OCD: Spotting, differentiating and using Anxiety Disorder Specific Measures for Low Intensity CBT Assessments

Simon Grist

Wednesday, 10 November 2021


Identifying a problem correctly means that patients receive the correct NICE recommended treatment. However, when conducting brief low intensity assessments it is not always easy to identify the person’s primary presenting complaint. For instance, it is very common for people experiencing depression to also have a co-occurring anxiety disorder. In clinical practice it can be tempting to identify cases with more than one presentation as ‘mixed anxiety and depression’ but this should be avoided wherever possible. It is through careful questioning that the primary problem can be identified.

The event will be equivalent to 1.1/2hrs of CPD.


This 1.5 hour webinar will focus on how to spot OCD and look at what differentiates it from other anxiety disorders. The IAPT screening prompts tool that is recommended for use in LICBT assessments will be discussed. The Anxiety Disorder Specific Measures recommended by IAPT will also be discussed in terms of how to use them, cut offs for caseness, and how to interpret scores. An earlier event (23.9.21) delivered by Jynna Yarrum focuses on Social Anxiety Disorder. Later events (12.1.22 and 16.3.22) will cover Health Anxiety and PTSD respectively.

Learning Objectives

At the end of each webinar, attendees will be able to:
1. Identify OCD.
2. Identify distinguishing symptoms of OCD.
3. Understand the questions to ask to identify the primary presenting problem.
4. Use relevant Anxiety Disorder Specific Measures and interpret scores.

Training Modalities

The presenter will use case illustrations, experiential exercises, polls and Q&A.

Key References

National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (2020). The IAPT Manual (Version 4). London: NHS England.
National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (2020). The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Manual Appendices and helpful resource. London: NHS England.
Shafran, R., Myles-Hooton, P., Bennett, S. & Öst, L-G. (2021). The concept and definition of low intensity cognitive behaviour therapy. Behaviour Resarch and Therapy, 138, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2021.103803.

About the presenter

Simon Grist is the Associate Divisional Lead for Mental Health Nursing at City, University of London. Prior to his move to City University in 2021, Simon Grist was the Course Director for the Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner Course and the Education Mental Health Practitioner Course at the University of Southampton. He worked at Southampton for over 12 years, mainly teaching CBT, and also mental health crisis/liaison, substance use and general mental health. Prior to the University Simon worked in the NHS as a community mental health team manager, senior practitioner in a CMHT, senior nurse in a crisis team, medical student facilitator and substance use worker. He maintains some CBT practice, with private practice, supervision and consultancy. Simon is one of the two Chairs of the PWP Course Accreditation Committee with the BPS.

Who should attend

This event is designed for practitioners delivering low intensity interventions including Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners and Enhanced Psychological Practitioners.