Center for OCD and Anxiety-Related Disorders (COARD) – St. Louis Behavioral Medicine Institute

Intensive Treatment Program
Director: C. Alec Pollard, PhD
Contact Name: Sue Mertens
1129 Macklind Avenue
St. Louis, Missouri 63105


This program opened in 1982. Each patient’s team is led by a “primary therapist,” all of which are licensed mental health professionals with many years of training and experience working with OCD. Additional members of the team include a psychiatrist, other cognitive behavior therapists, and postdoctoral fellows in clinical psychology. Depending on the needs of the patient, other professionals from the Institute may be involved, including non-psychiatric physicians, dieticians, physical therapists, and spiritual directors.

Perhaps the most unique aspect of our program is the services we provide for patients who are ambivalent about or resistant to treatment. In this program, we help patients identify and address any issues that might be interfering with their ability to engage fully in treatment. We do not move forward with OCD treatment until those issues have been addressed sufficiently and they can successfully reinitiate work on the OCD. We try to assist even in cases when the patient refuses treatment altogether. In this instance, we can provide guidance and support to the families to help them cope effectively with the situation. Both programs, Treatment-Readiness Therapy for OCD sufferers and Consultation to Families of Treatment-Refusers for family members, are relatively unique to our Center.

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IOCDF Professional Members at this clinic: