The 22nd Annual OCD Conference Recap

The Houston OCD Program team was present at the 22nd Annual OCD Conference hosted by the International OCD Foundation in Boston, from July 31- August 2. This year’s OCD Conference was very successful and broke an all time attendance record with almost 1,700 people attending or present. It was a wonderful opportunity for our team to meet former clients, connect with treatment providers, as well as individuals with OCD and their families.

The Program Director, Thröstur Björgvinsson PhD, ABPP as well as Behavior Therapists Christen Sistrunk, LPC, and Jennifer Sy, PhD, collaborated on several interesting talks at the conference.

20150731_084340On Friday Dr. Sy collaborated with Neil Kirkpatrick, PhD, and Kimberly Stevens, MA (former practicum student at the Houston OCD Program) on a talk entitled “Building Your Exposure Toolkit: Developing Creative Exposures to Enhance Outcomes”. This talk was a great resource for clients and providers who are looking for fresh ideas for exposures.

On Saturday, Jennifer Sy, PhD, and Christen Sistrunk, LPC presented on the topic “Anger and OCD: Why It Happens and What to Do About It” with John Hart, PhD, research co-director at the Houston OCD program and a clinician at the Menninger Clinic. Jennifer and Christen also worked with kids and adolescents at the conference on “The Game of Life After Treatment: How Kids Can Be Most Prepared”. This interactive game was a fun and informative experience for children and families on how to be prepared for life after treatment.

20150801_145510Dr. Björgvinsson participated in a panel of experts and OCD survivors on a discussion on “Life After OCD: The Hidden Challenges of Recovery” with Barbara Van Noppen, PhD, LCSW, Aureen Wagner, PhD, and Chris Trondsen. In addition, Dr. Björgvinsson presented with other experts on families and OCD and the presentation was titled “Hot Topics: Current Research in Family Responses to OCD and Implications for Treatment”. His co-presenters were Barbara Van Noppen, PhD, LCSW, Bradley C. Riemann, PhD, C. Alec Pollard, PhD, and Anthony Pinto, PhD. This discussion, lead by Gail Steketee, PhD, included exciting research findings on Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) for researchers, treatment providers, and clients.

20150801_114835Overall the Houston OCD Program had a very successful trip to the 22nd Annual OCD Conference connecting with so many people who have completed treatment at the program and hearing about the exciting things they are doing post-treatment. We learned a lot through attending interesting talks and listening to inspiring survivor stories. We also had a chance to interact with family members and clients that visited Milieu Manager Eeva Edds, MA, LPC-Intern, at the Houston OCD Program information booth. Eeva provided information for those interested in the program and treatment options. We also had the opportunity to share news about the exciting changes coming to the Houston OCD Program, such as the move to our new facility on August 22nd. We are looking forward to attending next year’s conference in Chicago and hope you will join us!