Integrating elements of teddy bear therapy into cognitive behavioral therapy for a child with obsessive–compulsive disorder: A case study

Olivia Harris, Susannah Lloyd, Jayne Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Problem: Childhood obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) can chronically affect functioning across a multitude of areas. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is well-evidenced as an effective treatment option, however, there is less research on how CBT for OCD can best be adapted to meet the specific needs of younger children. Integrating CBT with forms of therapy that incorporate play and externalization may be particularly appropriate for this age group. However, more research is needed detailing how this could be carried out in clinical settings. Methods: This study meets this need by describing the treatment of an 8-year-old boy with OCD. An evidence-based CBT approach was used integrated with teddy-bear therapy (TBT). This study employs a single-case A–B design to explore the acceptability and benefits of using an integrated CBT/TBT treatment approach. Findings and Conclusions: A reduction in ritualistic behavior and anxiety was seen following treatment, with qualitative feedback from the client and his family showing the inclusion of TBT to be experienced as acceptable and useful. All therapy goals were met by the end of treatment, though the parental scores on the Revised Child Anxiety and Depression Scale indicated ongoing clinically significant OCD symptoms. Implications for clinical practice and future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing
Early online date31 May 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 May 2021


  • cognitive behavioral therapy
  • obsessive–compulsive disorder
  • teddy bear therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Pediatrics
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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