Why you'll love this course

While we commonly associate obsessive-compulsive disorder with such compulsions as hand-washing, current research suggests that a majority of OCD patients actually present without such stereotypical behaviors. Their compulsions are covert, or internal. Nikki Rubin will change your thinking about OCD, with a focus on providing the right diagnosis and the right treatment.




Course description

Most clinicians are familiar with the clinical presentation of OCD: 

  • A patient with significant overt compulsions (e.g., hand washing) that consume hours during the day, negatively impacting functioning.
  • A patient who prefers things extremely orderly and neat, and becomes significantly dysregulated when objects are out of place.
  • A patient who needs events or experiences to occur a specific number of times or in odd or even multiples.

Clinicians are usually quick to identify these clinical presentations as OCD. 

However, many patients struggling with what is colloquially known as “Pure O” OCD may be misdiagnosed. In this form, obsessions are present without significant overt compulsions. Instead, “covert” compulsions or “mental checking” behaviors predominate. 

Without an accurate diagnosis, these patients may not receive the treatment they need. Worse, they may receive a treatment that maintains or even worsens their symptoms. 

This course will provide practical instruction to clinicians seeking  to accurately identify and diagnose “Pure O” OCD subtypes. Participants will also learn to treat “Pure O” OCD using exposure and response prevention modified specifically for a “Pure O” presentation. 

Learning objectives

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Distinguish between “Pure O” OCD and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and provide effective psychoeducation about this difference to patients

  • Build a fear hierarchy for exposure-based treatment of clients with a “Pure O” presentation

  • Implement at least three exposure techniques to address "Pure O" symptoms of OCD


Nikki Rubin, PsyD

Nikki Rubin, PsyD

Nikki Rubin, PsyD is a licensed clinical psychologist (CA PSY30047; NY 019595) specializing in evidence-based therapies. She currently serves as a clinical supervisor within UCLA's clinical PhD program. She previously served as an adjunct professor and clinical supervisor at Columbia University’s Teachers College, where she helped lead a shift towards training and supervision in CBT.

Additional information

Format & Length:

Video format; Total running time 2 hours, 5 minutes

Topic Area: 

Clinical Practice

Instructional level:

Intermediate. This course is designed for those with general clinical experience who are interested in learning more about OCD that presents without stereotypical overt compulsive behavior.

Completion Requirements:

To obtain your CE certificate, you must progress through all course segments, complete a satisfaction survey, and obtain a score of 80% or higher on a course completion quiz.

Who Should Attend: 

Counselors, clinical social workers, and marriage and family therapists.

Enrollment Period:

Once enrolled, you can access this course and all related materials for 60 days.

Financial Support Statement:

SimplePractice Learning pays course presenters for their teaching. There is no other financial support for this course.

Conflict of Interest Statement:

There is no potential conflict of interest or outside commercial support for this course.

Refund Policy:

Click here to see our policies on attendance, refunds, grievances, and accessibility, and other frequently asked questions

NAADAC Approval Status:

This course is not part of our continuing education program approved through NAADAC. Click here to view our complete CE approval information, or check out our collection of NAADAC approved courses