Training

The UCLA Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Intensive Treatment Program
The UCLA Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Intensive Treatment Program phone

 

TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES

The Adult OCD Treatment and Research Practicum provides training opportunities to learn and conduct exposure and response prevention (ERP), a form of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) that has consistently demonstrated very strong efficacy in treating Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). We offer training programs for:

In our program, we have dedicated staff therapists and staff psychiatrists that oversee traditional CBT and medication management. This allows residents, interns, externs and therapists who rotate through our program to focus on learning ERP, an important form of exposure therapy while also being integrated into a multidisciplinary team.

What is exposure and response prevention (ERP)?

In ERP, patients are guided through specific situations to come in direct contact with fearful stimuli without engaging in compulsive behaviors or avoidance in order to help patients learn new ways of relating to and handling rapid and prolonged surges in anxiety and other intense negative emotions. Adult patients attend the OCD Intensive Treatment Program Monday-Friday for 6 weeks, from 9am-1pm. Each day, they have 1 hour of therapy, 1 hour of group therapy and 2 hours of ERP.

What patients will you work with?

Our program specializes in treating individuals diagnosed with OCD and related disorders. Greater than 90% of our patients with OCD also have a comorbid mental health disorder, including a mood disorder and an anxiety disorder. Most typically our patients also struggle with social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, or other obsessive compulsive and related disorders such as body dysmorphic disorder, trichotillomania, or excoriation disorder. Another major strength of our program is that we work with individuals with a primary diagnosis of hoarding disorder; approximately 10-20% of our patients in our clinic suffer from this problem.

What will you learn?

Residents, practicum trainees, interns, and licensed therapists will receive training in 1) assessment of OCD, hoarding, and comorbid disorders; 2) behavioral treatment, specifically ERP and exposure based approaches for other anxiety and stress disorders, treatment for compulsive hoarding; and optionally, 3) co-running one of our five groups, and additionally, 4) conducting research with OCD patients.

Regarding assessment, individuals receive training conducting and interpreting standardized assessments (including the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale as well as other measures) and creating and refining exposure hierarchies. ERP training starts out with observation of staff therapists conducting ERP, one-on-one role playing and review. Next, the resident will conduct exposure sessions in conjunction with staff therapists.

After this, our trainees and residents begin conducting exposures on their own with patients. Based on their availability and interest, residents or trainees can also assist in one weekly group therapy session (we run 5 different groups covering a diverse set of topics including goal setting, coping skills, didactics, cognitive and relapse prevention). If interested, the resident also has opportunities for research experience supervised by Dr. Motivala and program director Dr. Jamie Feusner. In one on-going project, we are conducting a follow up study in program completers to gauge the durability of treatment effects and examine which factors improve or worsen OCD symptoms over time.

Directors/Instructors:

Training Director: Sarosh Motivala, PhD
Program Director: Jamie Feusner, MD

Please contact Sarosh Motivala, PhD at smotivala@mednet.ucla.edu for more information.

PSYCHIATRY RESIDENT TRAINING PROGRAM

Residents interested in OCD and anxiety disorders have a unique opportunity to get training exclusively in behavior therapy. Whereas other clinics offer opportunities in learning the specifics of psychopharmacologic treatment, our focuses exclusively in exposure based cognitive behavior therapy. Residents work in our clinic for 4 hours a week with an option 5th hour of didactic supervision over a minimum 6 month rotation. Resident’s typically come in on Thursdays, but if there is a scheduling conflict we may be able to accommodate for a different day.

Summary of Topics Covered in Formal Didactic Seminar:

  • Introduction to OCD 
  • OCD-Related disorders 
  • Hoarding disorder, including common comorbidities 
  • Naturalistic course of disorder 
  • Neurophysiological and learning theory based models of OCD development

Treatment approaches:

  • Understanding exposure therapy from the basis of learning theory
  • Fear conditioning and inhibitory learning
  • How to develop a fear hierarchy
  • How to interpret and use self-report and observable cues of affect triggering during exposure
  • How to pace and modify an exposure session

How to Apply:
Please contact Reza Tadayon Nejad, MD., PhD at RTadayonNejad@mednet.ucla.edu for more information.

PSYCHOLOGY INTERN TRAINING PROGRAM

Rotation Hours and Commitment:

This rotation is set up to be an elective Adult Clinical Program Track. It involves 5 hrs/week on either Mondays, Tuesdays or Thursdays for a minimum of four months. This includes 3 hours of ERP work, 1 hour of group supervision and 1 hr of individual supervision. Following a period of observation and training, you will work directly our patients specifically to run exposure and response prevention sessions. Interns receive training conducting and interpreting standardized assessments (including the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale as well as other measures) and creating exposure hierarchies. ERP training starts out with observation of currently trained students and staff therapists conducting ERP, one-on-one role playing and review. Next, the intern will conduct exposure sessions in conjunction with staff therapists. After this, trainees begin conducting exposures on their own with patients. Based on intern availability and interest, the intern could also assist in one weekly group therapy session (we run 5 different groups covering a diverse set of topics including goal setting, coping skills, didactics, cognitive reframing and relapse prevention). If interested, the intern also has opportunities for research experience supervised by Dr. Motivala and program director Dr. Jamie Feusner.

How to Apply:
Please contact Sarosh Motivala, PhD at smotivala@mednet.ucla.edu for more information.

PSYCHOLOGY GRADUATE STUDENT PRACTICUM

Practicum hours & commitment:

Trainees typically devote 8-10 hours (typically over 2-3 days); starting/ending dates are flexible and the time commitment is for 12 months.

Supervision:

Trainees in our training program receive group supervision for 1 hour a week provided by a licensed clinical psychologist covering assessment, treatment planning, and ERP. We offer a second optional hour of didactic supervision that includes journal article reviews, didactics and research topics related to OCD. In addition, informal supervision (curbside discussions, phone calls, emails, etc.) is typical and all therapists are available for consultation if an urgent situation arises. Documentation includes a supervision log, written feedback by supervisor of strengths, areas to work on and overall review. At the end of rotation, extern will fill out an extern evaluation form (modeled after UCLA Semel Institute teaching evaluation form).

Who can Apply?

Applicants for this practicum must either be PhD students in UCLA Clinical Psychology Program or be PhD or PsyD students in a graduate program that has an existing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with UCLA.

How to Apply:

Candidates are required to submit a letter of interest, a curriculum vitae, two letters of references, a testing log, a letter from the Training Director of the School attesting to the student’s qualifications, and evidence of professional liability coverage provided by the candidate’s doctoral training program. To: Michelle Massi, LMFT motelsberg@mednet.ucla.edu