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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Treatment

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

The Gateway Institute offers a dynamic, 3-week OCD intensive treatment program utilizing the most effective, advanced OCD treatment protocols. We have helped thousands of clients recover from OCD and reclaim their lives and well-being. If you’re struggling, you’re not alone. OCD is treatable, and our program helps people like you every single day.

Overview of Our OCD Intensive Treatment Program

Advanced OCD often needs more rigorous, structured support than traditional therapy provides. Standard therapy may occur over 1-2 hours per week in an outpatient setting. Clients may spend several months or years in treatment before experiencing substantial relief. To contrast, clients in our accelerated program receive 45 hours of individualized care over 3 weeks. They leave our program with support, tools, and a roadmap for maintenance and aftercare. 

Our intensive treatment program supports clients struggling with symptoms of advanced OCD. Many of our clients have received some treatment in the past. However, they have not been able to establish a sustainable recovery. 

Signs of severe or advanced OCD include:

  • Recurrent obsessions that interfere with daily living
  • Spending excessive time or resources engaging in compulsive behavior
  • Experiencing suicidal thoughts due to OCD symptoms
  • Withdrawing from loved ones, work, or other priorities due to OCD
  • Having a continuous sense of helplessness or hopelessness about getting better
  • Experiencing OCD in conjunction with other mental health disorders 

OCD is not your fault. But you can learn how to manage your symptoms and experience a new sense of profound emotional freedom. 

The Gateway Institute IOP for OCD 

We welcome both children and adults experiencing OCD into our IOP programs. All treatment begins with a thorough assessment to properly understand the nature of your OCD. This information helps establish an initial treatment plan, which is always designed and tailored to meet each client’s specific needs. 

The Gateway Institute is committed to supporting clients every step of the way. Over the course of our 3-week program, clients and their family members have 24/7 access to their therapists for support. OCD symptoms can arise at any time, and our team is dedicated to providing structure and guidance during those challenging moments.

Psychoeducation for OCD 

Psychoeducation is the first step in any mental health treatment. It’s no secret that OCD is often misunderstood and stigmatized. But when clients and their families clearly understand how this disorder operates on a neurological level, they feel better equipped to face the challenges OCD presents. 

It’s equally important for family members to learn more about OCD and avoid unintentionally enabling problematic symptoms. The Gateway Institute provides thorough education to help both individuals and their loved ones throughout the recovery process.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for OCD

CBT focuses on changing negative, catastrophic thoughts and the intersection between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. People experiencing OCD often feel flooded by their intense thoughts (obsessions). 

With that, it can seem like the only relief comes from engaging in compulsive rituals. CBT aims to deconstruct this automatic cycle and reframe negative thinking patterns. CBT also integrates concepts of skills-based training, relaxation techniques, and changing behavioral responses.

We also implement techniques from mindfulness-based behavioral therapy (MBBT). Mindfulness is an important component of any mental health treatment. Learning how to adaptively manage stress when it arises is key to your emotional well-being.

Exposure Response Prevention (ERP)

ERP is the gold standard for treating OCD. In ERP, you will safely confront your obsession (fears) and practice resisting engaging in compulsions. 

ERP starts by developing a personalized treatment plan based on your specific OCD symptoms. From there, you will make an exposure hierarchy that lists your distressing situations and triggers ranked from least stressful to most stressful. 

Exposure starts gradually- clients expose themselves to the least stressful triggers first. Instead of engaging in your typical compulsive rituals, you will refrain from doing so. You and your therapist will practice sitting with the discomfort and identify other possible ways to cope with your anxiety. 

Repeated exposures causes a natural decrease in anxiety, which reinforces a desensitization effect. Over time, the need to engage in compulsive rituals reduces or disappears entirely. ERP requires practice and maintenance, particularly when OCD symptoms are advanced, and that’s why we implement it so heavily in our IOP program. 

Home Visits for OCD Treatment

A client’s home environment can be a source of significant triggers. Many people engage in their OCD patterns the most when they’re at home. That said, home can also be the place where significant recovery strides are made. 

The Gateway Institute provides home visits for local clients during the intensive treatment process. Home visits are intended to reinforce exposure techniques and help you implement practices learned in treatment in your usual environment.

Multidisciplinary Treatment Team

We often coordinate your care with psychiatrists, doctors, and other healthcare professionals during and after treatment. We can also connect you to local resources that can support your recovery process.

24/7 Therapist Support

Many clients struggle the most with OCD symptoms when they’re alone and away from others. But reaching out is important, and this is why we implement 24/7 access to your therapist. You can connect at any time if you are struggling or need more support. This applies to both you and your loved ones throughout the 3-week program. 

Structured OCD Treatment Aftercare

Aftercare is one of the best strategies for maintaining treatment success. OCD is a chronic condition, and it requires ongoing commitment to work on triggers and manage symptoms.

Our optional 6-week aftercare plan ensures continuity of services and continued therapeutic gains. This program can help people transition successfully from our IOP treatment. 

Family Involvement 

Families can be a tremendous source of support within OCD treatment. Family members often have great intentions, but they don’t know how to best help. They worry about saying or doing the wrong thing. This can be overwhelming and disheartening. 

We empower loved ones to understand OCD and respond to symptoms lovingly and productively. We also offer family support groups– these free groups provide a safe and supportive environment to connect with like-minded individuals and learn how to better take care of yourself.

About OCD

Here are some current statistics on OCD and anxiety disorders:

At what age does OCD start?

OCD can start at any time from preschool to adulthood. Although OCD may occur at earlier ages, there are generally two age ranges when OCD first appears:

  • Between ages 8 and 12
  • Between the late teens and early adulthood

How common is having OCD or another anxiety disorder?

  • Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older (18% of U.S. population).
  • OCD is equally common among men and women.

How long does it take most people to get OCD treatment?

  • Studies find that it takes an average of 7 to 10 years from the time OCD begins for people to obtain appropriate treatment.

How effective is OCD treatment?

  • OCD is a highly treatable condition, yet only about one-third of those suffering receive treatment.

How does OCD develop?

  • Anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.

As you see, you are not alone in the fight against OCD or anxiety. With this awareness, the key is figuring out how you can move forward. Finding a therapist that specializes in OCD or your specific anxiety disorder is key to getting real solutions and help for your fears, concerns, and compulsions. With effective treatment, you are able to break free from an anxiety disorder. The Gateway Institute is here to help you; we look forward to supporting you on your road to recovery.

Types of OCD Treatment

  • 3-Week Intensive Treatment Program for Adults: The Gateway Institute offers a 3-week  OCD Intensive Treatment Program for adults utilizing the most effective approaches currently available for the treatment of OCD. After a thorough assessment of each client, a treatment plan is designed and tailored to meet the specific needs of each client. This plan is implemented over 3 weeks and includes 45 hours of individualized treatment.
  • 3-Week Intensive Treatment Program for Adolescents: The Gateway Institute offers a 3-week OCD Intensive Treatment Program for adolescents utilizing the most effective approaches currently available for the treatment of adolescent OCD.
  • 3-Week Intensive Treatment Program for Children: The Gateway Institute offers a 3-week OCD Intensive Treatment Program for children utilizing the most effective approaches currently available for the treatment of child OCD.
  • Weekly Program: For clients whose symptoms do not require the Intensive Treatment Program, The Gateway Institute offers OCD treatment programs with weekly sessions or multiple sessions each week, depending on need. The assessment process helps the therapist determine a schedule to recommend and review with each client. This formal evaluation gathers information on the client’s history and evaluates scores from scientifically validated rating scales such as the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS).
  • Bi or Tri-Weekly Program: Though behavioral therapy may be the most effective treatment in terms of long-term management of OCD, research indicates that combining both CBT and medication may be beneficial for overall success.
  • Customized Treatment Program: These options include a 3-week OCD Intensive Therapy Program, weekly, bi-weekly and monthly options.

OCD Therapy Techniques

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Each client will learn cognitive strategies in addition to exposure therapy, and the importance of Mindfulness-Based Awareness Training (MBAT) and how to apply it daily. Learn more about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
  • Exposure Response Prevention (ERP): Exposures are conducted outside of the office and at home in order to ensure generalization of treatment gains. Each daily session is followed by additional exposure exercises assigned as homework, which closely parallel the exercises he/she performs during that day’s sessions. Learn more about Exposure Response Prevention.
  • Psychoeducation: Education about OCD is one of the most important components of the initial phase of treatment. When clients and their families have a clear understanding how OCD operates in the brain and how it manifests itself, they are better prepared to face the challenges OCD presents. Through no fault of their own, families often enable their loved one’s OCD by giving into the sufferer’s compulsive demands, such as providing reassurance, only at the expense of reinforcing the OCD. The Gateway Institute provides critical education to help minimize unintended reinforcement, and firmly establishes tools that can help facilitate the healing process in a productive manner.
  • Mindfulness-Based Behavioral Therapy: Using the advances made in the treatment of OCD over the past 10 years, The Gateway Institute incorporates the most current techniques in its treatment programs. Some of these advanced treatments include Mindfulness Based Behavioral Therapy (MBBT). In our practice, we have discovered that a comprehensive treatment strategy that we refer to as Mindfulness-Based Behavioral Therapy improves treatment response. In MBBT we incorporate informal mindfulness training along with exposure and response prevention (ERP), and a writing intervention with both behavioral and mindfulness components that contribute to treatment effectiveness.
  • Behavioral Therapy Combined With Medication: Though behavioral therapy may be the most effective treatment in terms of long-term management of OCD, research indicates that combining both CBT and medication may be beneficial for overall success. Medications considered for the treatment of OCD are usually antidepressants know as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), which are often effective without severe side effects. The Gateway Institute works with skilled and experienced psychiatrists to find the right combination of medication to effectively treat OCD when necessary.