Kickoff Meeting and Conference – October 16th – Austin, Texas

Kickoff Meeting Oct 16In conjunction with National OCD Awareness Week, OCD TEXAS held its first quarterly meeting on Saturday, October 16th, in Austin, TX.


  • “OCD 101” offered an introduction to OCD for those newly diagnosed or anyone who believed they might have OCD, and families, friends, and students, by Bruce Mansbridge, PhD, Director of the Austin Center for the Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and author of the The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Conquering Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior
  • Welcome and opening remarks by Irene Tobis, President of OCD TEXAS
  • Orientation for participants and new members by Bobbi Duncan, Vice-President and Austin Kickoff Meeting Coordinator
  • Keynote Address – “Life With OCD: From Sufferer to Advocate” – by Elizabeth McIngvale
  • At the age of thirteen, Elizabeth McIngvale was diagnosed with OCD so severe her parents were told it was ‘untreatable.’ Cognitive behavioral therapy helped Elizabeth defy that early prognosis and today she is a graduate of Loyola University, currently pursuing her doctorate in Social Work at the University of Houston, founder of The Peace of Mind Foundation, the first national spokesperson for the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF), a skilled public speaker, and highly sought after guest for national television and radio programs. We were very honored to have Elizabeth, a Houston native, as the first keynote speaker for OCD TEXAS.

Support and networking — break out sessions — were well attended. Initial feedback about these groups was very positive.

  • Adults with OCD Support Group – facilitated by Bobbi Duncan
  • Parents’ Support Group – facilitated by Vicki Easterling, LCSW
  • Childrens’ OCD Activities Group – facilitated by Fabian Aguirre, MA, LPA
  • Relationship Issues in OCD Support Group – faciliated by Craig
  • Postpartum OCD Support Group – facilitated by Jessica
  • Hoarding Support Group – facilitated by Judi
  • Treatment Providers’ Networking Group – Open House at the AustinOCD office.
  • Break for socializing and new member sign-up

We counted — we might need to check our numbers a few more times — but more than 77 people attended the kick-off event. This exceeded our expectations. Not everyone got a chair, and we were a little short on snacks and beverages. The place was pretty packed, but we managed to fit everyone in, both for the plenary sessions for “OCD 101” and the keynote speaker, as well as for the break-out sessions.

There was plenty of interaction! The initial feedback was very positive. We’ll be sending out a survey by email, as soon as we can, to gather more feedback and ideas for making the next meeting as helpful and enjoyable as this one was — or even better!

Loren Haas, Outreach Coordinator (left), and Saharah Shrout, Secretary (right), as well as several other volunteers, helped out at the registration table.

Committee Meeting for affiliate setup and planning the next meeting in Dallas on Feb 19th.
The interim Board members, committee chairs, and several members of OCD TEXAS met for an efficient and productive business meeting. We made important necessary decisions on bylaws and formation documents, the next steps for becoming a non-profit organization in the State of Texas, preliminary to being able to sign and affiliate agreement with the International OCD Foundation. Suggestions were offered, based on members’ experiences with other organizations, on how to make OCD TEXAS a strong, viable affiliate. It was decided that Officers (President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer) would serve for two years, with two of the initial terms running for one year and two running for two years, to insure greater continuity, and that committee chair positions — Member Support Coordinator, Outreach Coordinator, and Meeting Coordinator (rotating quarterly, i.e., Meeting-Dallas Coordinator, Meeting-Houston Coordinator) would be appointed by the Directors, with other Committee Chairs added as necessary as OCD TEXAS grows.

Brainstorming about the next meeting, which will be in the Dallas area on February 19th, we came up with a theme of “OCD Treatment Options in Texas” and ideas for speakers and topics were offered. Peggy McMahon, who volunteered to be the coordinator for the Dallas meeting, offered some of her initial suggestions.The coordinators of the kickoff meeting passed on info about how we had promoted this event, dovetailing with OCD Awareness Week, which resulted in a great turnout.
“OCD Stories: An evening of reflection, humor and education” — live and online
Presented by the International OCD Foundation, “OCD Stories: An evening of reflection, humor and education”, was a national event to give voice to those who are intimately affected by OCD. OCD TEXAS members gathered at the meeting site in the evening from 6-8pm, as well as informally in members’ homes in Austin and at locations across Texas, for viewing this special online event.

The Austin Center for the Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (AustinOCD) sponsored the kickoff meeting. The meeting was held down the hall from the at the AustinOCD office in Austin, Texas.

Thank you, AustinOCD!

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