Frequently Asked Questions

Beating OCD by getting back into the pool.

Beating OCD by getting back into the pool.

Frequently Asked Questions


Is my family a good candidate for your Intensive Outpatient Program for Children and Teens?

Pediatric OCD treatment is a team effort where parents act as “assistant coaches” and therapists act as the “head coach.” Treatment is most effective when the coaches agree on the goals, strategy and game plan in the battle against the opponent (OCD and anxiety). Assistant coaches are in charge of coaching children on “drills” (exposures) and parenting in a way that weakens OCD. In our IOP we place a strong emphasis on parent participation.

In order to develop a good team we carefully assess families for their commitment to treatment, motivation level, and any barriers that may get in the way of successful treatment. During your screening appointment we will assess these factors and determine if we are a good fit for your family.

How many hours a week are children and families seen? How long is the program?

Youth are seen 12 to 15 hours per week for 4 to 12 weeks. Parents are expected to be available during program hours for the first several weeks and then available as needed thereafter. We have found that children are most successful when parents are able to put aside time to solely focus on their child’s treatment.

Do you see families from out of town?

Yes, we often see families who live outside of the Bay Area. If you are traveling from out of town we can recommend a place to stay near the center. We encourage families to return home on weekends so children can practice their new skills at home.

Do you see young children?

At the center we are able to treat very young children with OCD. However, your young child may not need an IOP to get well. We assess children and families on an individual basis and only recommend IOP if we believe that your child needs intensive treatment.

What will my child’s goals be? What will our family’s goals be?

Each child will have individual goals but most goals will be related to overcoming fears related to OCD, resisting compulsions, reducing family involvement in OCD, getting back on track developmentally, improving mood, and returning to school and previous activities. Oftentimes families find themselves caught up in OCD. Most families with children with OCD find themselves giving repeated reassurance, helping their child carry out rituals, and accommodating behaviors (special food, avoiding certain places, giving extra time to child). Goals for the family typically include learning about OCD, reducing “accommodation” of OCD, parenting in a way that weakens OCD, and returning to activities the family enjoyed before OCD.  The overall goal of the program is for children and families to learn how to become experts who can successfully manage OCD over time.

Can my child continue their education while in the program?

Most children who attend our program are unable to attend school due to the severity of their symptoms.  In order for children to do well academically they first need to be healthy. We typically recommend that families prioritize OCD treatment until children are healthy enough to transition back to school. Many of our kids and teens use Tilden Prep to slowly transition back to school.

What is the cost of the program? Do you take insurance?

The program does not currently accept insurance; however, you may be able to receive reimbursement from your PPO plan. To learn more about cost please talk to the program director.

Do you provide residential OCD treatment?

No, we do not. Residential treatment is for children who need a higher level of care than an IOP can provide (24 hr care).  We generally suggest Residential OCD Treatment if children are at risk of suicide, medically unstable, or if the family is not able to commit time to an IOP.  If we determine that your child needs a higher level of care we will refer you to a residential program.

How can I learn more about Pediatric OCD?

The International OCD Foundation

Beyond OCD

How do we learn more?

Contact Dr. Amy Jenks at to learn more.