Outreach Initiatives

OCD TEXAS aims to increase access to effective treatment, and to foster a community for those affected by OCD and the professionals who treat them.

Our Outreach Committee focuses on reaching out to individuals and families affected by OCD and related disorders, as well as to current or prospective OCD treatment providers in the State of Texas, who are not currently members of OCD TEXAS.

In addition to outreach surrounding our quarterly conferences, we currently have 3 ongoing outreach initiatives.

Provider Outreach Initiative

Do you treat OCD?

Has an OCD treatment provider in Texas been helpful to you or someone you know who has OCD?

Since OCD TEXAS was founded in 2010, the message we have heard over and over again is that there simply are not enough qualified therapists to meet the needs of OCD sufferers in Texas. (See Treatment of OCD for information on obstacles to treatment and evidence-based recommendations for first-line treatments for OCD.) OCD TEXAS is committed to helping OCD sufferers find effective, affordable treatment in Texas. To this end, we have initiated a number of efforts to address this need, including professional development awards to facilitate advanced specialty training in OCD treatment for therapists working in Texas, training and networking opportunities for treatment professionals at our conferences and other events, and proactive outreach.

In 2012, we launched our Provider Outreach Initiative. The idea is seek out therapists in Texas who are already treating OCD and to support and promote them. We have been working the OCD support group networks and our existing professional networks; when we hear about someone in Texas who has been treating OCD, especially someone who has been recommended as an effective OCD therapist, we contact them, tell them about OCD TEXAS, encourage them to attend OCD TEXAS events, encourage them to join OCD TEXAS, and encourage them to list their services on the International OCD Foundation’s Resource Directory.

Our initial efforts and been rewarded — at our conference in Austin in October 2012, several excellent OCD treatment providers not only attended and exhibited but also served as panelists and speakers at the conference. Then in March 2013, eight therapists from Texas, supported by OCD TEXAS Professional Development Awards and tuition scholarships, attended the Behavioral Therapy Training Institute’s (BTTI) advanced training program in Houston.

Please help us find, connect with, and support OCD treatment providers. Contact Heather Curry, Outreach Coordinator, at outreach@ocdtexas.org or Irene Tobis, President, at president@ocdtexas.org. Thank you!

Postpartum OCD Prevention Initiative

Research indicates that up to 80% of all new mothers (even those without clinical OCD symptoms) report nasty, senseless, unacceptable, unwanted thoughts concerning the safety of their newborn. Postpartum and perinatal (meaning “around the time of childbirth”) OCD, however, may cause great suffering to both new mothers and fathers and parents-to-be. In addition to having distressing intrusive images, they may engage in compulsive rituals such as checking on the baby over and over to see if the baby is still alive, praying over and over to attempt to ward off harm, or compulsive reassurance-seeking, such as repeatedly looking their symptoms up on the internet and asking others if it’s “normal” to have bad thoughts about the baby. They may also become afraid to be left alone with their newborns for fear that they might act on their unwanted thoughts about harm, and thus may shift childcare tasks to others — or even avoid becoming pregnant in the first place.

This problem is under recognized by patients and professionals alike. Sufferers are often loathe to share their thoughts with anyone and so do not seek help. As with OCD that occurs outside of the perinatal period, however, perinatal/postpartum OCD responds to medications, and to cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). See “Beyond the Blues: Postpartum OCD” by Jonathan Abramowitz, PhD, ABPP, for more information.

OCD TEXAS is currently in the process of launching our Postpartum OCD Prevention Initiative. Our aim is to educate the public, health professionals and patients, so that more people will seek effective treatment for perinatal and postpartum OCD.

Contact Marianne Stout, PhD, Postpartum OCD Prevention Initiative Coordinator, at marianne@anxietyaustin.com. Thank you!

Latino Community Outreach Initiative

OCD TEXAS is currently in the process of launching an outreach initiative for people in Texas affected by OCD and related disorders whose first language is Spanish or whose families are Spanish speakers or who identify as Latino culturally.

We will be offering a breakout session for Spanish speakers and their families at our upcoming conference in San Antonio Oct 19 & 20.

Contact Aydee Alvarado, Spanish Coordinator, at espanol@ocdtexas.org. Thank you!

Please contact the coordinator of the initiative project if you have any questions about our outreach efforts of if you are interested in volunteering. For any general questions about outreach at OCD TEXAS, contact Heather Currey, OCD TEXAS Outreach Coordinator, at outreach@ocdtexas.org.