Intensive OCD Program
The Child Mind Institute Intensive OCD Program, led by Jerry Bubrick, PhD, offers children and their families an immersive, holistic experience that can make an extraordinary difference in a short period of time. Your family may wish to consider this intensive treatment if:
- Your child’s symptoms are seriously interfering with school performance, family life and friendships
- You have already been to multiple treatment providers without getting help
- You live in an area without accessible treatment options
While typical or traditional treatment demonstrates that patients make significant progress during weekly sessions spread out over three to four months, the intensive treatment program condenses those sessions into four weeks, making evidence-based treatment of OCD available three hours a day, five days a week.
We are also able to offer a one week intensive treatment program geared towards children and adolescents with moderate OCD who are able to go to school but are still struggling. Our one week intensive can be used to jumpstart treatment or as a boost for children already in a treatment program. We are able to work with families so children do not miss much, or any, school, including scheduling during school breaks.
The intensive nature of the treatment enables most children to make progress within four weeks, and can help prevent the hospitalization of a child whose OCD symptoms are severe. We empower parents to make their child’s treatment more effective by including them as an active participant in the treatment process.
In addition to OCD we also intensively treat other obsessive-compulsive disorders, including chronic tic disorders, body dysmorphic disorder, illness anxiety disorder, hoarding, trichotillomania, skin picking and social anxiety disorder.
Hallmarks of Our Intensive OCD Program
Individualized treatment team
Dr. Jerry Bubrick, director of the OCD Service, is directly involved in every child’s treatment, providing an initial diagnostic evaluation, overseeing and participating in exposure therapy and meeting with parents weekly to discuss progress and homework. Dr. Bubrick works with a team of talented clinicians with expertise in the treatment of OCD. Alex Hamlet, PsyD, provides training and education to parents, participates in exposure therapy and meets daily with parents. Samantha Birkenholz, our behavioral technician works individually with each child providing exposure therapy as directed by Drs. Bubrick and Hamlet, provides regular updates to parents and maintains a detailed log of progress.
If your child’s treatment includes medication, we may consult with a child and adolescent psychiatrist from the Child Mind Institute. If your child is having learning difficulties, we may also work with one of our neuropsychologists or educational specialists.
To ensure that your child will continue receiving support even after he completes the intensive treatment program, Dr. Bubrick will also be in contact with any outside professionals who are involved in his treatment, including psychologists, psychiatrists and teachers.
One-on-one treatment sessions
While most intensive OCD programs combine group therapy, individual therapy and self-guided work, our program is dedicated exclusively to individual treatment sessions — your child and a clinician working one-on-one in exposure and response prevention therapy, distress tolerance skills and cognitive therapy to change irrational thinking into more rational thinking. Research has demonstrated that individualized treatment produces the most improvement in a child’s condition — with symptoms diminished or eliminated.
OCD education and treatment planning
The start of the intensive program is geared toward educating parents and patients about obsessive-compulsive disorder and setting up a plan for success. We discuss the dos and don’ts of parenting a child with OCD and review the specific exposures that we will do with your child and how we expect those exposures to progress over time. We work with families to set up tailored incentive and reward systems to help drive treatment.
Parents spend the most time with their children, so it is important for family to be involved in treatment and reinforcing it outside the office. Parents will be asked to help children practice the new skills they are learning at home and participate in weekly wrap-up sessions with Dr. Bubrick.
Before starting our intensive OCD program, all patients receive a thorough diagnostic evaluation. The evaluation starts with an hour-long clinical interview with Dr. Bubrick to determine if the program is appropriate for your child. If you are located outside of the New York metropolitan area, we can conduct this interview via telecommunication and complete the evaluation in person when you arrive for the program. During this evaluation Dr. Bubrick will also determine what level of intervention your child should receive. If Dr. Bubrick concludes that this program is not appropriate for your child, he will provide recommendations for next steps along with a written summary of the evaluation.
When intensive treatment concludes, each family has a discharge and future planning session led by Dr. Bubrick. Families will discuss what happened in treatment and Dr. Bubrick will give recommendations for moving forward. Families can continue working with the Child Mind Institute or we can help refer to local providers. We will consult with other clinicians involved in your child’s treatment and develop a plan to help children transition back into school. Parents will also receive a written summary of treatment accomplishments and discharge recommendations.
To make an appointment, call us at (212) 308-3118 or request an appointment online.