Group Therapy

The Center for Psychological & Behavioral Science is pleased to announce the availability of CBT-based therapy groups. These groups are fee-for-service groups and are intended to provide cost-effective treatment for individuals experiencing symptoms of anxiety. There are two types of groups: “closed groups” and “open groups.”

Closed-Ended Treatment Groups

“Closed groups” have specific start dates and end dates and operate according to a specific pre-planned sequence of treatment modules. Some of these modules are designed to provide foundational knowledge about a particular diagnosis or clinical problem, whereas others focus on the development of coping skills or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) strategies. After covering basic concepts and strategies related to treatment, group therapy then progresses according to an evidence-based, individualized treatment plan. Because each week builds on information presented during previous weeks, participants must commit to the entire group sequence in advance in order to join the group.

Closed-ended groups are ideal for individuals who are new to treatment, or for those who are seeking to begin treatment alongside others who are working on similar goals. Homework assignments and readings are assigned between sessions.

Open-Ended Treatment Groups

“Open” groups are open-ended treatment groups that are not structured around a specific weekly treatment sequence.  Instead, groups are intended to provide opportunities for group members to get extensive practice in one or more skill areas. Examples of open groups are goals’ groups focused specifically on exposures targeting OCD (e.g., contamination exposures, harm-related exposures, sensorimotor OCD, Pure-O symptoms) or social anxiety (e.g., conversation practice, mistake practice, assertiveness practice). During each group meeting, participants will be assisted in developing a specific behavioral goal to accomplish over the course of the session.

Each participant will then go out and work on his/her treatment goal via a behavioral exposure exercise. Locations for these goals will vary from week-to-week, but most often will take place in the nearby Gardens Mall, which provides a wealth of opportunities for potential behavioral exposures. The group then reassembles to review progress and to engage in problem-solving/trouble-shooting. Group members are encouraged to develop between-session homework assignments similar to the goal selected in group in order to facilitate skill generalization to everyday life situations.

Because individuals are not required to commit to the entire sequence and may attend some groups but not others, the composition of open groups is more likely to change with time. Open groups are appropriate for individuals at any stage of treatment — from beginning to advanced.

Treatment groups are currently forming to address symptoms of the following disorders:

  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – Contamination, Harm, Pure-O, & Sensorimotor Groups
  • Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)
  • Panic Disorder
  • Hoarding

Prospective group members must be assessed and approved prior to joining. To inquire about the availability of treatment groups, please contact our office.  Because groups must have a certain number of interested individuals before starting, express your interest early as there might be a delay between your request and when the group actually begins.