June 18 – 22nd UF Health Medical Psychology and the Center for OCD, Anxiety, and Related Disorders, hosted week one of the Second Annual Fear Facers Summer Camp.
The campers were children between the ages of 7 and 15 with obsessive-compulsive disorder and/or anxiety. They spent a week with medical and academic experts and counselors engaging in a number of fun but teachable activities to help them work through some of their personal challenges.On Thursday, three student athletes from the University of Florida Gymnastics, Swimming, and Basketball teams stopped by to talk about performance and academic anxieties and how they cope when these feelings arise. The Santa Fe Teaching Zoo also came by for a some exposure therapy, showing off and therapeutic campers about some of the snakes, turtles and spiders that can be found in the Florida wilderness.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder affects over 2 million individuals in the United States. During the Fear Facers Summer Camp, participants benefit from intensive treatment featuring cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, which has been shown to reduce symptoms by at least 50 percent.
CBT exposes triggers and teaches people to resist compulsions, with 85 percent of patients experiencing positive results. People are taught to respond to anxious thoughts in an adaptive and realistic manner.
The OCD Program at UF Health Medical Psychology offers intensive outpatient and weekly CBT treatments with pharmacological treatment coordinated as needed. Over an average of three weeks, patients meet with their designated therapists and receive assignments that encourage therapeutic exercises. The care team continues to work with the children and their families after the program ends by collaborating with other health care providers and caretakers.
Check out some of the photos from camp below!