Twenty years ago, McLean Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital launched the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Institute (OCDI)—an innovative and first-of-its-kind intensive treatment program for individuals living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
Since first opening its doors on the McLean campus in Belmont, Massachusetts in February 1997, the OCDI has expanded three times and has treated more than 10,000 adults from around the world. It has also been used as a model for the development of other residential treatment programs in the United States.
“Even as late as 1997, there was not a good understanding of how many people were actually struggling with OCD and how the traditional therapy interventions at the time were not helpful,” said Diane Davey, RN, MBA, program director of the OCDI and one of the program’s founding staff members. “In fact, OCD treatments back then were making patients’ conditions worse, not better. However, since that time, the understanding and recognition of OCD has definitely improved.”
“When we opened, it was the only program of its kind in the country, and while we knew there was a tremendous demand for this kind of service, we could not have predicted that this program would ultimately change the landscape of OCD treatment worldwide,” said Philip G. Levendusky, PhD, ABPP, senior vice president of Business Development for McLean Hospital.
Using unique clinical approaches, including exposure and response prevention (ERP), group, individual, and family therapy, as well as cutting-edge research, the OCDI has continued to evolve and set the standard for OCD treatment worldwide.
“From the very beginning, we knew we needed to collect data on the experiences our patients were having,” said Jason A. Elias, PhD, director of clinical research at the OCDI. “The primary mission is to help people get better, and the only way to optimize that is to collect information and use what we learn to develop improved treatment models. Clinical care and research are interwoven within this program and in the end, that benefits our patients greatly.”
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