Imagery rescripting for obsessive compulsive disorder: a single case experimental design in 12 cases

David Veale, Nicholas Page, Elizabeth Woodward, Paul Salkovskis

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Background and objectives: Some individuals with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) may experience recurrent intrusive distressing images, which may be emotionally linked to past aversive memories. Our aim was to investigate whether Imagery Rescripting was an effective intervention for such individuals with OCD. Method: Twelve cases who experienced intrusive distressing images are presented in a A1BA2CA3 single case experimental design. After a baseline of Compulsive Scale, with a decrease from a mean of 24.1 to 10.7. Reliable symptom monitoring (A1), participants had a control intervention of talking about the memory related image (B), followed by symptom monitoring (A2), a single session of Imagery Rescripting (C) and further monitoring for up to 3 months (A3). Results: Minimal change was seen following the control intervention. However, at 3 months following ImRs, there was a drop in the Yale-Brown Obsessive improvement was achieved in 9 out of the 12 cases and clinically significant change in 7 out of 12 at 3-month follow up. The limitations are that all cases were selected on the basis that they had an aversive memory linked to their imagery. Conclusions: Imagery Rescripting is a promising therapeutic technique for OCD as an adjunct to CBT where intrusive images are linked to aversive memories.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230 - 236
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
Issue numberB
Early online date11 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015


  • Anxiety
  • Imagery
  • Imagery Rescripting
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Traumatic memories


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