Obsessive compulsive disorder program

The OCD Program is a specialised adult inpatient program at The Melbourne Clinic, housing up to eight individuals at a time.

The program is designed to help individuals with OCD and related disorders gain the skills and knowledge to deal with their symptoms. It runs over three weeks (at times two weeks) throughout the year.

This structured program offers individuals a supportive environment to make positive changes in their lives.

The OCD Program is based on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) principles for dealing with OCD. There is an emphasis on Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) which is considered a “gold-standard” method in treating OCD.

The OCD Program applies evidence-based treatment protocols focussing on detailed education sessions about OCD, behavioural treatments of OCD (e.g., ERP), and some of the latest cognitive therapy interventions for the appraisals associated with intrusive and obsessional ideas.

Click to download brochure

To apply for the OCD program, you need to submit a referral from your doctor (GP and preferably Psychiatrist) to the program.

Once received, the Program Coordinator will place you on our waiting list.

We will then contact you to arrange an appointment time for an assessment, which will review your OCD symptoms, past history and treatment, your goals, level of motivation, and understanding of CBT principles. We may also request relevant information from your family, doctor/health professionals, and your medical records.

Following the assessment, the treating team will carefully decide on your appropriateness for the program.

Once it has been approved, you will be contacted to determine a suitable starting date based on availability within the program.

To be considered suitable, applicants must:

  • Have a formal diagnosis of OCD made by a health professional
  • Be motivated and ready for change
  • Be assessed as low risk at commencement of the program to allow for unaccompanied leave to participate in behavioural tasks
  • Not be in a crisis situation. It is recommended that the individual seek appropriate support and treatment and to consider commencing the OCD program when the crisis has been managed.
  • Committed to complete the 3 week program (or 2 week version of the program)
  • Able to participate appropriately in a group setting. This includes working cooperatively and respectfully with staff and group members.
  • Have adequate comprehension and literacy skills. The participant must be willing to engage in various reading and writing tasks, as well as listening to group presentations and engaging in discussions.

Once you have a referral to the OCD program, either you or your GP can fax it to The Melbourne Clinic’s Intake service for triage. The fax number for intake is (03) 9420 9351.

Please click HERE for further details on the referral process

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a mental health disorder that affects approximately 2% of the population.

OCD involves experiencing obsessions, which are recurring and intrusive thoughts, images, or impulses, that feel out of one’s control and lead to intense and uncomfortable feelings such as fear, disgust, and guilt.

OCD also involves experiencing compulsions, which are repetitive behaviours or thoughts that a person uses to neutralise, counteract, or make their obsessions and uncomfortable feelings go away.

Compulsions can also involve avoiding situations to prevent triggering obsessions. The following are common examples of obsessions and compulsions in OCD:


  • Contamination (e.g. body fluids; germs and diseases; environmental contaminants; household chemicals; dirt)
  • Harm (e.g. being responsible for harming yourself or others)
  • Illness (e.g. concern with getting an illness not through germs, such as cancer)
  • Losing control (e.g. fear of stealing things; acting on impulse; stealing things, acting violently or recklessly)
  • Perfection (e.g. things being orderly; even, exact; losing things; making decisions)
  • Religious obsessions (e.g. concern of offending God or concern with blasphemy; concern of right/wrong; morality)
  • Superstitious (e.g. lucky or unlucky numbers, words, colours)
  • Unwanted sexual thoughts (e.g. forbidden or perverse thoughts; obsessions about homosexuality; obsessions involving children or incest; aggressive sexual behaviour).


  • Avoiding situations that might trigger obsessions
  • Checking (e.g. that you did not lose something, make a mistake, forget something, or harm someone; checking your body)
  • “Confessing” or asking for reassurance
  • Mental compulsions (e.g. mentally replying/reviewing events; counting or saying certain words under your breath; “cancelling”, blocking, or pushing away thoughts; praying excessively)
  • Ordering (e.g. arranging clothes, stationary, books a certain way)
  • Repeating (e.g. rereading, rewriting; routine activities such as standing/sitting, walking through doorways; body movements such as tapping, blinking)
  • Washing and cleaning (e.g. hands and clothes in a certain way and certain number of times; cleaning the house excessively; preventing contact with objects or chemicals).

For individuals with OCD, these obsessions and compulsions can be distressing, time-consuming and significantly get in the way of living one’s life.

There are many variations of OCD symptoms and severity (e.g. mild symptoms which cause little impairment; compared with severe symptoms which cause considerable impact), and in some cases, the OCD symptoms may be related to another condition.

Because OCD can be a complex disorder, a careful assessment by a professional experienced with OCD is recommended before it is diagnosed.

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