsions through taking part in rituals, permitting avoidance of anxiety-provoking stimuli, or modifying routines to accommodate OCD behaviors.

Addressing family accommodation is therefore an important component in treating OCD, and neglecting the role of family members can undermine Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP).

However, family accommodation can be a challenging issue for clinicians to tackle for a variety of reasons, including: difficulty recognizing the multitude of ways accommodation can occur, dealing with low motivation in family members to modify their behavior, family members' lack of information or misunderstanding regarding ERP, or reluctance of family members to disengage from accommodating behaviors for fear doing so will be too harsh/unsupportive to their loved one.

Strategies for working with parents were discussed, including ways to engage parents who may struggle to refrain from accommodating behaviors for fear of hurting or upsetting their child. In addition, the presenters offer attendees language and visuals/illustrations to use with reluctant and/or misinformed family members that could be useful in increasing their engagement treatment-supporting behaviors.

At the end of this webinar, attendees will be able to:

  1. Define and describe family accommodation as it pertains to OCD
  2. Recognize signs (“red flags”) of family accommodation when working with OCD patients
  3. Identify useful language to use with family members to address family accommodation of anxiety symptoms

Presentation Level: Intermediate / Advanced

This webinar is not eligible for CE credit.

Presenter(s) Biography

Jami Socha, PhD


Jami Socha, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist at the Anxiety and OCD Treatment Center of Ann Arbor where she specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders, OCD and obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders.   Dr. Socha received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, and completed her internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan.  Dr. Socha has extensive experience and training in a variety of empirically supported treatments for anxiety and mood disorders, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP).  She works with individuals across the lifespan, having specialized training in treating anxiety in both pediatric and adult populations. Dr. Socha is also a clinical supervisor at the University of Michigan's Mary A. Rackham Institute. Dr. Socha was a 2016 recipient of ADAA's Career Development Leadership Program Award and has been an ADAA member since 2010.

Laura Lokers, LMSW


Laura Lokers, LMSW is a licensed clinical social worker and worked in the University of Michigan's Department of Psychiatry, Anxiety Disorders Program for 10 years before co-founding the Anxiety and OCD Treatment Center of Ann Arbor. Ms. Lokers received her Master's degree from the University of Michigan School of Social Work in 2005 and has specialized training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for a variety of anxiety, mood disorders and OCD. Ms. Lokers has had advanced training and experience working with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, including intensive outpatient exposure and response prevention for aggressive OCD symptoms.  In addition to clinical treatment and clinical training, Ms. Lokers has also been involved in clinical research, primarily in the area of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and OC spectrum disorders. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Michigan School of Social Work and has been an ADAA member since 2010. 


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