Areas of Expertise: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Has your child been suffering with OCD, but outpatient treatment does not seem to be enough? The OCD program at The LifeLaunch is a residential program that combines evidence-based specialty care for OCD and related disorders with wrap around care and support for all aspects of your child’s mental health. Developed and led by OCD treatment expert and author, Jon Hershfield, MFT, this program combines intensive, best-practice OCD treatment with comprehensive, individualized, and top-quality care.
If your child’s OCD symptoms are interfering with their ability to take care of themselves or to be successful in their academic and social lives, it may be time to consider The LifeLaunch. Investing in the level of care provided at The LifeLaunch could be the key to changing the trajectory of your child’s OCD—and their life.
What conditions are treated within the OCD program at Sheppard Pratt’s LifeLaunch?
• Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and related disorders
Who is the OCD program at The LifeLaunch for?
The LifeLaunch is for teens age 12-17 with obsessive compulsive disorder that would benefit from a higher level of care and attention than is available at the outpatient level. Our experts are also specially trained to work with teens who may be struggling with co-occurring disorders that make their OCD more difficult to treat.
The LifeLaunch also serves teens with symptoms of OCD who need diagnostic clarification. Treatment at the LifeLaunch always begins with an evaluation from our clinicians and OCD specialists that will provide direction for their treatment plan going forward at The LifeLaunch and in life.
What does The LifeLaunch’s OCD program offer?
OCD treatment at the LifeLaunch includes:
- Comprehensive OCD evaluation
- Intensive treatment with trained OCD specialists
- OCD therapies including:
- Individual sessions with a provider or licensed clinician
- Specialized treatment for co-occurring conditions
- 24/7 support
- Mindfulness training
- Family therapy
- Multiple CBT groups, all led by OCD and anxiety specialists
What is different about the residential OCD program at The LifeLaunch?
The OCD program at The LifeLaunch provides intensive, best-practice treatment including frequent contact with our expert clinicians and OCD specialists and a personalized daily schedule that ensures your child is receiving the most appropriate and effective treatment plan for them.
Teens at The LifeLaunch work one-on-one with our OCD specialists. Program director Jon Hershfield, author of The OCD Workbook for Teens, is a hands-on part of the treatment team, and all specialists were trained by and continue to be supervised by him.
Our team is experienced working with a variety of diagnoses, co-occurring disorders, and complex case histories. We use evidence-based treatment, but not in a cookie-cutter way. We know your child is unique; their treatment plan will be too.
In addition to the OCD-specific programming, residents in the OCD program also participate in The LifeLaunch’s programming for overall improved mental health, including:
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Yoga, art therapy, and other forms of recreational therapy
- Academic support
- Occupational therapy
- Family therapy, including specific skills training for parents of teens with OCD and anxiety
- And, access to the full continuum of care across Sheppard Pratt, an organization renowned worldwide for its mental health and social services—including specialized expertise in autism spectrum disorder, trauma, eating disorders, mood disorders, and neurological disorders
Why do our treatments work?
CBT, ERP, and mindfulness have been proven to reduce the intensity of OCD symptoms and help patients to return to normal life activities.
The idea that there could be some truth to an obsession is not, in and of itself, a problem. But believing that if you have a thought about something, this must make it true – that is a problem. Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on how we think about our thoughts, feelings, and sensations and aims to challenge the mistaken beliefs and assumptions that lead to compulsions.
Cognitive interventions in CBT for OCD are somewhat different from cognitive therapy for other disorders, such as depression. Challenging distorted thinking in OCD focuses less on disputing the unwanted thoughts and more on disputing the rationale for engaging in compulsions. In this way, it can function as a powerful complement to ERP.
Exposure with response prevention provides patients with an opportunity to gradually confront feared situations while resisting problematic responses. Unlike traditional talk therapy, which helps people gain insight into their problems, ERP focuses on the thing that is keeping patients stuck: submitting to their compulsions. Challenging one’s compulsions is extremely difficult, clinicians using ERP help patients to confront their anxiety in a safe and reassuring environment.
The term 'mindfulness' is used to signify many different things, but in the world of cognitive behavioral therapy for OCD, it simply means paying attention to the present moment without judgment or analysis. The struggle of the OCD sufferer is one in which certain internal experiences (thoughts, etc.) are viewed as unacceptable, whereas others are allowed to pass by without critique. Mindfulness suggests a different perspective on the presence of these internal experiences, that they be simply noticed, not judged, pushed away, or responded to.