International OCD Foundation

NeuroBehavioral Institute is an official Institutional Member of the International Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Foundation.  For more information you can read below or visit the IOCDF at the following link: http://www.ocfoundation.org/.

OCF Institutional Member – Overview

Name of Program:    NeuroBehavioral Institute – NBI

Program Directors:

Contact:

Marie Candelaria, Office Manager

NeuroBehavioral Institute

2233 North Commerce Parkway, Suite 3

Weston, Florida  33326

Telephone: 954-217-1757

Fax: 954-385-3807

E-mail:             marie@nbiweston.com

Website:          www.nbiweston.com

Program Description:

  • Adult, Adolescent (12 – 18), and Child (2 1/2 – 11) services available
  • Intensive Treatment Program and Traditional Outpatient services available
  • Crisis intervention available
  • Treatment for Co-morbid conditions available
  • Separate program for OCD patients
  • Full Census for this program is 10
  • Average length of stay for this program is 2-8 weeks (varies per person)

This is a self-pay only program.  However, patients or their families who have out-of-network benefits may request a superbill that they can use to seek reimbursement for paid services. A sliding scale is available when supported by the required documentation (see #13 below for more information).

OCF Institutional Member – Program Description

1.     When did you open your program?

Our program started in 1998 as a pediatric Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Related Conditions program at the Miami Children’s Hospital Dan Marino Center in Weston, Florida.  The program moved to a private setting in 2000, which also allowed for serving adults.

2.     Please describe the staff that work at your program in terms of their backgrounds, credentials and experience?

Our Intensive Treatment Program staff is comprised of licensed clinical psychologists who are trained in the treatment of OCD and related conditions.  Dr. Hoffman and Dr. Moritz are the Clinical Directors at NBI.  Combined, they have over 45 years of experience treating children, adolescents, and adults with pre-morbid to severe OCD.  Dr. Spielman is the Director of Program Services at NBI and has over 15 years of treatment experience with OCD and the Intensive Treatment Program.  In addition, NBI offers a wide range of assessments and consultation services.  Developmental, psychoeducational, and neuropsychological assessments are conducted as part of the program.  In addition to our services for individuals with OCD, NBI also offers treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD’s), Tic Disorders, other Anxiety Disorders, working memory deficits, ADHD, and Mood Disorders.  You can read more about each member of our team below or on www.NBIweston.com.

Jonathan H. Hoffman, Ph.D., ABPP is a licensed psychologist in the States of Florida, New York, and Utah.  He received his first Masters Degree in Psychology from The New School for Social Research. In addition to a second Masters Degree in School Psychology, he holds a Doctoral Degree in Clinical and School Psychology from Hofstra University in New York. This dual curriculum provided the educational and experiential basis for addressing the needs of patients across the lifespan. His dissertation research studied how substance abusers responded to treatment offered in therapeutic communities.  Dr. Hoffman is Board Certified in Cognitive and Behavioral Psychology.  He served as a faculty member for the IOCF Behavior Training Therapy Institute (BTTI).

Dr. Hoffman is the Clinical Director at NeuroBehavioral Institute in Weston, Florida.  Early in his career, Dr. Hoffman gained experience as a school psychologist, police department psychologist, and hospital based clinical psychologist. Subsequently, he practiced for over a decade at the Institute for Bio-Behavioral Therapy and Research in NY. Dr. Hoffman has extensive experience in the treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Related Conditions, Anxiety Disorders, Tic Disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorders/Asperger’s Syndrome, ADHD, Mood Disorders, and Stress.

In addition to having taught at the college level, Dr. Hoffman has consulted for many organizations as well as presented at numerous national and international conferences.  Among other publications, he is the author of “Stuck: Asperger’s Syndrome and Obsessive-Compulsive Behaviors” and “Understanding Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Addiction.”

E. Katia Moritz, Ph.D., ABPP is the Clinical Director of the NeuroBehavioral Institute (NBI) and a Psychoeducational Liaison for Academic Options.  She is a licensed psychologist in the States of Florida and Utah.  Dr. Moritz is Board Certified in Cognitive and Behavioral Psychology.

Dr. Moritz’s first degree in Psychology was from the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She was one of the founders of the first Behavioral Therapy Association in Brazil (ABPMC). After moving to the USA, Dr. Moritz was a visiting professional at the Albert Ellis Institute, where she received training in cognitive therapy. Subsequently, Dr. Moritz earned her Ph.D. in Clinical and School Psychology from Hofstra University in New York. Pursuing her interest in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Dr. Moritz joined the Institute for Bio-Behavioral Therapy and Research were she worked extensively in both inpatient and out patent treatment programs focusing on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Tics, Trichotillomania, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and related conditions. She also participated in many research studies and presented both nationally and internationally.

In Florida, Dr. Moritz established the Anxiety Disorders Program at the Miami Children Hospital (Dan Marino Center), and founded the first Pediatric OCD Support Group in the region. Dr. Moritz was an early researcher in the area of developing innovative treatment approaches for pediatric OCD. Subsequently, she co-founded, together with Dr. Jonathan Hoffman, the NeuroBehavioral Institute (NBI), where her work involves coordinating and treating patients and their families, supervising clinicians and post-doctoral residents, and working with patients undergoing intensive outpatient treatment.

Dr. Moritz is the author of “Working with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in Children” (Audio and Video Training Program), “Forms for Helping Children with OCD”, and “Blink, Blink, Clop, Clop: An OCD Story Book” – English and Spanish versions.  Amongst her many professional activities, Dr. Moritz provides treatment for Portuguese, Spanish, and English speaking children and adults in their native language, in the framework of their cultural backgrounds.  Dr. Moritz is dedicated to educating school personnel on early detection and management of pediatric anxiety and related disorders. Her current research interests concern empirical validation of creative methods to implement Behavioral Therapy in the treatment of OCD, and studying the effectiveness of intensive behavioral treatment protocols for anxiety.

Jason Spielman, Psy.D., a Florida Licensed Clinical Psychologist, is the Director of Program Services at NeuroBehavioral Institute, in South Florida.  He is also associated with the Dan Marino Center, Miami Children’s Hospital. For over a decade, Dr. Spielman has helped individuals and families with psychological problems, specializing in the treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorders, Autistic Spectrum Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Panic Disorder, Tic Disorders, Trichotillomania, and ADHD.  Dr. Spielman is a graduate of the International Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Foundation Pediatric Behavior Therapy Training Institute (IOCDF PBTTI). Dr. Spielman established the “Face Your Fear Of” Program that helps people conquer their fear of flying.  He facilitates the Adult OCD Support Group in Boca Raton, Florida and the Children and Families OCD Support Group in Weston, Florida along with his colleagues at NBI.  Dr. Spielman is on the Scientific Advisory Board for the P.A.N.D.A.S Network, the Secretary and Treasurer of the Broward Chapter of the Florida Psychological Association, and a Federal Key Psychologist.

Dr. Spielman received his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of South Florida, his Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology from the Miami Institute of Psychology, and his Doctoral Degree in Clinical Psychology from Carlos Albizu University in Miami.  He completed his pre-doctoral training at the Bradley Center of St. Francis, in Columbus, Georgia, working in the inpatient and outpatient treatment facilities of the hospital.  He then completed his post-doctoral training with the Florida Department of Corrections at Union Correctional Institution and Florida State Prison as a Senior Prison Psychologist.  Dr. Spielman has both primary and advanced training certifications in REBT and CBT from the Albert Ellis Institute.  His dissertation focused on how gender bias effects graduate school student therapists.  Additionally, Dr. Spielman teaches a variety of psychology courses in the Department of Behavioral Sciences at Nova Southeastern University.  He also presents at numerous national conferences with topics such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorders and Related Conditions, Autistic Spectrum Disorders/Asperger’s Syndrome, Parenting Strategies, and Social Anxiety.

3.     Is this program devoted entirely to treating individuals with OCD or will other OCD spectrum disorders or anxiety disorders also be addressed?

At NeuroBehavioral Institute, individuals can seek treatment for all OCD Spectrum Disorders, including Tourette’s Disorder, Trichotillomania, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Hoarding, and Body-focused Repetitive Behavior Disorders.  In addition, NBI offers services for Autism Spectrum Disorders, a variety of Anxiety Disorders such as Panic Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder, other neurobiologically based conditions such as Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder, and childhood conditions such as Oppositional Defiant Disorder.  More importantly, NeuroBehavioral Institute emphasizes the early identification and treatment of children with signs of neurobiologically based conditions such as OCD.

4.     Please describe the core treatment components of your program (e.g., use of medication, ERP, group therapy, etc.).

Our practice emphasizes evidence-based treatments tailored to the specific needs of each patient.  In the case of our intensive treatment program for OCD, treatment is designed based on the Complete Clinical Diagnostic Evaluation (description below).  Treatment regularly includes individual CBT sessions, psycho-education, Exposure and Response Prevention (ER/P) training, ER/P in game format, parent training, family therapy, ER/P in naturalistic settings, coping skills training, and relapse prevention.  When possible, sessions are scheduled with other patients and their parents in order to enhance treatment gains and to provide a network of support.  Due to the nature of OCD and many other neurobiologically based conditions, medication assessments are often warranted.  We have developed a strong working relationship with many psychiatrists and neurologists in the area that specialize in OCD and Related Conditions.

5.     Please describe the treatment planning process at your program.

The treatment planning process for a general referral to NBI begins with a Psychological Consultation and Evaluation that entails an initial meeting(s) with a licensed psychologist for the purpose of obtaining a professional opinion and recommendations for the adult or child’s presenting issues. The core of the process is a semi-structured clinical interview that reviews the current situation in detail, past or present treatments, medical and psychiatric history of the identified patient and their family, developmental history, psychosocial history, and patient and/or family goals. In addition, the Consultation and Evaluation involves a readiness for change evaluation.  NBI psychologists will also gather information with formal assessments, and refer for full psychological test batteries when appropriate. Based on the findings of this process, the psychologist will provide the patient with feedback as well as any diagnostic or prognostic impressions. Treatment recommendations may include referrals for intensive therapy, individual psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, home visits, home and/or school behavioral observations, support groups, psychological testing, or consultation with another health professional (e.g. psychiatrist, neurologist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, placement specialist). For complex cases or for intensive therapy candidates, NBI clinical staff meets as a treatment team to discuss and plan an individualized treatment program.  Throughout the course of treatment, progress is tracked by self-report and often with objective measures.  As needed, treatment modality may vary throughout treatment with the addition of services such as home visits.

The treatment planning process for an intensive treatment program begins with a Complete Clinical Diagnostic Evaluation that entails initial meetings with two licensed psychologists, home/natural environment observations, parenting assessment, videotape review, objective assessments, and review of medical and psychological records.  Based on this information, a report and recommendations for care for the intensive program and after will be provided.

6.     If someone has a co-morbid condition, can he or she participate in your program? Will there be treatment for the co-morbid condition? If so, can you give an example?

Yes.  It has been our experience that co-morbid conditions are often the norm, not the exception when it comes to individuals with OCD and related conditions.  Our intensive program is individually tailored in order to address a patient’s full symptom profile.  NBI’s clinical staff is trained in the provision of evidence-based treatment strategies in order to properly address a number of common co-morbid conditions.  In the case that there is a co-morbid condition that necessitates specialized care outside of our expertise, then an appropriate referral will be made and follow-up care offered.

7.     Are parents, family members, friends, teachers, etc. included in the treatment? If yes, please describe how.

Yes.  Children and adolescents with OCD are often brought for care when family, friends, and teachers are exacerbated by the individual’s OCD symptoms such as when the individual with OCD involves family in their rituals or when their inflexibility causes the family much strife. We believe that everyone involved in the individual’s life can and will be (as much as they desire) involved in the individual’s treatment in order to support them.  Education about OCD is important for the family as OCD affects all concerned. We typically involve parents in sessions with children and often with adolescents as much as they are able and willing to participate.  Families can learn specific ways to encourage the person with OCD by supporting the medication regimen and cognitive behavioral therapy. In some instances, family and friends can actually help out as “coaches.”  In addition, NBI staff has run a free monthly OCD support group for children, adolescents, and their family members since 1998. We also facilitate or co-facilitate free support groups for adults with OCD in Palm Beach County and Miami-Dade County as well as for children and their families with Tourette’s Syndrome.

8.     How often do patients in the program meet with staff individually? How long are these individual sessions?

All treatment is individualized for each patient.  We inform patient’s after their initial consultation of the appropriate treatment dosage be it once a week or 5 times a week.  Depending on the patient’s symptom severity and their schedule, we collaboratively schedule a treatment plan.  Individual sessions may run from 45 minutes to multiple hours.  For an intensive treatment program, multiple 90-minute sessions are typically scheduled per day with different NBI psychologists.

9.     Is there a set time period for a patient’s treatment in the program? What is the overall time commitment to the program (for example, attend daily for three weeks)? How much flexibility is there in extending someone’s stay if needed?

Although our typical intensive treatment program runs between two to eight weeks, the program is designed to meet each individual’s needs that may necessitate additional days or weeks.  A typical program is scheduled between three to five days a week for a minimum of 3 hours each day.  We discuss at length with each patient and their family the rationale for the recommended length of treatment and expectations for treatment.

10.  Is there a homework or “self directed” component to the treatment?

Yes.  There is homework assigned at the end of each day for the patient to complete between sessions.  Homework is an essential component of treatment as it provides an opportunity for generalization of skills learned in session as well as an indicator of future adherence to treatment when the program ends.

11.  Please describe the relapse prevention strategies you use in your program.

Relapse prevention is considered from day one.  At NBI, we aim for generalization of skills to the patient’s day-to-day life and are aware that lapses are an inevitable aspect of normal life.  We prepare patients for lapses by providing them with the education, training, and guidance needed for them to design their own exposure exercises and use their cognitive coping skills to address lapses in treatment.  Before treatment ends, these skills are practiced.  The goal is for the patient to be able to cope with a lapse on their own or identify the need for booster sessions before their lapse becomes a relapse.

12.  What kind of follow-up do you do for those who complete your program?  Will the members or your treatment team be in contact with or willing to consult with the individual’s regular treatment provider(s)?

We recommend that patients receive follow-up services in order to maintain treatment gains when they return to a normal schedule. We offer booster sessions (in person or over the phone or via videoconferencing technology as appropriate) as well as referrals for continued services locally (if available).  We work collaboratively with treating professionals in the community and facilitate referrals for those non-local patients who have completed their treatment at NBI.

13.  Do you offer a sliding fee scale or scholarships for those who cannot afford your program?

NBI is a fee-for-service clinic.  We do assist patients who choose to submit claims to their insurance providers.  For those who do not have insurance and whose family income is up to three times the Federal Poverty Level, we will provide financial assistance on a sliding scale.  The determination to offer financial assistance is based on completion of an application for Financial Assistance and document review by NBI.

14.  Does your program only work with individuals who are local or are there arrangements for those who come from farther away (for example, lodging arrangements)?

NBI’s Intensive Treatment Programs were developed to meet the needs of local, out-of-town and international children, adolescents, and adults as an alternative to in-patient treatment. It was designed to provide participants with the level of services and education necessary to address their current symptoms and improve their level of functioning. The program was developed to meet the needs of those who lack access to specialized care where they reside, or whose symptom severity requires intensive care. This program was also designed for those children, adolescents, or adults who have not benefited sufficiently from prior treatment or desire to accelerate their course of treatment.  For out-of-town patients, we assist them and their family in planning their stay, including travel and hotel reservations.  Several hotel and restaurant options are within walking distance to our office.

15.  Please add any information you think would be helpful in describing the unique aspects of your program if this has not been covered in the questions above.

Doctoral level psychologists who have received specific training in the treatment of OCD as well as for many other OC related conditions provide direct clinical services and any necessary psychological assessments.  Our treatment programs are customized for each individual, while maintaining integrity to core Cognitive Behavioral Therapy principles and the available evidence base. NBI staff work collaboratively, emphasizing a team approach whenever feasible.  Fully aware that each individual has unique aspects, we seek to tailor services to not only provide symptom relief, but also to promote the development of the most fully actualized level of functioning and happiness possible for each of our patients.  Therefore, we often refer for adjunctive services that may benefit the whole person (e.g. nutritional counseling). NBI services often do not end when the intensive program ends.  We offer patients a number of follow-up options such as booster sessions/relapse prevention (in person or via phone/videoconferencing, when appropriate).