An introduction to Inference-Based Therapy (IBT) - Advantages and disadvantages

Article Index

Advantages and disadvantages


  • The therapy can be delivered via videoconferencing - a significant advantage during a pandemic.

  • The evidence base, although not as large as ERP, suggests comparable effectiveness.

  • It doesn't rely on increasing anxiety via exposure in order for it to work. This can be helpful in particular cases:

    • Where someone has repugnant obsessions (e.g. paedophilic intrusions) and exposure-based treatment is challenging.

    • Where someone finds it hard to engage in exposure because of the anxiety.

    • If someone has already tried ERP but it has not resulted in significant improvement.


  • Not everyone has the IT equipment or confidence to engage in videoconference-based therapy.

  • Some people may have such severe symptoms that they need inpatient treatment.

  • If it is being delivered remotely, it is a little harder to engage in the family work that is important for all OCD treatment.