Compassionate OCD care for children and adults. Call us today to talk to our admission staff about treatment options.
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a debilitating illness consisting of unwanted thoughts and time-consuming rituals that can significantly limit a person’s ability to function in daily life.
In 1997, we opened our doors as the country’s first residential treatment program for this condition. Since then, the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Institute (OCDI) has served as a leader in the advancement of clinical care and research for OCD and related disorders in children and adults. Our experts are ready to help you.
Our programs are ideal for individuals with moderate to severe or treatment-resistant OCD and its most common co-occurring disorders such as major depression and anxiety disorders.
Our adult program is most appropriate for individuals ages 18 and older. Our program for children and adolescents, OCDI Jr., is best suited for ages 10 to 18.
Adult residents’ average length of stay is between 30 and 90 days. At OCDI Jr., most commonly, youth stay for 2 months in residential care. The OCDI is covered by most health insurance providers, but self-pay is possible.
We primarily use two methods to treat OCD. Exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy allows individuals to gradually face their obsessional cues in order to build confidence with triggers and ultimately inhibit future compulsive responses. Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) promotes a willingness to accept and address, rather than avoid, difficult thoughts and emotions and may reduce barriers to other forms of treatment. These treatment approaches are proven to help individuals struggling with OCD, anxiety, and related disorders.
“It was life-changing being at the OCDI. The staff, along with my parents, changed my life. I have an entirely different perception of my emotions and believe that the classes and groups will vastly reduce the re-occurrence of major depressive episodes.”– Patient treated at the OCDI
Educational services are also available for children and teens to help our young patients keep up with schoolwork during their time at the program.
The OCDI is located on McLean’s historic Belmont campus. The programs offer a pleasant and peaceful environment that is conducive to helping patients focus on their treatment. Our expert staff specialize in OCD and related mental health disorders and are devoted to improving the quality of life of patients and their families. Our 24-hour care also includes available emergency psychiatric and medical personnel.
McLean OCD Institute at Houston
Looking for OCD care or treatment options closer to home? This McLean-affiliated program offers cutting-edge treatment children and adults with OCD, anxiety, and related disorders.
The Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Institute takes a robust approach to patient care. We use evidence-based models, family-focused therapy, and cutting-edge treatments.
Staff focus on creating a customized treatment plan for each individual based on his or her specific symptoms, the severity of the symptoms, and other coexisting psychiatric diagnoses. We work in close partnership with patients and their families and emphasize patient self-motivation.
Treatment plans regularly include a combination of individual and group therapies, a variety of behavioral therapies, and medication that help patients manage their symptoms and transition back to their daily lives.
Our primary treatment is exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy—a behavioral therapy that allows patients to engage directly with obsessional cues in a manner that builds confidence and competence with OCD triggers and ultimately leads to inhibition of future fear responses.
In order to customize the best program for each individual to help ensure success, we also incorporate other approaches, tools, and techniques that enhance motivation. These can include elements of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), two behavioral therapies that focus on thoughts and actions.
Upon admission, each patient receives a diagnostic assessment and completes an array of objective measures. These assessments are administered by our OCDI Office of Clinical Assessment and Research. We use the information to establish a treatment plan that incorporates the best therapies and strategies for addressing the patient’s symptoms, meeting challenges, and setting goals.
By establishing a critical baseline of symptoms, we can also track progress throughout the duration of treatment and even after patients have returned home. OCD takes many forms. Consistent reevaluation allows us to monitor our patients’ gains.
With permission from the patient, we make use of the data we collect clinically to answer important questions about OCD and how to best treat it. Having a team devoted entirely to clinical assessment and research is invaluable, as it helps us better serve our patients and continually improve our program while we search for new and innovative ways to treat OCD.
Residents and partial hospital (day program) patients follow the same structured schedule, a combination of group, family, and individual therapy targeted at reducing the severity of the patient’s symptoms and providing the individual with tools to prevent relapse. The schedule is designed to engage patients in their treatment. Each day is carefully planned with ample time for self-focus and group work and to maintain the important balance between work and leisure.
Each patient works with a behavioral therapist (a licensed psychologist or social worker) several times a week. The therapist develops a plan that serves as a guideline for staff to ensure quality and consistency in treatment. The plan identifies obsessions, compulsions, and avoidance behaviors, provides a menu of exposures for staff to implement, and recommends special instructions for each patient.
Patients meet with a psychiatrist weekly, or more frequently if required, for medication management. The nursing and counseling staff are also certified in medication administration.
In general, group therapy focuses on helping patients become more open and willing to participate in treatment. Groups also include topics like decreasing behavioral symptoms; increasing normalized family, work, and social functioning; and improving access to education and support.
At the Intersection of Compassion and Innovation
Learn why McLean’s world-class approach to obsessive compulsive disorder treatment is considered a life changer for those with OCD.
Through group therapy we teach skills in areas where people with OCD typically have deficits, including becoming more fully engaged in treatment by learning mindfulness, scheduling, social skills, and goal setting. There are also a wide assortment of groups pertaining to specific symptoms that allow patients to learn key interventions for their individual diagnoses.
The specifics of the day’s schedule vary from day to day so that on a weekly basis group therapy covers a wide range of topics including mindfulness, motivation, cognitive behavior therapy, expressive therapies, and more. We also incorporate both didactic and skills-based groups, as well as activity therapies.
Research shows that expressive therapies such as music and art improve clinical and behavioral outcomes, reduce stress and anxiety, and give patients a better sense of well-being. We offer a holistic balance of yoga and mindfulness as well as music and art therapy classes, run by a team of expressive therapists who specialize in mental health care.
As a component of treatment, we take our residents on community outings, such as outdoor recreation, movie theaters, shopping, and museums to practice newly acquired skills.
The OCDI leads the way in the advancement of clinical care, education, and research to help patients, families, and health care providers understand and more effectively treat OCD.
Our care for children and adolescents also extends to academics. Certified teachers who are extensively trained in mental health settings work with the children and teens’ local school districts for two hours of tailored instruction per day. Through this service, we create a supportive learning environment in which children can continue their studies and earn school credit during their stay.
The priority of family therapy is to provide education about OCD that best supports the patient’s home life. This can mean working to stop accommodating behaviors, which are very common in the families of people with OCD. Families also learn more helpful responses to a patient’s symptoms in the home environment. This close alliance and education of the family system significantly helps the patient transition back home successfully once treatment is over, and also helps to reduce the likelihood of relapse.
Each patient is assigned to one of the program’s independently licensed family therapists who facilitates weekly family sessions and works with the patient and family to create an aftercare plan. It is the expectation that incoming adult patients identify at least one person in their life to engage in the treatment, be it a family member or a friend.
Parents and caregivers of OCDI Jr. patients are required to be active partners in treatment.
Therapists meet with parents to help them become coaches in their child’s treatment to assist with applying skills and the transition to home and school environments. Sessions are conducted over the phone with family or significant friends who don’t live in the area. Toward the end of treatment, parents are invited to come and spend a week at OCDI Jr. to learn needed skills to help their children transition home and maintain the gains they have made.
Partial Hospital Program
The OCDI offers a day (partial hospital) program for individuals who do not require 24-hour care yet need more structure than is available in outpatient treatment.
This level of care is appropriate for patients whose symptoms do not interfere with their ability to travel to the program and who are able to successfully manage their symptoms while at home.
Many of our adult partial hospital patients have completed our residential program and are in need of less intensive treatment.
At OCDI Jr., we use partial hospital care as a step-down at the end of residential treatment. This allows us to gradually transition patients and prepare them to leave the program. Parents are invited to attend the program for 1-4 weeks, depending on their child’s progress, to ensure adequate transitional care.
Patients within the partial hospital program attend the same structured schedule and individual and group therapy sessions as residents while spending their evenings at home practicing the skills they have learned during the day.
The emphasis of the day program is to provide a sufficient level of stability for the patient to be able to gradually leave treatment.
The partial hospital program operates daily, Monday through Friday.
OCDI in the News
You may find these articles interesting:
- Learn about more than 20 years of supporting patients with OCD
- Read one patient’s reflections 20 years after seeking OCD treatment
- Dr. Carol Hevia writes about hoarding and how to recognize it
- Read about one young patient’s journey to reclaim her freedom
The OCDI research program aims to improve treatments for OCD and related conditions. Founded in 1997, the program was renamed the Office of Clinical Assessment and Research (OCAR) in 2013.
The OCDI’s treatment program is a rich environment for informing clinical practice. Research is driven by the complex questions and practical issues faced in the daily effort to help patients overcome their OCD.
By design, OCAR includes a diverse staff of clinical researchers. The team examines OCD and its treatments using observation of patient behaviors and self-report data. They combine this with other factors, such as genetics, brain imaging, and biology.
The gold standard for treating OCD is exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy. OCAR aims to improve the lives of current and future patients by advancing the science and practice of exposure therapy.
OCAR focuses on understanding why ERP works. They help tailor treatment to the individual by examining responses and their underlying processes in the brain and body. The team also evaluates innovative treatments and improvements to them. This includes tools such as acceptance and commitment therapy and computerized cognitive trainings.
In addition, OCAR examines other areas to help improve OCD treatments and outcomes. Current research at the adult program includes studying sleep phases, family accommodations, identity status, and more. As digital methods advance, OCAR is looking into the benefits of technology interventions and tools. The use of computer tests and data collection through devices like smartphones and fitness trackers may prove invaluable for both research and treatments.
At OCDI Jr., our clinician-researchers are examining family factors that influence treatment outcomes and exploring support systems for parents raising children with OCD.
Though patients at the OCDI may be asked to take part in OCAR research, participation is not required and does not affect access to care.
Admission & Cost
The OCD Institute is suitable for children, teens, and adults ages 10 and older with moderate to severe or treatment-resistant OCD and its most common coexisting disorders. This includes major depression and anxiety disorders, such as social anxiety, specific phobias, panic attacks, and separation anxiety.
The OCDI is appropriate for those who could benefit from intensive residential or partial hospital (day program) care.
Our program may not be appropriate for individuals who have certain active co-occurring difficulties:
- Eating disorders: Individual must be medically stable and at a stable, healthy weight and
- Substance addictions: Individual must be sober for 3 months; If using alcohol or THC excessively, the individual must refrain prior to admission; drug/alcohol use, including medical marijuana, is not permitted while in program
- Suicidality and self-harm: Individuals are assessed on a case by case basis, but may require a period of stability prior to treatment if they are exhibiting suicidal or self-injuring behaviors
For further information about our program or to make a referral, please contact our admission staff:
Children and Adolescents
The OCDI is covered by most insurance providers. Self-pay is also accepted at OCDI Jr.
We understand that navigating the insurance system can be challenging, which is why we assist prospective patients to help determine eligibility. We welcome your questions and concerns and have a dedicated staff to help you.
McLean Hospital accepts Medicare, Massachusetts Medicaid, and many private insurance and managed care plans. More information on insurance providers accepted by McLean Hospital may be found on the Mass General Brigham website. You may also find it beneficial to review McLean’s patient billing and financial assistance information.