Inference-based Cognitive Behavior Therapy (I-CBT)

The central tenet of Inference-based Cognitive-Behavior Therapy (I-CBT), an evidence-based treatment, is that obsessions are out-of-the-ordinary doubts or inferences about what "could be" or "might be" (for example, "I might have left the stove on," "I might be contaminated," or "I might be a deviant"). Source: Frederick Aardema (2023). What is I-CBT? Retrieved from

This method postulates that obsessional inferences of doubt come from an inductive reasoning narrative that is marked by a mistrust of the senses and an over-reliance on the imagination. Particularly, the distorted logic found in obsessional narratives frequently hides the fact that obsessional doubt has no genuine basis in reality, creating a disconnect between reality and fantasy. As a result, obsessions can endure and are never overcome by compulsions. Source: Frederick Aardema (2023). What is I-CBT? Retrieved from

By demonstrating to the client that obsessional concerns emerge from a distorted obsessional narrative, I-CBT seeks to provide actual resolution to obsessional doubts. The client is made aware of the fact that obsessional doubts do not manifest like regular doubts or genuine uncertainty. Obsessional doubts usually arise without any foundation in objective reality, in contrast to normal doubts and genuine hesitation, which arise for valid reasons. Source: Frederick Aardema (2023). What is I-CBT? Retrieved from

I-CBT enables OCD sufferers to investigate alternate narratives that are closer to reality and the senses. The patient is urged to rely on both their inner and outward senses while making decisions throughout the course of treatment. There is nothing to learn other than to reclaim and rediscover their genuine and real selves because they already do this in the majority of non-obsessional situations. Source: Frederick Aardema (2023). What is I-CBT? Retrieved from

The theoretical assertions of I-CBT are supported by a sizable body of scientific research. Randomized controlled trials have demonstrated its efficacy for the majority of OCD patients. It is also a viable alternative therapeutic option for OCD patients who are resistant to treatment or who have not responded well to previous therapies. Source: Frederick Aardema (2023). What is I-CBT? Retrieved from

How does I-CBT compare to other treatments?

I-CBT is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that is distinct from traditional CBT.

The foundation of conventional CBT is the notion that intrusive thoughts and doubts are common. According to this theory, depending on how a person perceives these ideas, they can turn into obsessions. For instance, if someone has suicidal ideas, they may become obsessed if they are given too much weight or are interpreted negatively. Therefore, the main goal of normal CBT is to teach the client how to stop misinterpreting these thoughts so that they no longer produce discomfort or compulsions.

I-CBT follows a distinct methodology. Even though everyone experiences intrusive thoughts on times, when someone has OCD, something completely different is going on. In actuality, I-CBT holds that there is no such thing as a "intrusion," or ideas that appear at random and have no apparent cause, at least not in the case of OCD. Instead, I-CBT sees obsessions as conclusions or skepticism that result from earlier reasoning.

Therefore, according to I-CBT, obsessions do not start out like regular intrusions. They are the result of a flawed thinking narrative that takes place before any appraisal. Furthermore, these inferences or uncertainties in OCD are the product of particular flaws in reasoning, which causes these thoughts to feel true even if they are wrong and inaccurate. As a result, the cognitive interventions in I-CBT concentrate on identifying the thought processes behind obsessions. Source: Frederick Aardema (2023). What is I-CBT? Retrieved from

I-CBT and traditional CBT have substantially different therapeutic goals as a result of these conceptualization variances. I-CBT emphasizes how obsessions develop as a result of reasoning. Standard CBT concentrates on the effects or evaluations of the intrusion or obsession. Source: Frederick Aardema (2023). What is I-CBT? Retrieved from