UPMC Western Behavioral Health Pediatric OCD Program
The Pediatric OCD Program began as a specialty outpatient clinic in 2004 with the IOP opening its doors in 2005. In 2015, IOP services were expanded to include both a morning and an afternoon option to meet the expressed needs of children/adolescents and families in the community. The Pediatric OCD Program is currently staffed by several full-time therapists all of whom delivery ERP in both the outpatient and Intensive Outpatient levels of care. The program also has a psychiatrist and advanced practice professional that can provide medication management services within the Pediatric OCD Program. The Pediatric OCD Program also utilizes interns from graduate, doctoral, and post-graduate programs in social work, counseling, and psychology as well as psychiatry residents and child/adolescent psychiatry fellows as WPH is a teaching hospital.
Treatment Planning Process
Children/adolescents and family members are a vital part of the collaborative treatment planning process utilized by the Pediatric OCD Program. Initial treatment readiness sessions allow children/adolescents and family members to have an overview of OCD treatment and to begin constructing fear ladders, which serve as a roadmap to treatment.
Core Treatment Components
At the outpatient level of care, therapy sessions typically occur weekly or biweekly based on assessed needs. Medication management services are also offered through the WPH Center for Children and Families for those in the outpatient level of care. At the IOP level of care, children/adolescents attend group therapy for nine hours/week over the course of three days. IOP children/adolescents and families typically get weekly individual time with the psychiatrist.
A skills retention group is also offered to maintain skill development when transitioning between levels of care.
Evidenced based treatment interventions are implemented throughout programming with ongoing measurement-based care monitoring
All treatment provided is focused on providing CBT/ERP treatment for OCD, with other treatment modalities to augment as needed (e.g. DBT to address possible co-occurring disorders).
Parents, Family Members, Friends, Teachers, etc. Involvement
A Parent Support and Education Group is also offered to families participating in the IOP program to increase generalization of skills outside of the clinic.
Treatment of Co-Morbid Disorders
The primary diagnosis for children and adolescents seen within the Pediatric OCD Program is most often OCD, however a wide range of other related disorders (Hair Pulling Disorder, Skin Picking Disorder, Tics/Tourette’s, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, PANDAS/PANS) are also seen within the IOP and broader outpatient clinic. Other co-occurring disorders, such as depression, autism, or more generalized anxiety can also be addressed within the Pediatric OCD Program.
Clients meet with staff individually at intake, discharge, and periodically during treatment as appropriate. Outpatient sessions are 60 minutes in length and are typically individually focused, although in some cases family members may be asked to participate when clinically relevant. IOP sessions are three hours/day over three days/week, totaling nine hours of treatment and are facilitated by a group therapist; clients can request individual time with this therapist as needed. During the IOP, clients/families typically get weekly individual time with their psychiatrist. Families also meet with a family therapist on an at least biweekly basis. There is a psychiatric nurse associated with the program.
Length of Stay
Length of stay is determined on an individual basis based upon progress and continued treatment needs. The average length of stay in the IOP is between 2 to 4 months.
“Census” (i.e., the maximum number of clients seen at any given time)
IOP Group Capacity is 12
School facilities are not available, however Pediatric OCD Program staff make every effort to collaborate with schools as needed to insure that educational needs are adequately addressed, and to assist clients/families in communicating with schools about how OCD may be impacting education.
Medication management is typically provided through the WPH Center for Children and Families, most often provided or supervised by the psychiatrists from the Pediatric OCD Program.
OCD specialists at this clinic:
- Shayna Honzo, MA, LPC
- Shelby Flynn, LCSW
- Alexandra Pasquarelli, MSW, LSW
- Elizabeth Gillespie, DO
- Rebecca Alberico, MA, NCC
- Shoshanna Shear, MD
- Gabrielle Quinten, LSW
- Rachel Williams, MS, LPC, NCC
- Olivia Wolfe, LPC, NCC, BLS
- Devin Petit, PA-C