About Treatment

Intensive Program for OCD at Bradley Hospital

Friends and family reconnect at Bradley Hospital's annual OCD Program Reunion. 
See more photos from the day »

Contact Us

For additional information about the Intensive Program for OCD, call 401‑432‑1516.

At the forefront of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) treatment and research, our clinical team uses a form of cognitive behavioral therapy called exposure with response prevention (ERP). The treatment of choice for individuals with OCD, ERP strengthens a child’s ability to manage anxiety by gradually facing fears and reducing the repetitive rituals of OCD.

Our clinicians create an individualized, age-appropriate treatment plan for each child. Parents and family members contribute to this plan, starting with the child’s evaluation and throughout treatment.

Conditions We Treat

Conditions we treat include:

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD)
  • Panic disorder
  • Social anxiety
  • Separation anxiety
  • Phobias
  • Hypochondria/health anxiety
  • Trichotillomania (hair-pulling)
  • Dermatillomania (skin-picking)

Treatment Components

  • Individual therapy: Individual therapy occurs twice a week to develop and refine the child’s therapeutic plan, as well as practice exposure and response prevention exercises.
  • Psychiatric care: The program’s psychiatrist meets weekly with each patient. If a participant is already seeing a psychiatrist, the program psychiatrist will work in consultation with him or her. If a participant needs medication, the psychiatrist will work with parents to develop a medication plan.
  • Family therapy: OCD has an impact on the whole family, and with family support children are much more likely to have positive outcomes. For these reasons, families are asked to commit to family therapy once a week. These meetings will focus on enhancing the relationship between parents and their children, as well as other members of the family.
  • Milieu therapy: Twice each program day milieu staff run exposure groups during which they assist patients with completing individualized exposure exercises devised by their doctors. Art therapy groups are led by a certified art therapist twice a week. In addition to exposure and art groups, all children participate in group activities designed to enhance their understanding of and motivation to engage in exposure therapy.  The specific content of these groups changes over time and is tailored to the needs of the patients. Examples of group activities include process groups, team building, and mindfulness.
  • “Home” visits: Milieu staff run individualized exposure tasks in the community and the child’s home, which helps reinforce the therapeutic benefits of the program in real-world settings. Visits are provided 5 days a week in the full-day partial program and 2 days a week in the half-day partial program. We ask that at least one parent is available to participate in these visits so they can learn how to assist their child with the exposures.
  •  Research: We pride ourselves on delivering cutting-edge, research-informed treatment. This is an ongoing process and requires careful assessment of treatment outcome and treatment delivery. During your child’s first week in the program, a research assistant will ask if you would be willing to participate in research. Research includes using some of the forms you and your child complete during clinical care for research purposes. Participation in research is completely optional and will not affect the care your child receives in the program.

Learn more about research at the Pediatric Anxiety Research Center (PARC) »

Length of Stay

Treatment takes place Monday through Friday at Bradley Hospital. Program hours depend on a child’s level of care. We offer a full-day partial program with community-based sessions every day, and a half-day program with community-based sessions 2 days a week. The average length of treatment is approximately 8 weeks.

What happens after the program?

When the child or teen is ready to leave the Intensive Program for OCD, the treatment team will work with parents to arrange follow-up services and support. With consent from parents, our team may contact the child’s school, therapist, and doctor during the development of this discharge plan.

Contact Us

Bradley Hospital
1011 Veterans Memorial Parkway East Providence, RI, 02915
401-432-1516

Find out more about The Intensive Program for OCD »