Wednesday, June 16, 2010

IOCDF Conference, July 16-18th, 2010!

I am disappointed I won't be attending the International OCD Foundation Conference, July 16-18, 2010 in Washington, DC. I went 2 years ago when it was in Boston, and learned a lot. Part of it came from driving up with members of my support group and sharing a hotel room--lots of exposures in just being myself and tolerating the anxiety that comes with being an imperfect human. The sessions were good too, and it is amazing the number of people with OCD and their families and friends who attend this conference. It's not a closed academic conference. We are there and hold the professionals accountable and that must be a bit scary for some presenters! It's amazing to witness so many people learning about OCD and for the first time realizing they are not alone, and that there is treatment. If there's anyway you can attend, I would encourage you to do so!

Some sessions are aimed at therapists, researchers, some at people with OCD, kids with OCD, but you are welcome to attend any session no matter who you are. I was glad to hear thoughtful discussions from Renae Reinardy, Charles Mansueto, Jeff Bell, and Michael Jenike and I look forward hearing this year's sessions, including Fred Penzel talking about health anxiety, and Allen Weg, who writes a great column for the New Jersey OCD Foundation using metaphor as a way to help us fight the OCD.

I did go on the infamous Jon Grayson "Virtual Camping Trip," which is powerful for many people, as a large crowd moved through Boston, doing exposures for contamination, and harm fears. I think the exposure aspect for me was just being there, since my social anxiety was kicking up, and feeling awkward as what I "should" be doing.

If anyone is going or has been to a conference, I'd love to hear from you!

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