The Rothman Center for Pediatric Neuropsychiatry at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and the University of South Florida features programs to help children with a wide range of psychiatric, behavioral and neurocognitive conditions. The Rothman Center is a Tourette Association of America Center of Excellence.
Our clinic provides comprehensive psychiatric, behavioral and neurocognitive evaluations to:
Psychiatric evaluations consist of a detailed medical history, neurological examination, and an interview with the individual and his or her family to assess psychosocial functioning. This clinic offers expertise and consultation on the role of immune function and nutrition in neuropsychiatric symptoms.
Your first visit will be a diagnostic/initial evaluation so that we can discuss various treatment options with you. We view this initial appointment as an opportunity for you to get to know us, as well – it is our aim for you to understand all decisions we make regarding you/your child’s care.
For out-of-town families considering services (in particular, our intensive program), one of our doctors can discuss the Rothman Center’s programs with you in detail prior to scheduling.
We are offering treatment for Florida residents via telehealth during the COVID-19 Crisis.
To schedule an appointment or to learn more about the Rothman Center, contact us at:
We are located in St. Petersburg, Florida, on the Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital campus.
Parking is in the West Garage, or there is free valet. There are meters to the north side of the building (for a fee). It is about a 2-minute drive or 7-minute walk from our former location at Johns Hopkins All Children's.
Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment Program
Program Director: Adam B. Lewin, Ph.D., ABPP
Faculty: Betty Horng, Ph.D., Omar Rahman, Ph.D., and psychology fellows
Behavioral Treatment Program
Our team offers psychotherapy for OCD, anxiety, Tourette/tics, misophonia, phobias, hair pulling/trichotillomania, skin picking and related disorders. Sessions are individual/family and are generally weekly but can be adjusted based on individual factors and clinician guidance.
A consultation appointment is conducted first to determine if our services are a good match. Our focus is on child/adolescent although we do see some adults who fit our subspecialty. Our team coordinates closely with the medical providers. Our focus is on cognitive behavioral therapy and other evidence-based care.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with Exposure and Response Prevention for OCD
We specialize in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for OCD. CBT is mainly based on two principals: 1) exposure and response prevention, and 2) cognitive therapy. Exposure is described as having the patient face his or her fear. Response prevention follows exposure and involves the patient with OCD refraining from engaging in repetitive, compulsive activities often performed to ease anxiety. Cognitive exercises teach the patient to challenge his/her thought processes. This approach has strong research support.
Our program is all out-patient and offers weekly and intensive treatment options. All therapy is individual (1:1 with your provider) – typically conducted in the context of the family. Parents and family members are integral to maximizing outcomes and we aim to include family members in treatment sessions.
For youth, we focus on training parents to understand and implement exposure and response prevention. Parents and children (and family members if appropriate) are included extensively in determining the treatment plan and throughout the treatment process. With parents, our approach is based on a “Parent as Therapist” model. In other words, we believe that if parents know the theory, nature, and treatment of OCD, then they will be effective figures in maintaining gains and preventing relapse. This education starts in the initial evaluation with the child and his or her family where we provide extensive education about OCD and CBT. For adults, we welcome inclusion of spouses, adult children, or parents with permission from the patient.
Intensive Program: The average duration of treatment in the intensive program is 3 weeks. However, there is usually flexibility to extend in many cases. Some patients elect to seek a shorter duration which can be arranged. The initial visit consists of a diagnostic and problem-focused assessment to best guide treatment. Thereafter, sessions are held once daily, Monday through Friday (except holidays) ranging from 45-75 minutes. A substantial amount of homework (to complete outside of their scheduled therapy sessions) rounds out the program.
In addition to the CBT/behavioral treatment program, the USF Rothman Center has extensive physician services that can be arranged separately (please see below). Medication management is neither required nor included in the intensive behavioral treatment program. In some cases, we may recommend physician consultation due to severity, risk or co-occurring problems that may impede CBT. Out-of-state patients will be considered on a case-by-case basis but not over telehealth.
Who should consider intensive treatment?
We generally recommend intensive treatment for patients who do not have access to local providers with expertise in CBT for OCD. Additionally, intensive treatment may be appropriate for individuals who have not responded to at least one course of CBT with exposure and response prevention. Greater severity might suggest the need for intensive treatment – however, many patients with severe OCD respond to weekly treatment.
For patients whose lives are severely disrupted by OCD (for example, not going to work/school), daily sessions in the intensive treatment may be recommended to potentially speed recovery. If it becomes a concern that a patient cannot safely participate in intensive or weekly outpatient CBT, we can discuss referrals for inpatient or residential treatment. Particularly in the case for local families, our experts can discuss the advantages of intensive vs. weekly CBT during your initial evaluation appointment.
Is a once daily visit "intensive" enough?
Advantages of our program:
- 1:1 therapy (not group-based)
- Doctoral level therapists conduct sessions (if desired, on a limited basis trainee therapists may be available for discounted rates/study-based options)
- Individualized program, based on the specific needs patient/family
- Housed within a leading academic research center with expertise in OCD spectrum disorders
- Clinicians have expertise working with PANS/PANDAS
- Providers have expertise in Tourette/tics, autism and other comorbidities
- Billed as individual/family daily therapy sessions, reducing cost
Other Behavioral Services:
Habit Reversal Therapy:
Habit reversal therapy (HRT) consists of awareness, generalization, and competing response training, and contingency management. At the Rothman Center, we use HRT to treat tic disorders (including Tourette syndrome), hair pulling (trichotillomania), and skin-picking. Our faculty have expertise in HRT and the comprehensive behavioral intervention for tics (CBIT). Week-long intensive outpatient programs of HRT (as well as standard once-weekly sessions) for hair pulling disorder is available under the leadership of expert Omar Rahman, Ph.D., and our team of therapists. The Rothman Center at USF is a Tourette Syndrome Association Center of Excellence.
Team: Dr. Justyna Wojas; Dr. Tanya Murphy; Allison Kennel-Besselieu, APRN, MSN; and psychiatry child and adolescent fellows
The Rothman Center offers specialty physician services which may include consultations, diagnostics, and medication management. Our medical team has expertise in OCD spectrum disorders, Tourette syndrome, autism, and PANS/PANDAS.
Evaluations: Psychiatric evaluations consist of a detailed medical history, neurological examination, and an interview with individual and his or her family to assess psychosocial functioning. The Rothman Center Physicians are one of the few academic groups in the world with expertise in PANS/PANDAS, immune function and nutrition in neuropsychiatric symptoms.
Medical management: If medical treatments are needed, the clinician will aim to minimize side effects and maximize treatment effectiveness. Diagnostic testing may be ordered/performed such as rating scales, interviews, laboratory assessments, cultures, MRIs (externally) and EEGs (externally). Additional medical specialty referral may be facilitated if needed.
Fees and Accommodations
Our services are covered by many private insurance companies. Psychologist and physician services are billed separately if both are received. Unfortunately, Medicaid does not cover services by psychologists in Florida. We do offer a discount for people paying out of pocket and may also have research studies in which people can participate. Our psychotherapy is billed as individual/family psychotherapy sessions, rather than as a program, reducing cost. Please contact our financial specialist at 727-767-8230 for questions regarding insurance/cost.
There are ample affordable accommodations for our out-of-town families. Families often stay at the Ronald McDonald House, which is within walking distance to our facility. Families must request availability from the Ronald McDonald House in advance. There is also an extended stay suite (Staybridge Suites) with in-room cooking facilities within walking distance (request the USF rate). Details can be provided by our office.
Our programs serve people from all over the world. We have had families come from Europe, Asia, and South America to receive treatment, as well as many from most of the states in the U.S. Many families utilize the Ronald McDonald House while others take advantage of many lodging options available in the Tampa Bay area, a tourist destination with numerous hotels and extended stay options. Many families opt to stay at the beach communities approximately 15 minutes west. We are approximately 25 minutes from Tampa International Airport or St. Petersburg/Clearwater International Airport.