Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Olfactory Reference Disorder (ORD): A case study

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Olfactory Reference Disorder (ORD) is preoccupation with the belief that one is emitting a foul odour. It can be a distressing and substantially impairing problem. However, very little is known about its successful treatment. This study describes the treatment of a 38-year-old female with longstanding ORD using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Case conceptualisation focused on identifying unhelpful beliefs and maintaining factors including safety-seeking behaviours, self-focus and avoidance. These were then targeted using a variety of techniques including discussion and behavioural experiments to facilitate belief and behaviour change. Following a 12-week treatment, measures of anxiety and depression reduced to below clinical thresholds. In addition, there were reductions on a specific measure of symptoms of ORD. Issues regarding the use of CBT to treat this particular disorder are considered.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Obsessive Compulsive and Related Disorders
Early online date20 Feb 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Feb 2017


  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Olfactory Reference Disorder
  • Olfactory Reference Syndrome
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders
  • Treatment


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