Every thing You Wished to Know About IOPs for Pediatric OCD


What’s an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)? 

An IOP is designed to offer extra intensive remedy to sufferers who don’t reply to conventional weekly outpatient remedy or whose signs are particularly extreme. Intensive packages for OCD can function a bridge between totally different ranges of care, particularly as a step-up from weekly outpatient remedy or as a step-down from partial hospitalization/residential packages. They typically contain roughly 8 to fifteen hours of OCD remedy per week delivered throughout 1 to eight weeks, both in a person, group, or mixture format. IOPs can scale back time missed from college or different actions whereas providing enhancements that conventional outpatient remedy can’t, together with longer exposures, elevated familial engagement, and larger peer assist (Lewin et al., 2005, Guo et al., 2020; Schneider & Petersen, underneath overview). 

Who advantages from an IOP?  

Some sufferers favor the intensive format to focus on signs — even delicate to reasonable ones — quickly. These sufferers might not even have earlier outpatient expertise. Sufferers who’ve plateaued in conventional remedy or who’re struggling to finish out-of-session observe can also profit from the elevated construction and focus constructed into an IOP. Different sufferers require an IOP due to the symptom severity and impairment that they expertise. For these sufferers, common outpatient remedy shouldn’t be sufficient to handle their OCD interference, and the weekly remedy timeline for enchancment might really feel too lengthy. Nevertheless, sufferers who do finest in an IOP setting are often nonetheless in a position to attend college, typically take part in every day life, and do some publicity work independently. Of notice, if signs prohibit college attendance, the affected person struggles to depart their home, they’re unable to have interaction in self-directed exposures, or they’re engaged in fixed disruptive rituals, then the affected person might profit extra from a partial hospitalization or residential setting.  

What’s an instance of IOP programming? 

There may be a variety of IOP codecs. Some IOPs are individualized and embrace every day prolonged particular person remedy periods, whereas others incorporate group codecs.  

For example, the Baby OCD Program at Emory (COPE) is a telehealth-based IOP that includes group, particular person, household, and multifamily group therapies for a complete of 10 hours of remedy per week for 4, 8, or 12 weeks relying on scientific want (Schneider & Petersen, underneath overview). Every remedy day consists of 1 hour of a abilities group adopted by 1 hour of ERP, and sufferers additionally obtain 1 weekly hour of particular person remedy and of household remedy. Expertise teams are delivered in line with an 8-week protocol, with every day consisting of a special group (Mondays – multifamily, Tuesdays – dialectical habits remedy (DBT), Wednesdays – DNA-V, Thursdays – assist) and every week that includes a special theme (e.g., for the DNA-V group, week 1 – overview, week 2 – values, week 3 – discover, week 4 – alternative level, week 5 – advisor, week 6 – discoverer, week 7 – self-as-context, week 8 – self-compassion).   

DNA-V Teams

The DNA-V mannequin adapts the psychological flexibility framework of acceptance and dedication remedy (ACT) utilizing developmental concept and constructive psychology to seize the precise wants of youth (Hayes & Ciarrochi, 2015). DNA-V makes use of three characters (Discoverer, Noticer, and Advisor) and values to show ACT abilities in a developmentally-friendly method, together with observe with acceptance, mindfulness, willingness, values, defusion, and selection factors. Adolescents attend a teen-only DNA-V group, in addition to a  multifamily ACT-based group with their mother and father. The multifamily group emphasizes making use of DNA-V and ACT ideas to the household and facilitates communication in regards to the OCD expertise inside and between households. 

Group ERP

Exposures are completed as a bigger group, or in small group or particular person settings utilizing breakout rooms, relying on the schedule and wishes of group members. The ultimate 10 minutes of every ERP group is spent debriefing exposures and sharing one takeaway. One group per week options publicity video games designed to infuse humor and playfulness into the exposures, typically facilitating defusion. For instance, latest group ERP actions embrace taking part in charades utilizing individualized OCD fears, OCD Olympics (e.g., pace studying), creating OCD’s Instagram account, and taking part in reality or dare with ERP dares.  

Extra Teams

As a result of many adolescents report co-occurring emotion dysregulation, self-harm, and/or suicidal ideation, we additionally incorporate an ACT- and ERP-consistent DBT group to offer abilities to handle different signs which may be getting in the best way of OCD remedy. Moreover, we provide a weekly assist group to facilitate peer connection and cohesion throughout the digital format. 

What occurs after the IOP?  

It’s anticipated that sufferers will step right down to common outpatient remedy to work on their OCD after finishing this system. In the event that they had been beforehand seeing an OCD specialist, they’ll return to that therapist. If they didn’t have a therapist who makes a speciality of ERP, the IOP employees will often attempt to join them with an OCD specialist previous to leaving this system.  

How do I discover an IOP close to me? 

There are a number of pediatric OCD IOPs positioned in tutorial medical facilities, standalone clinics, and personal practices throughout the nation. ADAA has the next sources designed that can assist you discover an intensive remedy program. The Worldwide OCD Basis (IOCDF) additionally has an inventory of packages out there. 

This submit is offered in collaboration with ADAA’s OCD and Associated Problems SIG. Study extra in regards to the SIG.


  1. Guo, S., Rozenman, M., Bennett, S. M., Peris, T. S., & Bergman, R. L. (2020). Versatile adaptation of evidence-based remedy ideas and practices in an intensive outpatient setting for pediatric OCD. Proof-Primarily based Follow in Baby and Adolescent Psychological Well being, 5(3), 301-321. 
  2. Hayes, L. L., & Ciarrochi, J. V. (2015). The thriving adolescent: Utilizing acceptance and dedication remedy and constructive psychology to assist teenagers handle feelings, obtain targets, and construct connection. New Harbinger Publications. 
  3. Lewin, A. B., Storch, E. A., Merlo, L. J., Adkins, J. W., Murphy, T., & Geffken, G. A. (2005). Intensive cognitive behavioral remedy for pediatric obsessive compulsive dysfunction: A remedy protocol for psychological well being suppliers. Psychological Companies, 2(2), 91. 
  4. Schneider, R. & Petersen, J. (underneath overview). Feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of a telehealth-based intensive outpatient program incorporating acceptance and dedication remedy for adolescents with obsessive compulsive dysfunction. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science. 



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