2018 BTTI Training in Houston

(From left) Chad Brandt, Ph.D., Psychologist at the Houston OCD Program, and Ana Ince, M.Ed., LPC, former staff at Houston OCD Program get ready to welcome BTTI trainees with Wilhelm Engelbrecht, Office and Program Coordinator at IOCDF

Specialty OCD Training in Houston!

The Behavior Therapy Training Institute (BTTI) was recently sponsored by the Houston OCD Program in January 2018.  It is an intensive 3-day training that 28 clinicians from around the United States attended to learn a specialized evidence-based treatment intervention for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). This treatment, Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), is truly the gold standard for treating OCD. Unfortunately, there is a real shortage of therapists that can provide effective ERP in the US and as a result many people with OCD do not receive adequate care. To ensure quality care is accessible to more persons in need BTTI aims to improve assessment and treatment skills for psychologists, social workers, and psychiatrists.

Day 1

Dr. Alec Pollard began the BTTI by discussing the Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) treatment model and ways to apply this treatment method to different those with different OCD symptoms. After the first day of the training, the Houston OCD Program and OCD Texas co-sponsored a reception for clinicians to meet and learn from each other.


Pictured at the reception (from left) are Ana Ince, MA, former staff at Houston OCD Program, Saharah Shrout, MA, Program Manager, Houston OCD Program, Dr. Wagner, Dr. Thröstur Björgvinsson, Program Director, Houston OCD Program, Christen Sistrunk, MA, Co-director, OCD Texas (and former therapist at Houston OCD Program), Wilhelm Engelbrecht, Office and Program Coordinator, IOCDF, and Angela Smith, PhD, Psychologist at the Houston OCD Program.

Day 2

Dr. Joyce Davidson discussed pharmacology strategies for OCD. She included data about first line treatments, such as SSRIs, and newer techniques, including deep brain stimulation and transcranial magnetic stimulation.

Dr. Aureen Wagner discussed tailoring treatment intervention for children and adolescents. She described her worry hill model, case examples, and family involvement in treatment with children.

The training continued with a lecture on illness anxiety disorder by Dr. Thröstur Björgvinsson. Dr. Björgvinsson defined health anxiety and effective ways to treat it, as well as demonstrating creative ways to implement effective exposures with response prevention.

Dr. Suzanne Mouton-Odum presented on tic disorders as well as hair pulling disorder (Trichotillomania) and skin picking disorder (Excoriation). She discussed the assessment and treatment strategies effective for these disorders. Dr. Alec Pollard concluded the second day by discussing treatment interfering behaviors, which are the challenges that interfere with clients’ abilities to participate in treatment.


Day 3

OCD Experts from across the country and BTTI attendees meet at the Houston OCD Program to practice ERP skills for OCD treatment!

On the last day of BTTI, six advanced clinicians with expertise in treating OCD, supervised small groups of the training participants. Participants had the opportunity to discuss a current case with OCD. The clinical experts provided feedback for the clinical cases. Each trainee must have three additional phone or skype supervision sessions with their advanced clinician in order to be certified by the BTTI as an appropriate provider for OCD treatment.