Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

Once OCD and anxiety symptoms are severe or extreme, an intensive outpatient program is a way to treat symptoms more aggressively and feel relief much sooner rather than with single outpatient sessions drawn out over the course of several months.

The Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) at CalmOCD gives patients flexibility in their treatment and provides quality treatment and support from one of our OCD specialists one-on-one. All sessions in the intensive program are tailored based on their specific fears and anxiety triggers. Therefore, all sessions are one-on-one (and/or with family members) and not in group sessions. Our IOP at CalmOCD provides one-on-one services 3 hours a day (or more) for 3 weeks. This is a total of 45 psychotherapy sessions in a 3-week time frame. The program provides patients and their families with specific psychoeducation based on their OCD/anxiety subtypes and offers family support, home visits, and community-based work when needed.


All sessions in the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) are tailored based on the patient’s specific fear and anxiety triggers.

CalmOCD offers two different treatment modalities as options for the intensive track;  Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) and Inference-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (I-CBT). The intensive program is designed to offer support to those who are struggling with severe and extreme OCD and could benefit from daily therapeutic support.


Family work can be an integral piece of the intensive program at CalmOCD.

Family work can be an integral piece of the intensive program at CalmOCD. The therapist can provide the family with extensive OCD/anxiety education throughout the program. The family can learn how to support their loved one without accommodating their anxiety or participating in their OCD cycle. The family member will learn to embrace their own anxiety they will likely feel when they stop participating in rituals.


Sessions are one-on-one with an OCD specialist, 3 hours a day for 3 weeks.

Those needing more support through the intensive can also schedule an additional session later in the day as a check-in.
If the patient is coming into treatment with severe or extreme OCD, it can take 30-60 sessions to reduce their symptoms to moderate or mild. The number of sessions and the length of treatment depends on such factors as; the severity of symptoms, their willingness to give up compulsive behaviors, consistency in doing the hard work, and the family’s ability to stop accommodating their loved one's symptoms.

Steps In Treatment

Step One

After completing the complimentary 15-minute phone consultation, CalmOCD will schedule a 60-minute psychiatric diagnostic evaluation with one of our anxiety specialists or add you to our waitlist depending on our current availability.

Step TWO

During this evaluation, the therapist will collect background information and learn more about the patient's current functioning. The therapist will make treatment recommendations, whether they are appropriate for single sessions (45-minute or 60-minute) or if our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) may be a better fit.


The therapists at CalmOCD will evaluate presenting symptoms and develop an individualized treatment plan based on the needs of the individual. No two people are alike even if they are experiencing the same OCD subtype which is why our approach is unique


If single sessions are appropriate the therapist will recommend the frequency at which these sessions are conducted. This recommendation is based on patient severity, clinical assessments, and psychological evaluation. At the start of treatment, patients respond better when they can have therapeutic support consistently and sessions close together.


Our clinicians will help the patient build a strong foundation of skills through psychoeducation on their specific diagnosis. Each patient and their family will receive a CalmOCD educational folder filled with resources they will refer to throughout treatment. The psychoeducation portion of treatment may take 2-4 sessions.


Education topics commonly addressed during this phase and throughout all sessions include but are not limited to:

  • The difference between obsessions and compulsions
  • Learning how to respond to intrusive thoughts and triggers
  • The specifics of the OCD cycle and how to use it to create meaningful change
  • Understanding of all mental compulsions they are participating in; primarily self-reassurance, mental reviewing, and rumination (problem-solving)
  • The goal of exposure therapy- focus on learning and gaining confidence rather than anxiety reduction
  • Changing relationship with anxiety and obsessive thoughts
  • How to live a value-based life instead of spending time doing compulsive behaviors
  • Concepts such as cognitive fusion and cognitive distortions
  • Tips to stay motivated and willing throughout behavioral therapy

Step SIX

Next, the therapist and patient will work together to create what is referred to as a ‘fear structure analysis.’ A fear structure is a map of the patient's triggers and coinciding compulsive behavior.


Behavioral therapy- exposure response prevention begins. A collaborative approach occurs where the therapist and patient work alongside one another during exposures. The type of exposure the patients work on depends on the details outlined in their fear structure analysis. Exposures completed in session help the patient gain confidence so they can do them on their own.


On average, it takes approximately 10-15 sessions to build a strong foundation of skills and understand how to implement them across OCD subtypes. Patients may feel confident at this point and are discharged from treatment, while most continue as they still have areas they want to work on and improve. Severe cases of OCD may need anywhere between 30-60 sessions.


The length of treatment depends on such factors as;

the severity of symptoms, the patient's willingness to give up compulsive behaviors, consistency in doing the hard work, and the family's ability to stop accommodating their loved one’s symptoms.

Ready to Start Your Healing Journey?

If interested, please follow the steps below! Due to the high volume of inquiries please allow 48 hours for a response.


Submit an online inquiry


You will receive a response from CalmOCD within 48 hours and a 15 minute complimentary consultation will be scheduled

Intake Session

If CalmOCD seems to be a good fit based on your individual needs, an intake session will be scheduled.