Highlights of #OCDCon – the 24th conference of the International Obsessive Compulsive Foundation

Elizabeth Spencer

IOCDF featured: Record-breaking attendance; a new movie about the struggles of children with OCD with many of the children from the movie in attendance; experiential workshops; new research posters; and an opportunity for people with OCD and the people who provide treatment and conduct research to interact.

Small Moments:

I think about small moments – overhearing a young man approach a group of friends and excitedly show off the band aid on his arm: “I gave blood!” he proudly proclaimed, and then explained that he participated in a massive study that is being undertaken to determine the genetic profile of OCD.

Another small moment – during an experiential workshop for hoarding the presenter asked us to organize the contents of our purses or conference tote bags into three categories: Important, modernly important, or unimportant. This was two days into the conference and most of us had visited the vendor booths and picked up numerous stress balls, magnets, and flyers. The presenter did not ask us to discard what we evaluated as unimportant; he just wanted us to recognize what is in our possession that is unimportant. One woman raised her hand in a room of about 50 people and cried, saying she could only consider one napkin in her large bag to be modernly important, everything else was very important, and that she was terrified that he was going to make her throw it away. He reiterated that this was just a sorting exercise; nothing was being thrown away. She seemed only slightly calmer, and looking at my pile of items I recognized as unimportant I truly felt the pain of how hard it must be to have hoarding disorder.

Reid Wilson:

A larger moment came as I watched Reid Wilson, Ph.D., show his “Stopping the Noise in your Head” videos to a packed room of about 100 people. I hope you have watched these videos, we have featured them several times, and I myself use them with almost all of my clients so I know them well. Seeing them in a room of people who had clearly not seen them was fantastic. I felt like I was seeing a favorite movie with people who are fans, too. After the videos played, Dr. Wilson answered questions from the audience. Watching his connection to each of those people showed the impact a truly great therapist can have.

I also recorded new videos for our soon to launch subscription service. Stay tuned to learn how to have access to all the great content including an interview with expert Jonathan Grayson, Ph.D. author of “Freedom from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder” who shares the core fear of OCD sufferers and how to help.

If #OCDCon comes to your area, I hope you will go and encourage any clients who suffer with OCD to attend, too. If you can’t attend, we will bring highlights to you so you can learn how to help your clients immediately.
app. http://m.treatmyocd.com/anxietytraining.

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