The NSU OCD and Related Disorders Clinic (NORD), part of the Maltz Psychology Building’s Psychology Services Center, is conducting comprehensive studies and providing treatment to individuals with obsessive compulsive disorder.
The studies are on people with scrupulosity, an OCD subtype in which the affected person’s obsessive fears are based on religion or morality. OCD is an anxiety disorder that causes intrusive thoughts, images or impulses. It also produces repetitive behaviors which aim to neutralize obsessions and reduce fear.
Jedidiah Siev, director of NORD, said that the clinic is always looking for new participants, both patients and researchers, in its studies.
“There are excellent treatments to help people,” Sieve said. “But many do not have access to specialty treatments. Our goal is to increase access for individuals.”
Open Mondays through Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the NORD clinic specializes in the latest research-approved treatments of OCD, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, hoarding, hair pulling, skin picking and tic disorders.
According to Siev, there are very few OCD specialists in the area, especially in proportion to South Florida’s population.
“I thought it would be a great training opportunity for students and a great resource for the community to open a clinic specializing in OCD and related disorders,” said Siev.
Karen Grosby, dean of the Center for Psychological Studies, said the center’s main goal is to develop a group of distinguished NSU faculty whose research addresses the major mental health issues facing our society.
“Many employees and students experience various levels of anxiety, from stress and worry, to a more chronic, high level of anxiety,” Grosby said. “It is important to seek assistance when these issues interfere with day-to-day functions.”
Treatment at the NORD clinic is currently available to adults and adolescents. Several treatment options are available, including cognitive behavioral therapy, systematic desensitization, applied relaxation and stress inoculation.
“The particular techniques and treatments are tailored to the unique characteristics of each individual and each disorder,” said Siev.
The main treatment implemented for OCD is response prevention, which involves exposing the patient to his/her obsessions, while simultaneously preventing engagement in his/her usual rituals.
According to Shelby Zuckerman, second year student in the Doctoral Clinical Psychology program, exposure and response prevention is considered the first line of treatment for OCD, which has also shown to be the most effective treatment for this disorder.
“Many of our sessions are conducted out of the therapy room and in the ‘real world’, to help best treat each client’s individual difficulties,” said Zuckerman.
The NORD clinic uses evidence-based treatments, supported by recent research, and has also become a resource for students in the psychology field.
Zuckerman said, “We want to be sure that our clients are receiving the best possible treatment, and we therefore not only keep up to date with the literature, but also conduct our own research studies to contribute to the field.”
At the center, advanced doctoral students work with faculty experts to provide clinical services. They also work on collaborative research projects in the South Florida area. For more information on the NORD clinic, contact Jedidiah Siev at 954-262-5804 or follow the NORD clinic on twitter @NORDClinic. To set up an appointment, call the NORD clinic at 954-262-5822.