Behavioral Medicine Unit : About

The Behavioral Medicine Unit at Ochsner Medical Center is a treatment program for individuals faring psychological and/or psycho-physiological problems requiring more intensive treatment than traditional outpatient therapy and medication management. The highly structured day program is designed to assist patients with their current psychological and medical issues while teaching them the skills necessary for achieving and maintaining greater health and well-being.

Behavior Medicine Program

Many patients in the program experience problems such as:

  • PTSD
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Panic Attacks and Phobias
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Heart Disease and Related Disorders
  • Chronic Pain
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Chronic Tension
  • Marital Distress
  • Vocational Difficulties
  • Obesity

Program Structure

A multidisciplinary team, consisting of psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, social workers, and psychiatric nurses, addresses the broad scope of patients needs. New patients receive a thorough assessment that includes a psychiatric interview, a review of their medical history, and psychological testing when indicated. If needed, meetings are conducted with the referring professional or family members.

In collaboration with the patient, the team develops and implements an individualized treatment plan, which can be modified based upon the patient's progress in the program. The patient plays an active role in the treatment planning which facilitates greater participation and compliance with the program. The team strives to create a therapeutic environment on the unit that patients experience as safe and welcoming. Under these conditions, patients have the opportunity to express themselves freely and draw support from their interpersonal relationships with the staff and peers.

Through their active participation in the program, patients are taught ways to take personal responsibility for their overall health and well-being.

The program consists of individual and group therapy, along with educational classes and support groups. Patients participate in individual therapy with the psychiatrist and/or psychologist and group therapy with the psychologists, social workers, and nurses. These sessions are designed to facilitate the development of skills to assist in regaining a higher level of functioning and enhancing their quality of life long-term. Topics covered include stress management, cognitive restructuring, assertiveness, communication skills, behavioral health and relapse prevention. Additional classes address the important issues of relaxation training, spirituality, healthy eating and physical activity.

Continuity of Care

A critical element emphasized in the Behavioral Medicine Program is the need for ongoing maintenance of the gains made while active in treatment. Therefore, all patients are strongly encouraged to participate in aftercare activities such as individual counseling or the Behavioral Medicine Program's aftercare groups.

Enrollment

To enroll in the Behavioral Medicine Program, call 504-842-7350 or call the Department of Psychiatry at 504-842-4025 or toll-free at 1-800-231-1969 and ask for the Behavioral Medicine Unit.

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