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Intermediate Care Programs

Program Descriptions

Brandon Markel, Psy.D., MBA, ACT
Director of Intermediate Care Programs

Typically patients attend the program 5 days a week. The length of stay ranges from 3-8 weeks. Each patient is on his or her own treatment plan and there is no required length of stay. Patients may discharge at any point when they feel they are ready; however, we ask that there is a detailed discussion of treatment progress prior to discharge. We measure treatment progress using evidence based assessments.

The intensive therapy programs at Portland Anxiety Clinic (PAC) are designed to help individuals suffering from anxiety and depressive disorders. Our specialized treatment programs are focused specifically on the use of evidence-based treatments to help individuals who suffer from OCD, social fears, panic, traumatic stress, tics, body focused repetitive behaviors (BFRB’s; like hair pulling and skin picking), depressive symptoms, and other anxiety and mood related conditions.

Exposure and Response Prevention

The IOP program at Portland Anxiety Clinic specializes in providing Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) therapy for youth who are having trouble attending school. Many children and adolescents who are having trouble attending school struggle with mood and anxiety symptoms that manifest as school refusal behavior. School refusal behaviors may include physical complaints (stomachaches, headaches, fatigue, soreness) and emotional outbursts when leaving the home and/or arriving at school.

Oftentimes, the child or adolescent feels better when they are allowed to stay home, but their symptoms typically reappear the next day. Some children with school refusal may attend school, but avoid their classroom throughout the day by taking extended bathroom breaks, frequently requesting to visit the nurse’s office, or showing up tardy to classes. Other symptoms of school-avoidance include temper tantrums, crying spells, and panic attacks before, during, or related to school. Our goal is to help youth return to the classroom by providing them and their families with strategies to manage their mood and anxiety symptoms and school refusal behaviors.

Intensive Outpatient Programs (2 hours per day)

The highly specialized anxiety track utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with an emphasis on Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), Habit Reversal and Stimulus Control (HRT/SC), Behavioral Activation, and other evidence-based methods and is suited for adults, adolescents, and children. This supervised individualized intensive program provides a structured day using evidence-based practices to systematically manage the underlying challenges associated with hard to treat anxiety and related conditions. Patients are given the opportunity to face their fears at their pace in collaboration with treatment staff so they are better able to function at work, school, socially, and within their families.

Partial Hospitalization Program (Typically 4 hours per day)

The partial hospital level of care is ideal for individuals who suffer from anxiety, depression, OCD, trauma, BFRBs, and/or related conditions who require more intensive treatment. Typically an individual enrolled in the partial program will attend a combination of exposure based therapy and skills training groups. This program also requires individuals to meet with a prescriber once a week during program hours.

Our Staff

Our experts include psychologists who specialize in evidence-based practices (such as CBT) and highly trained graduate students to enhance treatment outcomes. Our team of well-trained and compassionate practitioners foster an environment to help our patients achieve successful results.

The emphasis and goal of our IOP programs, using evidence-based treatment, is to provide stability to each patient so they can gradually transition to a lower level of care, usually outpatient.

Conditions we treat:

  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Perinatal/Postpartum OCD
  • Panic Disorder
  • Specific Phobias
  • Hypochondriasis/Health Anxiety
  • Trichotillomania (Hair Pulling Disorder)
  • Excoriation (Skin Picking Disorder)
  • Motor and Verbal Tics
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder
  • Olfactory Reference Syndrome (thinking you emit an odor)
  • Major Depression
  • Persistent Depression

Individuals who may benefit from our program include:

  • Individuals who are looking for a step down program from a higher level of care
  • Individuals with moderate to severe OCD or other symptoms of anxiety
  • Individuals with moderate to severe depression
  • Individuals who have not made treatment gains in a transitional outpatient setting or traditional intensive outpatient or partial hospitalization program
  • Individuals looking to make treatment progress in a more time-effective manner
  • Individuals who live in an area where treatment options may be limited

The Portland Anxiety Clinic’s Intensive Outpatient Programs are not appropriate for patients who are actively suicidal, who are currently addicted to/actively using drugs and/or alcohol, or are actively engaged in eating disorder behaviors (including food restriction, binge/purge, excessive use of laxatives, etc.). 

We are affiliated and active members of the International OCD Foundation. We have received training in evidence-based treatment by the Trichotillomania Learning Center, Tourette Association of America, and the Interpersonal Psychotherapy Institute. Dr. Markel holds certifications from the Academy of Cognitive Therapy and the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. 

If you are interested in learning more about our IOP program please contact our intake line at 503-894-9630.

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