Intensive Outpatient Program for Adolescents

Intensive Outpatient Program for Adolescents

What is the MedStar Health Intensive Outpatient program for adolescents?

Our intensive outpatient program for adolescents is for patients ages 13-17 who need more support than traditional once-a-week outpatient therapy can provide. Our mission is to inspire a pathway to wellness by teaching healthy coping skills, exploring identity, and building community through diverse, fun, and engaging programming in an open and accepting space.

What is an intensive outpatient program?

An intensive outpatient program (IOP) provides a higher level of care than traditional once-a-week individual therapy but is less intensive than inpatient hospitalization. Our program includes 3 hours of group therapy 3 days a week, with additional individual and family therapy, psychiatry services, and parent support. The program curriculum runs on a 12-week cycle.

Our team includes experienced psychiatrists, therapists, social workers, and care coordinators. Group therapy topics include dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness, executive function, connection to nature, relationships, nutrition, and more.

Who is eligible for the adolescent IOP?

If a person is between the ages of 13 and 17 and has been struggling with their mental health, they may be eligible for IOP. Often people are referred to an IOP after discharge from an inpatient hospital or partial hospitalization program, or they are referred by their outpatient psychiatrist or therapist. Sometimes an IOP is the first step in a person’s mental health journey.

Diagnoses our program can help to treat/support include:

  • Depression 
  • Anxiety 
  • Bipolar disorder 
  • Psychosis 
  • ADHD and other executive functioning disorders 
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder 
  • Social skills deficits 
  • High functioning autism spectrum disorders

With substance use disorders or disordered eating, a different service sometimes needs to be the first step before joining an IOP focused on general mental health. If this is the case, our team can provide references to sites that provide those specialized services.

How do I get started?

If you believe you or your child may be a good fit for our program, call 202-944-5400 and follow the prompts for scheduling and intensive outpatient services and state that you are interested in the adolescent IOP. Note that IOP patients must be able to attend all weekly group components, which occur Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 3 to 6 p.m. at our office at 2115 Wisconsin Ave NW. Attending the full 9 hours of group therapy weekly is a mandatory component of the program. At least one parent or caregiver must also be able to attend the once-a-week parent session on Thursdays, this is also a mandatory program component.

You will be asked a few screening questions over the phone, and if eligible, you will be scheduled for an evaluation with our program coordinator. In that evaluation, you can also discuss care needs, treatment recommendations, and further details about the program, and the coordinator can answer any questions.

What can I expect?

Once you have completed the intake evaluation, we have received authorization from your insurance, and you are accepted into the program, the parent/caregiver and child will receive consent forms and intake documents to complete before the first day of programming. You will be assigned a psychiatrist to schedule a psychiatric evaluation and a therapist to see weekly during the program. If you already have an individual therapist who you would like to continue seeing, you may continue your regular visits. 

Groups meet in-person on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m., and psychiatry and therapy visits are completed outside of these hours, either virtually or in person. Groups will typically have 6 to 10 adolescents at a time. Cell phones are not allowed during group meetings. There are breaks between each group, when members can use the bathroom, check their phones, etc.

See a sample schedule below:

   Monday  Wednesday  Thursday 
3 to 3:50 p.m. Executive function skills  Nutrition Mindfulness
3:50 to 4 p.m. Break Break Break
4 to 4:50 p.m.  Psychoeducation CBT Process group (adolescents) + Parent-Only group 
4:50 to 5 p.m. Break Break Break
5 to 5:50 p.m. Mindfulness DBT skills in Nature Joint Parent-Child group

Meet our team

  • Olivia Hamrah, MD

    Olivia HamrahOlivia Hamrah, MD is a child and adolescent psychiatrist and a medical director of the Adolescent IOP. Dr. Hamrah completed medical school at Georgetown University School of Medicine, her adult psychiatry training at UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and her child psychiatry fellowship at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. Prior to her medical training, Dr. Hamrah taught middle school physics and math at a public charter school in Washington, DC.

    She is passionate about bringing accessible, high quality mental health care to DC to foster wellness in young people and equip them to navigate their lives in healthy ways. Click here to view her provider profile.

  • Swati Chanani, MD

    Swati ChananiSwati Chanani, MD, is a child and adolescent psychiatrist and medical director for the IOP. Dr. Chanani completed a child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at The Johns Hopkins University and a psychiatry residency at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Chanani received her medical degree from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Prior to that, she graduated magna cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis earning an A.B. in Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology.

    Dr. Chanani has an interest in working with adolescents and young adults to help them achieve their goals and transition into successful adults. Click here to view her provider profile.

  • Rachel Neurohr, LGPC, NCC

    Rachel Neurohr, LGPC, NCC, is a mental health counselor and Care Coordinator of the Adolescent IOP. Rachel received her master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from George Washington University and is licensed to practice in Washington, DC. Her counseling experience includes college counseling, substance abuse and addiction therapy, counseling children and teens with chronic illness, and working in DC community mental health.

  • Michael Brachfeld, PhD

    Michael BrachfeldMichael Brachfeld, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital Department of Psychiatry. He has experience providing clinical services in schools, community mental health centers, university clinics, and hospitals.  His clinical interests focus on promoting positive academic and social-emotional outcomes for children and adolescents.

    Dr. Brachfeld is passionate about providing treatment for a range of psychological disorders including anxiety disorders, ADHD, and autism spectrum disorder, among other diagnoses. Dr. Brachfeld also has extensive experience working with parents to increase the utilization of positive, consistent, and effective parenting practices. Click here to view his provider profile.

  • Michelle Sobon, PsyD, MBA, ABSNP

    Michelle SobonDr. Michelle Sobon has dedicated her career to the prevention and treatment of learning and mental health disorders among children and their families by improving children and teens’ relationship with their caregivers and school-based experiences. Dr. Sobon is an assistant professor of clinical psychiatry and licensed clinical psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in clinic child psychology and board certification in school neuropsychology. Dr. Sobon is excited to be on the Intensive Outpatient team and support your teen and family’s treatment goals.

    Click here to view her provider profile.

  • Travis Spencer

    Travis Spencer is a mental health therapist and mindfulness teacher/facilitator. Additionally, Travis is a mental health coordinator for Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (IBme) retreats in Virginia and in California. Travis has established The Institute of African American Mindfulness (IAAM), The Mindful Teen Circles (MTC) at Georgetown, The Mindful Teens of Color at Taratibu Youth Association (TYA) and is an active member of the Early Childhood Innovation Network (ECIN). He is a graduate of Trinity Washington University with a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

  • Marika Martin-Coleman, PhD, LCMFT, CFLE

    Dr. Marika Martin, PhD, LCMFT, CFLE is a Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist and a Certified Family Life Educator who has worked with couples, individuals, and families for over seventeen years. Dr. Martin is a therapist in the Department of Psychiatry at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. Dr. Martin believes it is a privilege to be part of an individual’s mental health journey. She does not take her role for granted, as she knows that each person she approaches is the expert of his or her life. A systems thinker, Dr. Martin appreciates working with her patients from a holistic perspective.

    Click here to view her provider profile.

  • Willa Xiong, MD

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