ACCELERATED OUTPATIENT PROGRAM
For Adolescents with Anxiety Disorders and OCD
This in-person program is designed for adolescents (ages 11-18, in middle and high school) with moderate to severe anxiety disorders and/or obsessive compulsive disorder who have not benefited from traditional weekly therapy or else are stepping down from more intensive levels of care (i.e., residential anxiety treatment or partial hospitalization). It is intended to be an “in between” treatment option for adolescents who need more than weekly therapy but do not currently need daily intensive treatment.
We designed our accelerated program to incorporate evidence-based interventions that are tailored to each adolescent and their parents. These interventions are drawn from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for anxiety and OCD with an emphasis on exposure/response prevention (ERP) in addition to Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions (SPACE). Research also shows that frequent (or massed) ERP leads to more rapid and enduring improvements in anxiety and OCD, which informed our choice of providing multiple sessions per week. Further, our program provides a dedicated parent therapist (and twice weekly individual parent sessions) in addition to an ERP coach who will work with each teen and their parents in the home, school, or community to practice exposures assigned in therapy.
STAGE 1: EVALUATION
The program begins with a thorough diagnostic evaluation that consists of a semi-structured clinical interview with the adolescent and their parent(s) and self- and parent-report questionnaires. The results of this evaluation are discussed with the family at a feedback session, during which everyone decides if it makes sense to move forward with accelerated CBT.
STAGE 2: PROGRAM PARTICIPATION
If it is determined through the evaluation to proceed, the family commits to our standard four-week program, which includes for each week:
Two 50-minute and one 80-minute individual adolescent sessions,
Two 50-minute parent coaching sessions, and
One 80-minute ERP coaching visit.
Partway through the program, there is a treatment progress meeting that includes the adolescent’s therapist, parents’ therapist, and ERP coach along with the adolescent and their parents. Please keep in mind that all sessions other than coaching visits are scheduled in the early afternoons on weekdays.
Depending on the adolescent’s progress, up to four additional weeks can be added to the treatment plan, either to continue work that is already being done or to provide supplemental interventions based on the adolescents’ specific needs.
STAGE 3: PROGRAM COMPLETION
At the end of the AOP, the team will make recommendations for future treatment. Often, this will involve stepping down to once or twice weekly CBT sessions. If your adolescent does not already have an outpatient CBT therapist, we strongly recommend that you add your adolescent to our outpatient treatment waitlist (and any other clinic waitlists of your choice) *before* starting the accelerated program.
Please note: if your adolescent continues treatment in our weekly outpatient program, they will be assigned a therapist who is different than the one who worked with them in the accelerated program. However, that therapist will be given all of the necessary clinical information to continue the work begun in the AOP.
INTERESTED? NEXT STEPS:
If you are interested in pursuing treatment in the AOP, please complete the inquiry form here. A coordinator will be in contact with you to conduct a screening and provide additional information in addition to answering any questions you might have.