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STOP Therapy for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Help is on the way: Support for individuals, couples and families in the community.

People with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) are besieged by intrusive and unwanted thoughts, images or impulses (obsessions), and are compelled to perform behavioural and mental rituals (compulsions).

Obsessions and compulsions are distressing, exhausting and time consuming, and cause significant interference in the sufferer’s family and social relationships, daily routines, and their capacity to fulfil their goals in employment and education.

The Obsessive Compulsive, Anxiety & Related Disorders (OCARD) Treatment and Research Program conducts treatment and research into disorders, including OCD and related disorders such as depression, anxiety disorders, compulsive hoarding, and compulsive buying.

We are also investigating anxiety and depression in people suffering from a chronic medical illness. The program undertakes research into factors that make individuals vulnerable to these disorders, and treatments for these disorders.


Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) has been found to be an effective treatment of OCD. It helps the sufferer identify the ideas, beliefs and behaviours associated with OCD, and ways
of modifying them.

The Brain and Psychological Sciences Research Centre and the Psychology Clinic at Swinburne University of Technology offer a ten-week Group CBT program for the treatment of OCD. The program is called Systematic Treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Phenomena – or STOP Therapy, for short. It focuses on providing participants with information about OCD, practical strategies on managing OCD symptoms, general anxiety symptoms, depressive symptoms, and provides strategies for preventing or managing future relapses.

STOP therapy has been shown to significantly reduce symptoms of OCD over ten weeks, and that these improvements are maintained in the six months following treatment. The treatment is offered as ten 1.5-hour weekly sessions at the Psychology Clinic at Swinburne.


To be a part of the OCD STOP therapy program, participants are required to complete a two-hour assessment with a counsellor at the Clinic and obtain a referral and mental health care plan from their doctor.


The OCD STOP program is run a number of times throughout the year. For more information about when the next group is being held, please contact the Psychology Clinic at


The cost of the program is $425. Medicare rebates are available for up to ten sessions and there is an assessment fee of $25 which cannot be rebated through Medicare. If you are unable to pay the program fee in one lump sum please contact the Project Officer to discuss alternate arrangements.

How to apply

Our groups run multiple times throughout the year. To find out how you can register to participate in this group please contact the Psychology Clinic at

Free OCD help online

Swinburne also offers a comprehensive online psychological treatment for OCD which is based on the Cinic's face-to-face program. The treatment is already known to help reduce symptoms of OCD.

Researchers at Swinburne’s Brain and Psychological Sciences Research Centre (BPsyC) and National eTherapy Centre (NeTC) are looking for people with OCD who would like to take part in a further study investigating who can most benefit from the online version of the OCD STOP program.

Participants in the study will receive treatment for their OCD free of charge.

The 12-week online treatment program provides information about OCD, and helps participants learn how to control their anxiety and better manage their OCD. During the study, participants receive assistance in the form of weekly email contact with a qualified therapist.

The program is confidential and participants can continue with other treatments.

The order in which participants receive treatment components will vary from person to person, but everyone who takes part in the study will have the opportunity to complete the full CBT-based treatment for their OCD.

To find out more, or to apply to join the program, email:

After contacting us by email, you will receive a unique log-in and a link to the OCD STOP! program page. From there you will be provided with more information about the study and what is involved.

If you wish to proceed you will then be contacted by a researcher who will talk with you about your symptoms and find out whether you are eligible to participate.