Department of Psychiatry
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Services for the Local Community

Sunnybrook Outpatient OCD Services consist of group treatment, and/or consultation with an MD.

The Frederick W. Thompson Anxiety Disorders Treatment Centre (TADC) outpatient service offers Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) group based treatment, psychiatric consultation and MD to MD consultations on treatment options. These services are available to individuals living in the surrounding Sunnybrook neighbourhood.


who experience any of the following:

  • mild to moderate symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • related "spectrum" disorders including:
    • hoarding
    • hair pulling (trichotillomania)
    • skin picking
    • body dysmorphic disorders (BDD)

Psychiatric Consultation

People can meet with one of our psychiatrists to discuss their current symptoms and review their history to make the best medication suggestions. They will also review the side effects of any medication they suggest taking. This is a one-time appointment for approximately 1-1.5 hours. The referring physician remains responsible for the patient's care. Recommendations will be sent to the referring physician who can then determine with the patient if they wish to try the treatment suggested. Prior to their appointment, the patient will first be sent a detailed self-report questionnaire about their psychiatric and medical history to complete. The Psychiatric Consultation also includes a 'follow up' appointment which takes place approximately six weeks after the initial appointment and an annual reassessment.

MD to MD Phone Consultation

The referring physician can consult directly with one of our psychiatrists to discuss the patient's condition and treatment options. This is a one-time consult and the referring physician remains responsible for the patient's care. The referring physician will be contacted to set up a phone appointment with one of the psychiatrists on our team and will directly receive our recommendations during the call.

Group Treatment

We offer group Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for OCD.  Prior to being offered one of our groups, an assessment with one of our team members is required. The assessment consists of a telephone screen as well as a face-to-face assessment that is approximately 1-3 hours in length. The assessment process determines if one of our groups will best meet you or your patient's needs.

Groups are offered once per week. Individuals who experience severe OCD symptoms (e.g., those who are pre-occupied with obsessive thoughts for eight or more hours per day, and experience significant functional impairment in many important areas of their life) may require more frequent, intensive treatment than what outpatient group CBT treatment can provide.

All of our CBT and MBCT groups:

New groups start approximately every 4 months (January, May, and September). Please note that group treatment for body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) and hoarding do not occur as frequently as other groups.

  • Currently, we are running only daytime groups (i.e. between 9 am – 5 pm) that are 2 hours in length.
  • CBT groups run for 12-16 weeks straight. MBCT groups run for 8 weeks straight.
  • Groups are led by 1-2 trained facilitators with 8-10 group members.
  • Members are expected to attend at least 90% of the sessions, and to do regular homework between sessions.
  • There is a cost for parking onsite (approximately $13 for 4 hours).

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) focuses on the way people think (cognitive) and act (behavioral). The concept behind CBT is that our thoughts about a situation affect how we feel (emotionally and physically) and how we behave in the situation. Exposure and Response Prevention is the most commonly used form of CBT for OCD. Exposure involves deliberately triggering your fear repeatedly until you learn to better tolerate it and the fear subsides (called habituation). Response prevention involves refraining from compulsions, avoidance, or escape behaviors while you are practicing. For example, for someone with an OCD fear of germs or contamination, a typical exposure exercise might consist of shaking hands with someone (exposure), and not washing hands afterwards (response prevention).

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MCBT) is psychological therapy that uses traditional CBT methods and adds in newer psychological strategies such as mindfulness and mindful meditation. The latter two focus on becoming aware of all incoming thoughts and feeling and accepting them, rather than just reacting to them. The goal of MBCT is to interrupt these automatic responses and teach the participants to focus less on reacting to incoming stimuli, and instead accepting and observing them without judgment.

We do not offer individual therapy.

See our Group Treatment Schedule.

Art Therapy

In art therapy, you can draw, paint, collage, and/or sculpt expressions of your thoughts, feelings, experiences, memories, and wishes. You can talk about your artwork, but you don't have to – and you are supported and guided in the art-making process by an art therapist who has training and experience helping people to use art this way. You don't need to consider yourself to be an artist in order to get something out of this kind of therapy, as line, shape and colour even when not in a form that makes a recognizable "picture" to someone else, can still convey a lot of meaning.

Many people find art making provides them a sense of emotional and physical release. Because making art is a different way of expressing, and you can see what you've created out of a feeling or idea you've had, many people report that art therapy helps them expand their sense of insight and awareness, while working on resolving conflicts and problems, increasing a sense of self-esteem, and reducing stress.

The weekly Art Therapy group at the Thompson Centre residential treatment program consists of an art-making time, followed by a time for each person to talk about the art and its significance, and respond to comments and questions about what they have made.

The Art Therapy group is facilitated by:

Therapist: Linda Chapman, MCAT, RP, RCAT

Group Dates/Time: Thursdays from 12:45 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Eligibility Criteria

Must have had a consultation or be receiving treatment at the Thompson Centre.

For more information, please contact:
Phone: 416-652-2010 ext. 100 |    Email:

Eligibility Criteria

  1. You experience a primary diagnosis of OCD or related disorders such as hoarding, hair pulling (trichotillomania), skin picking and body dysmorphic disorder.
  2. You do not currently experience PTSD, psychosis, or significant substance abuse difficulties.
  3. You are between the ages of 18 – 65.
  4. You live within our catchment area: Bathurst (West), Sheppard (North), DVP (East) and St. Clair (South), please click here to see our catchment area.
  5. If outside the catchment area, including out of province, you must be considered as having severe OCD and failed treatment to submit an application. See Specialized Services for more information.

If you are ineligible for our services, we encourage you to visit our Patient Resources.

For more information about related disorders, please go to disorders we treat.

To learn more about the Sunnybrook Outpatient OCD Services, please see the FAQs.

Application for Referral

Referring Physician to review and complete: Thompson Centre Referral Form

Please submit printed forms to:
Fax: 416-645-0592   |    Email:

For more information about OCD and related disorders, please go to:


This form is to be completed by physicians for referred patients within 1-2 years following their consultation at the Thompson Centre. Only one reassessment can be accommodated for each patient. Alternatively, our staff can offer a phone consultation to discuss options with the referring physician. Completed forms must be faxed to 416-645-0592 or emailed to:

» Download the Consultative Reassessment Referral Form (PDF)