Mclean Hospital

OCD Related Content


Study of OCD Patients Shows that Motivation to Change is an Indicator in Treatment Outcome

A patient’s level of motivation and preparedness to change significantly impacts the outcome of treatment, a study conducted at McLean Hospital’s Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Institute (OCDI) has found. Data from 424 patients who underwent treatment at the OCDI since 2009 show a direct correlation between their readiness to change and their outcomes in terms of modifying behaviors, according to...

Family Therapists Play Key Role in OCD Recovery

At some point in your life, either as a parent or child, you have likely attended an admission day such as the first day of school, camp, or college. The days leading up to admission are usually filled with feelings of excitement, hope, and often anxiety. Planning might have included researching directions, finding a hotel, making sure the car had enough gas, reviewing the “packing list”, and...

New Survey Will Guide OCD Research and Care

In the OCD Institute Office of Clinical Assessment and Research, we have implemented several new data collection initiatives this year, including efforts to collect information from the family members of patients. Earlier this year, we began contacting family members by email with a link to an online survey. The family member to whom the email is sent is designated by the patient when they...

Through a Mother’s Eyes: The Struggles and Triumphs of OCD

Lynette Peck is mother of a former patient at McLean’s OCD Institute. Tomorrow morning I will move my son into his new dorm room. Already today he and I have packed the car, driven 550 miles, eaten at two restaurants, used a number of public restrooms, chatted, laughed, and listened to countless hours of music and podcasts. In other words, we have gone about the activities of daily life—things...

Actor Experiences Success Despite Years of Anguish

Hollywood loves a good medical drama, but for Ethan S. Smith, a successful actor, writer and director, the anguish he experienced due to obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) was all too real. Although Smith now successfully manages his OCD, it was just a few years ago that he was in the depths of despair, willing to injure himself to the point of needing to be rushed to the emergency room by...

McLean Showcased at IOCDF Conference in Los Angeles

A longtime supporter of the International Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Foundation (IOCDF), McLean Hospital was a key sponsor during the IOCDF Conference July 18-July 20 in Los Angeles. In addition, a number of McLean staff from the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Institute (OCDI) served as presenters, including medical director Mike Jenike, MD, and director of clinical research Jason Elias, PhD...

In a Patient’s Words: In My Own Head

“Okay, Lisa. Go.” That’s Carol Hevia, a behavioral therapist at the OCDI, talking to me in my head, as if I was sitting in her Intrusive Thoughts group. Once again, she’s telling me it’s time to spill my guts. When I was a resident at the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Institute (OCDI) one year ago, attending Carol’s group was part of my treatment plan. I hated every second of it. I even stormed...

Acceptance Commitment Therapy in Assessment and Research for OCD

One of our goals at the OCDI Office of Clinical Assessment and Research (OCAR) is to advance clinical assessment and scientific research by providing relevant and useful information to guide and improve treatment for OCD. As part of our mission, we are constantly asking ourselves why and how our patients get better. What factors can help predict improvement in treatment? Because each patient has...

Integrating ACT into OCD Treatment

Over the past few years, clinicians and researchers at the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Institute (OCDI) have become increasingly interested in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). ACT is tricky to understand—not because it is complicated, but because it does not fit with how humans typically think about their problems. Imagine you are driving a bus with passengers on it towards places you...

How a Handbag Motivated One Patient to Confront His OCD

Farsh Askari is a former patient at McLean’s OCD Institute (OCDI). After a huge fight with my last two remaining friends, their response didn’t surprise me. Yes, they were very hurt, but also relieved. They were tired of coping with the ever-worsening condition. They were worn down by my vacillating between anger and desperation. They had grown tired of altering their plans and time for my sake...

New Garden is Helping OCD Patients Grow

During the summer of 2012, an important project began on the grounds of Orchard House, the smaller of two units comprising McLean Hospital’s Obsessive Compulsive Disorders Institute (OCDI). Next to the house, which is home to eight OCDI patients, a humble, yet thriving vegetable garden has been created that has served needs beyond the obvious throughout this summer and last. Fresh and resourceful...

Growing, Innovating, and Improving: Update on OCD Research

The Office of Clinical Assessment and Research (OCAR) experienced a growth spurt recently and now features seven core members. I have asked Jesse Crosby, PhD, to lead this expanded team and coordinate our effort to do everything we can to help patients recover from OCD and related disorders. In this update, I have highlighted several important areas of opportunity for OCAR and what it could mean...

Patchwork: One OCD Patient’s Story

Rachel is a former patient at the OCD Institute. I’m obsessed with “The Real Housewives” and “The Rachel Zoe Project.” And I love to sew. I’ll sit down on a Saturday morning, coffee in hand, and watch a few episodes in a row, sewing by hand or speeding fabric through my machine. Either of these things might look like OCD-obsession to someone who doesn’t understand, but I learned a few years ago...

Training Trade: OCD Clinicians Learn about Autism

At the OCD Institute, we are constantly working to stay abreast of the most up-to-date treatments for our patients so that we can provide the highest-quality care. This includes reading new research, attending conferences and workshops, and talking with our colleagues across the country about what techniques they are finding most useful in their practice. We are always assessing, both objectively...

Secret Ingredients of OCD Research and Treatment

Last year, I heard a great story on the popular radio show “This American Life” about a family-owned sausage company that could no longer keep up with demand. In some ways, they already had what they wanted—a great business with a solid reputation that employed nearly two dozen of their neighbors. Their success and drive led them to take the risk, investing in the growth of their company, hoping...

Cutting Edge: News from the OCDI Office of Clinical Assessment & Research

The OCR is currently working on more than a dozen projects in various stages of completion with many more in the works. Our sincerest thanks go out to the patients, their families, the OCD Institute staff, and the various collaborators who have made research possible at the OCDI this year. We are better able to help others because of your efforts. Our Mission The primary mission of the OCR is...

Puppy Love: Therapy Dogs Help Patients with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

You may be surprised to know that two of the most important members of the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Institute (OCDI) staff don’t know a thing about the treatment of OCD. In fact, this dynamic duo has never been to college, has no formal training in behavioral therapy, and has never even read a single book about OCD treatment. How can two members of the OCDI staff be so unqualified yet...

Radical Faith: A Patient’s Journey with OCD

Ethan Smith is a former patient of McLean’s OCD Institute. We all have our stories of pain and triumph, and while they may completely differ in symptom and severity, we all share a common bond: obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). While it can be a motivating factor to know there are individuals out there that have risen from the depths of hell and hear that journey in great detail, it’s always...

Checking In: News from McLean’s Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Institute

Welcome to the inaugural edition of Checking In, a newsletter for the McLean Hospital Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Institute (OCDI) community. We have long thought that a regular update to this community, including former patients, family members, and other friends, would be a fantastic way to keep everyone abreast of changes at the OCDI. As we celebrate our 15th anniversary, it seemed...

OCDI Office of Clinical Research: Advancing the Field

Since the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Institute (OCDI) opened its doors in 1997, research has played an integral role in helping the program develop innovative treatment approaches to OCD. This year, the OCDI’s commitment to research was further solidified with the formation the Office of Clinical Research. “By embedding our research program with our clinical team, we are truly living the...

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