Twenty years after the first conference was held in a small hotel in Bloomington, Minnesota, the Annual OCD Conference has become an international event, bringing together mental health professionals, researchers and experts from around the world, and individuals with OCD and their family members, to discuss the most recent findings related to the treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and related disorders. This year, over 1,100 people are expected to attend the 20th Annual OCD Conference in Downtown Atlanta hosted by the International OCD Foundation.
“OCD affects 1 in 100 adults around the world, yet it remains little understood in the general public, and this lack of awareness and prevailing mental health stigma make it very difficult for those with OCD and related disorders to gain access to effective, appropriate treatment,” explains Jeff Szymanski, PhD, executive director of the International OCD Foundation. “This conference not only provides an opportunity for individuals and their family members to learn about the latest treatment advances, but also provides a critical continuing education opportunity for psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals to learn how to effectively treat OCD and related disorders.”
This year’s Keynote speaker, Shala Nicely, a Georgia native, is a perfect example of how the Annual OCD Conference has the ability to transform lives. Nicely first attended the conference in 2010 as an individual with severe OCD in need of resources, information, and support. Just 3 years later, she has just received her Masters in Mental Health Counseling and is now an associate counselor specializing in treating individuals with OCD. Her Keynote Address on Saturday morning will take conference attendees through her journey from OCD sufferer to accomplished professional and OCD advocate.
New this year, the 20th Annual OCD Conference is offering a Special Hoarding Program dedicated to research about and treatment of hoarding disorder (HD). Beginning with two pre-conference professional training seminars on the treatment of HD, and culminating with a 2-day workshop track, including support groups for individuals with HD and their family members, this program features presentations from leading HD experts such as Gail Steketee, PhD, and Randy Frost, PhD.
In addition, Katharine Phillips, MD, will address the professional community at Friday evening’s Plenary to discuss the impacts of the newly published DSM-V to the OCD and Related Disorders field. Dr. Phillips is a Professor of Psychiatry at Brown University, and served as Chair of the Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Spectrum of Post-Traumatic and Dissociative Disorders Work Group for the DSM-V.
Other conference offerings include a new track dedicated to Young Adults with OCD, which will feature workshops about such issues such as navigating transitions into college and careers and the challenges of dating with OCD; a special mini-track conducted entirely in Spanish for Latinos with anxiety disorders and OCD; a mini-track dedicated to PANDAS/PANS; and 4 days of workshops, activities, support groups, and other events for the entire OCD community.
The 20th Annual OCD Conference takes place Thursday, July 18th through Sunday, July 21st at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. Onsite Registration begins on Thursday at 12pm. To learn more, visit http://ocd2013.org.
About the International OCD Foundation
The mission of the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) is to help individuals with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) to live full and productive lives. Our aim is to increase access to effective treatment, end the stigma associated with mental health issues, and foster a community for those affected by OCD and the professionals who treat them.
Based in Boston, the IOCDF has affiliates in 22 states and territories, as well as 6 Global Partners. The IOCDF was founded as the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation in 1986. Now in its 27th year, the organization has an over $1.5 million annual operating budget, has granted millions of dollars for OCD research, and is a vital resource for the estimated 1 in 100 individuals with OCD around the world. For more information, visit http://iocdf.org.