About Us

The clinicians at the OCD & Anxiety Program of Southern California, located in Los Angeles, deliver individualized evidence-based treatment for individuals struggling with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), anxiety disorders, Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Disorders, phobias, and depression. The therapists specialize in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), particularly Exposure and Response Prevention (E/RP), which is considered to be the gold standard for the treatment of anxiety and related disorders. The treatment team also utilizes other effective treatment interventions, such as mindfulness and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Additionally, in the Fall of 2023 and Spring of 2024, our entire treatment team was also trained in delivering Bergen 4 Day Treatment and in using the effective treatment techniques that are used in that treatment format.

Most recently, in the Fall of 2023 and Spring of 2024, our entire treatment team was also trained in delivering Bergen 4 Day Treatment and in using the effective treatment techniques that are used in that treatment format.

Patients and staff work collaboratively. The cognitive-behavior therapist and patient design the treatment plan together and then work to implement it in realistic situations. Home visit options are also available. By engaging in treatment in real life settings the therapists maximize treatment effectiveness and build confidence in the individual to maintain treatment gains post discharge.

We offer Outpatient and Intensive Outpatient Services:

  • The Intensive Outpatient Programs are designed for clients who are either unable to access outpatient treatment or are not benefiting from their current outpatient treatment.
  • The Outpatient Clinic at the OCD & Anxiety Program of Southern California provides diagnostic and treatment consultations, and evidence-based individual CBT for children, adolescents, and adults.

Part of the OCD & Anxiety Program of Southern California’s mission is to advance treatment outcome research in the field of anxiety disorders. These findings demonstrate that our clients, in general, benefit greatly from receiving treatment in our treatment programs that are designed to fit their individual needs.

Program History

Dr. Naomi Zwecker, PhD, and Dr. Thröstur Björgvinsson, PhD, ABPP co-founded the OCD and Anxiety Program of Southern California in 2016 in order to provide specialized, evidence based and compassionate care to people in the Los Angeles area. They are passionate about providing effective evidence-based treatment for OCD and anxiety.  Collectively, they have over 40 years of experience in treating anxiety disorders.  They focus on building a team of well-trained expert clinicians and creating a warm and compassionate environment that fosters a collaborative team approach.

The OCD & Anxiety Program of Southern California offers intensive outpatient for both adults and adolescents as well as outpatient services. Beginning in the Fall of 2023 and in collaboration with the Bergen 4 Day Treatment team based in Norway, they trained the entire team at the OCD & Anxiety Program of Southern California in delivering the Bergen 4 Day Treatment (B4DT). In 2024, the Los Angeles based team will participate in training of international teams in delivering the B4DT. The teams that have signed up so far for 2024 are teams from Quito, Ecuador; Nairobi, Kenya and Melbourne, Australia.

The OCD & Anxiety Program of Southern California is the only program to offer the B4DT in the USA and currently is the international training center for teams all over the world to come and receive training in this effective treatment format.

Employment Opportunities

We are seeking applicants for a therapist at the OCD & Anxiety Program of Southern California, located in Santa Monica, CA. The OCD & Anxiety Program is an intensive specialty Cognitive Behavior Therapy focused program. Currently, we offer two levels of care: outpatient services and an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for children, adolescents, and adults. We specialize in the treatment of OCD, anxiety disorders, and depression utilizing cognitive behavioral therapy with a particular emphasis on exposure and response prevention (ERP) for OCD.

The position of Behavior Therapist includes assessing patient’s symptoms and planning and implementing individual cognitive behavioral therapy for outpatients and IOP patients. We also expect the Behavior Therapist to take an active role in our dynamic team, support in our ongoing efforts to improve our therapeutic services, and participate actively our outreach efforts.

We would prefer a candidate with CBT training and experience in treating OCD and anxiety disorders, and ideally, the candidate would have experience working with children, adolescents, and adults. We are looking for a registered psychological assistant in the state of California or LCSW, LMSW, LMFT, or a licensed PsyD or PhD in clinical psychology in the state of California.

Start date:  Immediate

Benefits: Full-time positions include competitive salary, vacation/sick leave, and health insurance. Due to the demands of our services, we also offer various part-time options.

To apply: Send a statement of interest, curriculum vitae, and letters of reference to: nzwecker@socalocd.org.

Recent Publications and Presentations from the team at the OCD & Anxiety Program of Southern California focusing on ways to enhance treatment efficacy and international dissemination of treatments.

Presentations

Publications

  • Lee, E., Wetterneck, C., McIngvale, E., Williams, M., & Björgvinsson, T. (in press). Rethinking unacceptable thoughts: Validation of an expanded version of the dimensional obsessive-compulsive scale (DOCS). Behavior Therapy.
  • Godfrey, A., Heinrich, A., McIngvale, E., Sy, J., Wheaton, M., & Björgvinsson, T. (in press). Improvement in Distress Tolerance as a mechanism of symptom reduction during intensive exposure and response prevention based treatment for OCD. Behavior Therapy.
  • Kvale, G., Hansen, B., Björgvinsson, T., Børtveit, T., Hagen, K., Haseth, S., Beate Kristensen, U., Launes, G., Ressler, K. J., Solem, S., Strand, A., van den Heuvel, O. A., & Öst, L. G. (2018). Successfully treating 90 patients with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in eight days: The Bergen 4-day treatment. BMC Psychiatry, 18, 1-9.
  • Davíðsdóttir, S., Sigurjónsdóttir, Ó., Ludvigsdóttir, S., Hansen, B., Laukvik, I., Hagen, K., Björgvinsson, T., & Kvale G. (2019). Implementation of the Bergen 4-day treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder in Iceland. Clinical Neuropsychiatry, 16, 33-38.
  • Klein, K., Harris, E., Björgvinsson, T., & Kertz S. (2020). A network analysis of symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Depression in a clinical sample. Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders, 27(2), 100556. doi: 10.1016/j.jocrd.2020.100556
  • Wetterneck, C., Rouleau, T., Williams, M., Valley, A., La Torre, J., & Björgvinsson, T. (2021). A New Scrupulosity Scale for the Dimensional Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (DOCS): validation with clinical and non-clinical samples. Behavior Therapy, 52(6), 1449-1463. doi: 10.1016/j.beth.2021.04.001
  • Wheaton, M., Ward, H., Silber, A., McIngvale, E., & Björgvinsson, T. (2021). How is the COVID-19 pandemic affecting individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) symptoms? Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 81, 102410. doi:10.1016/j.janxdis.2021.102410
  • Snorrason, I., Keuthen, N., Lee, H-J., Beard, C., & Björgvinsson, T. (2022). Skin picking scale-revised: diagnostic accuracy and optimal cut-off scores in the university and psychiatry settings. Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders, 34(9), 100743. doi:10.1016/j.jocrd.2022.100743
  • Wheaton, M., McIngvale, E., Van Meter, A., & Björgvinsson, T. (2023). Quality of the therapeutic working alliance as a factor in intensive residential treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Psychiatry Research, 33(4), 442-454. doi: 10.1080/10503307.2022.2138618
  • Hjelle, K., Eide, T., Thorsen, A., Kvale, G., Hagen, K., Snorrason, I., Björgvinsson, T., & Hansen B. (2023). The Bergen 4-day treatment for panic disorder: adapting to COVID-19 restrictions with a hybrid approach of face-to-face and videoconference modalities. BMC Psychiatry, 23, 570. doi.org/10.1186/s12888-023-05062-7

Clients Testimonials

I’m a doctor and I have suffered from OCD since I was a kid. Four days with the OCD team in 2014 changed my life. Since then I have been able to complete my training as a cardiologist, and I have followed their research and been part of their Scientific Advisory Board. All I can say is: If you suffer from OCD and get the opportunity be a part of the Bergen 4-day treatment: Take it!