1001 W. Cypress Creek Rd, Suite 320 · Fort Lauderdale · Florida · 33309  |  Tel: (954) 962 6662

15 Day Intensive Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment Program for OCD and Anxiety Disorders

Carefree woman is stress free and holds her arms out for freedomThe 15 Day Intensive Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment Program is offered to both teens and adults with OCD, OCD spectrum and/or related anxiety disorders (e.g., body dysmorphic disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, phobias, generalized anxiety disorder) seeking to make rapid and effective gains in the management of their OCD or anxiety problem. Intensive CBT is not a cure for OCD and anxiety, but rather as part of an essential repertoire of self-management “tools” that can be effectively and powerfully utilized for the life-long management of OCD and anxiety. The hallmark of the approach is exposure and response prevention (ERP), regarded as the “gold standard” of effective treatments presently available for OCD. Other anxiety disorders such as BDD, panic disorder, agoraphobia, social phobia, and post-traumatic stress disorder also greatly benefit from our intensive, exposure-based treatment program.

Once accepted for the intensive treatment, the patient undergoes continued evaluation and is then prescribed an individualized treatment plan consisting of the range of CBT tools and techniques. This plan is then implemented one-to-one. In general, most patients should expect to spend between two and four weeks in intensive therapy, five times per week with sessions lasting an average of 2 hours per day, depending upon their needs. Longer daily sessions may be required in some cases. However, our experience has shown that most patients benefit from 2 hour daily sessions. Vital to the patient’s success of the program is his/her capacity and readiness to practice the skills learned in the two hour one-to-one sessions, on his/her own on a daily basis.

FAQs

What does the 15 Day intensive program consist of ?

Note: all prospective intensive clients must be pre-screened for appropriateness for the intensive treatment program.

The intensive treatment program consists of individual one-to-one cognitive-behavioral therapy that is conducted in three phases:

I – Initial screening and evaluation. All patients referred to the intensive program be screened to determine their appropriateness for the program. These sessions can be held either in our office, or via webcam, over the internet (Skype). This phase takes between two and four hours (two to four office visits) and involves an evaluation and cognitive-behavioral assessment of his/her OCD, or anxiety problem. Once the patient is determined to be appropriate for the program, the start date of the program is set (patients considered not appropriate are referred to an appropriate treatment provider). The evaluation process continues and a treatment plan is devised to specifically address the most severe and disabling symptoms through cognitive-behavioral therapy, including exposure and response prevention (ERP)for OCD.

II – The intensive phase This phase consists of 15 two hour ERP therapy sessions working one-to-one with their cognitive-behavioral therapist, conducted daily over a two to three week period. The daily two hour sessions involve gradually confronting feared stimuli and situations while concurrently fighting the powerful urge to engage in compulsive, ritualistic behavior (e.g., hand washing, checking). The exposure exercises are repeated frequently in many different “real life” situations (also called “in vivo exposure”) until the powerful urges are reduced. In addition, the patient is assigned daily ERP exercises to carry out on his/her own. The patient gradually learns to master these situations without the need to ritualize and engage in compulsive behaviors.

For patients whose symptoms (such as severe contamination fears with washing/cleaning compulsions) occur largely within their home, a visit to your home by your therapist is usually extremely helpful to further your progress. For patients who live outside of the south Florida region, the follow up home visit can be arranged. Home-based exposure sessions can in some cases be conducted via telephone or over the internet using webcam video conferencing technology (Skype).

III – The follow-up phase

Following the intensive phase is the follow-up phase. These “booster” sessions are intended to reinforce and maintain new response patterns, solidify new, more appropriate washing, cleaning, and checking, etc., and to deal with any issues that come up that may affect progress. This phase typically involves once or twice per week one hour sessions for a month, gradually diminishing in frequency as the patient takes further control of his/her OCD problem. Out-of-town patient’s follow-up sessions may be conducted via video conferencing over the Internet.

How effective is exposure and response prevention treatment for OCD? Does progress last?

While presently there is no “cure” for OCD, exposure and response prevention (ERP) is considered the “gold standard” treatment for OCD. Over 30 controlled clinical research studies conducted over the past 25 years at major universities throughout the world attest to its effectiveness. Though several factors contribute to success, most patients with OCD can expect between a 60-90% improvement in symptoms post-treatment. Research has also confirmed that these results are enduring, though patients may require occasional “booster” sessions during stressful and transition periods in the life span. One of the most important factors in patient improvement is the skill, training and experience of the cognitive-behavioral therapist. To achieve the best outcome, therapists treating OCD effectively must have specialized training and extensive experience treating OCD and its spectrum disorders. We at the OCD Resource Center of Florida pride ourselves on the excellent results achieved with our patients.

Who is Considered not appropriate for the Program? 

Patients are considered not appropriate for the intensive program if:

  • There is the presence of a severe mood disorder or mood and behavioral instability
  • There is an active substance abuse disorder. Patients with substance abuse history must be clean for at least six months and be actively involved in a support group (for example AA or NA).
  • The patient’s OCD or anxiety symptoms are too severe to engage in self-directed exposure on their own.
  • The patient’s extremely fixed belief in the necessity of their rituals (overvalued ideation) results in a lack of sufficient motivation to fully engage with the program and benefit from it.

How much does the treatment cost?

The intensive treatment program costs $2500 per week (two hour sessions, once per day, M-F). This does not include charges for the initial screening and evaluation process ($250 per hour), or for the follow-up sessions via telephone or over the internet post-treatment. Also, these charges do not include the costs of lodging, meals, or travel. Payment must be made with cash, cashier’s check, or local check. We also accept payment via PayPal.

What about Insurance? Do you accept payment from my insurance plan?

Our center does not accept payment directly from insurance companies. We are not members of any managed care provider panels. We are considered “out-of-network” providers by your insurance company. Check your insurance company’s mental health benefits to see what they will pay for intensive outpatient mental health treatment by an “out-of-network” provider.

As a courtesy to our patients, we will assist you in obtaining reimbursement from your insurance company by filling out whatever forms are needed and mailing the appropriate claim forms on your behalf to your insurance company, directing payment to you. You are responsible for insuring that you obtain the maximum benefits allowed by your insurance plan. In selected cases, we will do the intensive program at a reduced cost.

Do you treat other anxiety disorders in addition to OCD in the Intensive Program?

The skills to effectively treat OCD are skills that can be readily applied to the cognitive-behavioral treatment of other related disorders. Therapists at the OCD Resource Center are trained in a variety of treatment methods and achieve excellent results with many related disorders, not only the OCD spectrum disorders. Feel free to ask us about our treatment services for other disorders by calling 954-962-6662, ext. 2, or email.

Is there a role for the family in cognitive-behavioral treatment?

Most definitely! The support and encouragement of family members closest to the patient is crucial to the success of treatment. Family members often are at a loss as to how to help the patient, and must learn more appropriate reactions to the patient’s OCD problem. Therefore, family members are encouraged to learn as much as they can about the treatment process, including the basic principles of exposure and response prevention treatment. This can be accomplished through reading appropriate books and articles on OCD (including The OCD Workbook by Dr. Hyman, and Loving Someone with OCD by Landsman, Rupertus and Pedrick), and attending family consultation sessions to target specific ways the family can further the treatment and recovery process.

What about medications? Does your center prescribe them?

Anti-OCD medications, known as “selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors” or SSRI’s (including such medicines as Anafranil, Prozac, Paxil, Luvox, Zoloft, Celexa and Lexapro) can be very useful in lowering the level of obsessive-compulsive, anxiety and depression symptoms. They should be prescribed by a physician familiar with OCD, usually a psychiatrist.

Those patients presently taking medication should continue to have them monitored by their prescribing doctor. While medication management is not offered within the center, if you need a referral for medication issues, your therapist can refer you to a qualified psychiatrist knowledgeable about OCD.

Can the Intensive Program help patients with Primarily Obsessions?

Absolutely! Persons with so-called Primarily obsessional OCD (also called “Pure O”) suffer from persistent, unwanted thoughts of possibly causing harm or danger to persons they care about, or of possibly being the opposite gender to their own (being “gay”). While these persons have no risk of acting upon these thoughts, the doubts are tormenting and cause severe disruption to ones life, job and relationships. These patients can be helped significantly with exposure and response prevention, plus “mindfulness” techniques. When severe depression accompanies these symptoms, medication can often help in addition to CBT.

I’m very interested in the Intensive Program. What do I do now?

Please provide us some brief information about your problem (the form is confidential) by filling out the following screening form and send it to the center. It will be read by an associate within 24 hours and you’ll be contacted by telephone or email to schedule an initial screening an evaluation.

 

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