OCD Treatment at the Intersection of Innovation and Compassion

McLean is a life changer for those with obsessive compulsive disorder. Let us show you why you should choose McLean for OCD care for yourself or your loved one.

Did you know that 2.2 million adults live with obsessive compulsive disorder, with 25% developing the illness by age 14?

A person’s level of OCD can be anywhere from mild to severe, but if left untreated, OCD can destroy a person’s capacity to function at work or school, or even to lead an uncomfortable existence at home.

McLean is the leader in the treatment of OCD and related disorders, with care available for children, teens, and adults. Our OCD Institute (OCDI), has become the model for the development of other OCD treatment programs across the country.

We’re ready to talk. Looking for care for adults? Call 617.855.2776. Looking for care for children and adolescents? Call 617.855.4523.

OCD Treatment at a Glance

  • Initial assessments inform a customized treatment plan, combining the best therapies and strategies for addressing the patient’s symptoms, meeting challenges, and setting goals
  • Evidence-based treatment models, family-focused therapy, and cutting-edge care—including individual and group therapies, a variety of behavioral therapies, and medication—help the patient manage their symptoms and transition back to their daily lives
  • Each patient’s tailored behavioral therapy plan identifies specific obsessions, compulsions, and avoidance behaviors, provides a menu of exposures for program staff to implement, and offers special instructions for the unique needs of each individual
  • Group therapy focuses on helping the patient become more open and willing to participate in treatment: topics include decreasing symptoms; increasing functioning at home, work, and school; and improving access to patient education and support
  • Skill-building is offered in areas where people with OCD typically have difficulties, including engaging in treatment, mindfulness, scheduling, social skills, and goal setting
  • Family support and education help the patient transition back home successfully once treatment is over and also helps to reduce the likelihood of relapse
  • A close integration of treatment and research allows our programs to best serve our patients and continually improve our care approaches while we search for new ways to treat this disorder

A Patient’s Perspective

Patient and clinician talk

Robin was one of the first patients at McLean’s OCD Institute and she credits the program with setting her life back on track.

Patient and clinician talk

Exposure and Response Prevention

Exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy allows individuals to gradually build confidence with the things that trigger their OCD. For many years, ERP has been considered the best option for helping individuals who are struggling with OCD.

The exposure in ERP refers to exposing yourself to the thoughts, images, objects, and situations that make you anxious and/or start your obsessions. The response prevention part of ERP refers to making a choice not to do a compulsive behavior once the anxiety or obsessions have been “triggered.”

ERP therapy takes place under the guidance of a therapist at the beginning—though individuals eventually learn to do their own ERP exercises to help manage their disorder.

Want to understand more about ERP? Learn everything you need to know about exposure and response prevention therapy.

Illustration of head with scriggly lines within

McLean is at the forefront of care for children and adults who struggle with OCD

It can feel uncomfortable and scary for patients to experience exposures, but the actual event is not dangerous. That discrepancy is called a “violation of expectancy,” which helps create inhibitory learning—it allows the mind to separate the perceived threat from the thought or action they have associated it with.

McLean’s OCD programs combine ERP with other treatment approaches, creating care plans and strategies to meet the needs of each individual.

OCD Doesn’t Discriminate Based on Age

OCD doesn’t just affect adults. In the United States, 1-2% of children and teens live with OCD. There aren’t many OCD treatment providers available that are focused on children and teens. McLean’s OCDI Jr. program specializes in the unique needs of young people who struggle with OCD and aims to teach lifelong skills to manage symptoms.

Integrating Clinical Care and Research

With the goal of helping patients get better, our clinician-researchers work to improve treatment models by collecting and analyzing data about how our patients respond to treatment. Our researchers and clinicians work hand-in-hand to consistently improve OCD care at McLean.

We work with patients to assess their progress during their treatment, using a secure online system specifically designed for medical research. This enables our researchers to quickly deliver precise data to give us a clear picture of the effectiveness of OCD treatment and allows us to make changes during the course of treatment to ensure each patient receives the best care possible.

This robust integration of research and clinical care has led to many successes for our patients and has even helped us improve on traditional ERP therapy approaches.

The Significance of Family Involvement

Getting family members involved in treatment is important to OCD care.

With OCD, more than with most other mental health disorders, the families are often very involved in the symptoms. Family members are often asked by the patient to do things a certain way, and when they comply, they become accommodators of the symptoms.

We work with family members and significant others to help support patients as they return to their home environments. Educating and supporting the family sets up the patient for continued success as they transition back to the care of their family/clinical support network.

If you or a loved one are struggling with OCD, McLean is here to help. Contact us at 617.855.2776 to learn more about treatment options.