With Short, Intense Sessions, Some Patients Finish Therapy in Just Weeks

With Short, Intense Sessions, Some Patients Finish Therapy in Just Weeks

Six middle- and high-school students sat around a table on a Monday afternoon, watching a psychologist write three letters on a whiteboard: O-C-D. “What does O.C.D. stand for?” the psychologist, Avital Falk, asked the group. “Obsessive-compulsive disorder,” answered a timid 12-year-old boy wearing a blue blazer and red tie. “What makes it a disorder?” Dr. Falk asked. “Because it’s messing up our lives,” said Sydney, a chatty 14-year-old with long red hair. These young people have O.C.D., an illness characterized by recurrent, intrusive thoughts and repetitive behaviors, or other problems with anxiety. They also are participants in a novel treatment...

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