The IOCDF Speakers Bureau includes people with OCD who understand firsthand the challenges of this disorder, and the importance of effective treatment. Among them are Jeff Bell,Elizabeth McIngvale who also serve as National Spokespersons for the Foundation, helping to spread our message that while the challenges are great, there is real hope for people with OCD. Other speakers include renowned medical and research experts who have treated people with OCD and/or engaged in cutting edge research to understand the causes of the disorder and to find more effective treatments. All of our speakers are trained to provide informative presentations on OCD to a variety of audiences. If you are interested in booking one of our speakers for your conference, meeting, or special event please fill out this form:Speaker's Bureau Request Form.
For a media appearance, click here.
Please note that while we are not currently accepting new members of our Speakers Bureau, that we still have plenty of ways for you to help the IOCDF mission.Click here for ways to Get Involved in the IOCDF!
For more information on any of our speakers, click on their names or scroll down the page.
- Jonathan Abramowitz, PhD
- Jeff Bell
- Randy Frost, PhD
- Scott Granet, LCSW
- Jonathan B. Grayson, PhD
- Jared Kant, MSW
- Elizabeth McIngvale, LMSW
- Gerald Nestadt, MD, MPH
- Fugen Neziroglu, PhD, ABBP, ABPP
Jonathan Abramowitz, PhD
, is a Professor and Director of the OCD/Anxiety Disorders Clinic at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is an internationally recognized expert on the nature and treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and other anxiety disorders, and has published over 150 articles, reviews, and book chapters on the clinical picture, assessment, and treatment of these problems. Dr. Abramowitz recently authored a self-help book for people with OCD entitled "Getting Over OCD: A 10-Step Workbook for Taking Back Your Life
". He has also published 10 books for professionals on the nature and treatment of OCD and other anxiety disorders. Dr. Abramowitz serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the International OCD Foundation. Dr. Abramowitz’s areas of clinical and research interest include the causes, assessment, and treatment of OCD, and his contributions to the field have been recognized with awards from Division 12 (Clinical Psychology) of the American Psychological Association, National Institute of Mental Health, International OCD Foundation, and the Mayo Clinic. Click here to listen to a podcast featuring Dr. Abramowitz.
is a nationally-known author, news anchor, and motivational speaker. Since the publication of his OCD memoir, "Rewind, Replay, Repeat
," in 2007, he has traveled extensively, lending his support to numerous mental health organizations, including Mental Health America, which has honored him with its prestigious forWARDS Award, for "moving the cause of mental health forward." Bell serves as a national spokesperson and board member for the International OCD Foundation and is donating a portion of the proceeds from his new book, "When in Doubt, Make Belief
" to the organization. His Psychology Today blog
offers readers an intimate look at life with OCD and includes the contributions of many IOCDF Scientific Advisory Board members. A 20-year veteran of radio and television news, Bell currently co-anchors afternoons at KCBS Radio, the CBS Network’s San Francisco flagship. Visit Bell online at www.BeyondTheDoubt.org. Click here to view a clip of Jeff Bell on our YouTube channel.
Scott Granet, LCSW
is an adult & adolescent psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of anxiety disorders. He currently facilitates treatment groups for OC Spectrum Disorders and Panic Disorder at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation in Northern CA along with having a private practice in Redwood City. He has presented on BDD at psychology and dermatology conferences worldwide, and has also taught continuing education classes on OCD and BDD to mental health professionals throughout the U.S. He also helped coordinate the first BDD Conference in North America at UCLA in 2005. In addition to his clinical work, Mr. Granet is the Co-Founder of OCD San Francisco Bay Area. Click here to view a clip of Scott Granet on our YouTube channel.
Jonathan B. Grayson, PhD
, Director of the Anxiety and OCD Treatment Center of Philadelphia is a nationally-recognized expert in the treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. In 1981, he co-organized the first GOAL support group in the country for those suffering from OCD, and continues to volunteer his time to run the group for the Philadelphia Affiliate of the OCD Foundation. Dr. Grayson is the author of "Freedom from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder; A Personalized Recovery Program for Living with Uncertainty
". In addition, he is Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Temple University Medical School. Dr. Grayson has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show
, Dr. Mehmet Oz's radio program and has been a featured speaker at national conferences such as IOCDF, ADAA, and ABCT.
is the Clinical Research Coordinator at the Massachusetts General Hospital OCD and Related Disorders Program. Diagnosed with OCD at age 11, Jared experienced many of the most excruciating manifestations of this illness: dread of deadly germs and diseases, intrusive harming fears, scrupulosity, the unrelenting need to count and check things and a persistent, nagging doubt that overshadowed every aspect of his life. He authored The Thought That Counts
, a personal tale of trial and ultimate triumph, in which he described the inner world of a young person plagued by OCD.
Elizabeth McIngvale, LMSW is
the founder of the Peace of Mind Foundation
, a non-profit organization which raises money for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder research and education. She was diagnosed with OCD at the age of 12, and at age 18 became the national spokesperson for the International OCD Foundation. She lives in Houston, Texas and is the daughter of area businessman Jim McIngvale and his wife Linda. At one point doctors believed McIngvale's OCD was too severe to be treatable. Her rituals included having to repeat menial tasks 42 times, an obsession with religious symbolism, and washing her hands over 100 times a day. She eventually found help through the former Menninger OCD Clinic and, now coping relatively well, devotes much of her time and resources to the Peace of Mind Foundation
McIngvale has appeared nationally on Dr. Phil
, CNN, Today Show
, Good Morning America
, and Inside Edition
. She is also the face of OCD for the International OCD Foundation's print and TV ad campaign.
Gerald Nestadt, MD, MPH
, is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the Johns Hopkins Medical School and Professor of Mental Health in the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins. He is active in research, clinical treatment, and education in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. This research, funded by the NIMH, involves investigating the genetic etiology of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. He is the director of the Johns Hopkins OCD clinic, and teaches residents and students about this disorder. In addition to studying OCD, he is involved in genetic research into schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and epidemiological research studying personality in the general population. He received his medical degree from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa and a degree in Public Health at the Johns Hopkins University. He completed his psychiatric residency training at Johns Hopkins and a psychiatric epidemiology fellowship at that same institution. He has been on the faculty at Johns Hopkins for the past 30 years. He has published more than a hundred papers in peer reviewed psychiatric journals. He served on the APA OCD Treatment Guidelines Committee.
Fugen Neziroglu, PhD, ABBP, ABPP
is the Clinical Director of the Bio-Behavioral Institute in Great Neck, New York and a Professor at Hofstra and New York University. She is a cognitive behavior therapist who is board certified in Behavior and Cognitive as well as in Clinical Psychology and a fellow of the American Board of Behavioral and Cognitive Psychology. Dr. Neziroglu specializes in obsessive compulsive spectrum disorders and has published over 125 articles in scientific journals and 12 books on obsessive compulsive spectrum disorders that have been translated into several languages. She and her colleague, Dr. Jose Yaryura-Tobias were the first researchers to introduce the concept of spectrum and related disorders in their first book, "Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Pathogenesis, Diagnosis and Treatment", published in 1980. Again with her colleague, Dr. Yaryura-Tobias, she started the Obsessive Compulsive Society in 1979 in order to actively de-stigmatize OCD and to bring it to the forefront of a recognizable and treatable disorder, a time when only 3 pages in the most notable psychiatric texts were devoted to the disorder. Dr. Neziroglu has devoted her entire professional life to study better methods of treatment for OCD, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, and other spectrum disorders.
Dr. Neziroglu has appeared on numerous national and international TV shows including 20/20
, 60 Minutes
, Today Show
etc. She actively works at dissemination of information to the public by doing interviews for various newspapers, the latest being national coverage on hoarding after her book, "Overcoming Compulsive Hoarding" was released. She is a member of many national and international societies and is on the Scientific Advisory Board of the International OCD Foundation. View some of her videos here
C. Alec Pollard, PhD
is the Director of the Anxiety Disorders Center at Saint Louis Behavioral Medicine Institute and Professor of Community and Family Medicine at Saint Louis University. He is a member of the Clinical Advisory Board of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America and the Scientific Advisory Board of the International OCD Foundation. He serves on the editorial board or as a reviewer for numerous journals and frequently conducts workshops on the treatment of anxiety disorders. Dr. Pollard has written 85 professional and scientific publications, including two books, "Dying of Embarrassment: Help for Social Anxiety" and "Phobia and The Agoraphobia Workbook". His primary professional interest is the study of innovative methods for improving treatment access and effectiveness.
Sanjaya Saxena, MD
is the Director of the UC San Diego Obsessive Compulsive Disorders Program and Professor of Psychiatry in the UCSD School of Medicine. His research focuses on the neurobiology and treatment of OCD and related disorders. He uses functional and structural brain imaging to understand the brain circuits that mediate OCD symptoms, to reveal how effective treatments work in the brain, and to predict response to different types of treatments. Recently, Dr. Saxena has been studying specific subtypes and variants of OCD, such as Compulsive Hoarding and Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), to understand their neurobiology and develop better treatments for these disabling conditions. Dr. Saxena serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for the International OCD Foundation and is also active in community education, as well as training of psychiatry residents, medical students, and psychologists. He has received research grants from the NIMH and the International OCD Foundation. He has won awards from the American Psychiatric Association and American Neuropsychiatric Association, and was selected into Best Doctors in America in 2005-2006 and 2007-08. Dr. Saxena also served as the psychiatric consultant for the motion picture, "As Good As It Gets" (Sony Pictures, 1997), in which the lead character, played by Jack Nicholson, suffered from OCD.
is the author of "It'll be Okay: How I Kept Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) from Ruining My Life
". Shannon is a senior civilian attorney with the Department of the Navy and a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the United States Marine Corps Reserve. Shannon was diagnosed with a severe case of OCD in 1997 while on active duty with the Marine Corps. With the aid of medication and behavioral therapy (and with the support of faith, a loving wife, and friends), Shannon developed a behavioral strategy to effectively overcome his OCD. Shannon has lived a productive life for many years now-- without medication and without doctors. In 2007, he retired from the Marine Corps Reserve as a Lieutenant Colonel receiving the Legion of Merit Medal upon his retirement. In 2009, Shannon received the Department of the Navy's Distinguished Civilian Service Award, which is the highest honorary award the Secretary of the Navy can confer upon a civilian employee. A dynamic and inspiring speaker, Shannon delivered the Keynote Address at the IOCDF's annual conference in July 2010 in Washington, DC before a crowd of more than 1,000 people. Conference attendees gave Shannon's address excellent reviews!
Eric A. Storch, PhD
earned his MS, MPhil, and PhD degrees from Columbia University with a child specialization. At the University of South Florida, he is currently an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology in the Department of Pediatrics and holds joint appointments in the Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology. Dr. Storch is a licensed clinical psychologist and serves as the Director of the University of South Florida Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Program.
Dr. Storch specializes in the cognitive behavioral treatment of childhood and adult Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), as well as other obsessive compulsive spectrum disorders (e.g., trichotillomania, tic disorders, body dysmorphic disorder, skin picking) and anxiety disorders. He is highly regarded in psychological treatment for OCD and has a special interest in the dissemination of effective psychological treatment approaches for OCD and tics, as well as in the development and validation of OCD assessment measures. Dr. Storch has published over 180 peer-reviewed articles on OCD, and has made over 200 presentations throughout the United States and internationally. He is the lead editor on a text entitled “Handbook of Child and Adolescent Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
” that is published by Lawrence Erlbaum, in addition to several other books on childhood OCD and anxiety. Dr. Storch has received grant funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute of Child Health and Development, the Centers for Disease Control, International OCD Foundation, NARSAD, Tourette’s Syndrome Association, Foundation for Prader-Willi Research and numerous other foundations for his research on OCD and related topics.
Gail Steketee, PhD,
is Dean and Professor at Boston University’s School of Social Work. She received her master’s and her doctorate from Bryn Mawr’s Graduate School of Social Work. She has conducted numerous research studies on the psychopathology and treatment of anxiety and related problems, especially obsessive compulsive spectrum disorders. This work includes NIMH-funded research projects on familial factors that influence treatment outcomes, and on the development and testing of cognitive and behavioral interventions for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), for Body Dysmorphic Disorder, and most recently and most extensively, for hoarding symptoms. She has published over 180 articles and chapters as well as 12 books; these works are mainly focused on evidence-based treatments for OCD and related disorders such as hoarding, as well as cognitive aspects of OCD. Recent books include Frost and Steketee’s 2010 volume "Stuff: Hoarding and the Meaning of Things
" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), an upcoming edited volume on OC spectrum conditions (Oxford University Press), and a co-authored book by Bratiotis, Sorrentino and Steketee on Hoarding and Human Services (Oxford University Press). She has published therapist guides for treatment of hoarding and for cognitive treatment of OCD.. She gives frequent lectures and workshops on hoarding, OCD, and related topics to professional and public audiences in the US and abroad. View a video of her here
began struggling with OCD as early as age 7. Untreated for 13 years - due to lack of knowledge that the disorder even existed - in October of 2002 he attempted to take his own life to alleviate the suffering. That’s when it became clear to his family that there was something wrong and to what extent it was but it was still unclear what exactly was wrong. After seeing his doctor, he was diagnosed at age 20 but told by his primary care physician that his OCD was so severe that he would suffer with it for the rest of his life and could never improve. After research through the IOCDF’s website, Chris and his family started him in treatment with the OCD Center of Los Angeles. With hard work, determination, and the help of the OCD Specialists and support of his family, Chris was able to get his OCD under control. Since completion of treatment, Chris was able to go from being completely home-bound due to 18 hour a day crippling obsessions and compulsions (only taking a 6 hour break to sleep) to graduating college, taking martial arts, going back to work, and getting his life back. He has since been active in helping others get information and treatment for OCD so they won’t have to suffer as long as he did without any knowledge or awareness of what they are suffering from.
Chris Trondsen has appeared nationally on The Montel Williams Show, Dr. Drew (Discovery Health Channel), Norwegian Television, as well as speaking at multiple conferences and meetings regarding experience with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. He is currently writing a book on his experience with OCD and now helps run an OCD support group in his native Orange County, CA
. Click here to see Chris talk about his life with BDD and OCD: Page 1. Page 2.
Sabine Wilhelm, PhD
, is an Associate Professor at the Harvard Medical School. She is also Director of the OCD and Related Disorders Program and Director of the Cognitive-Behavior Therapy Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Wilhelm is recognized as a leading researcher in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), and Tic Disorders, and has published numerous articles, reviews, and chapters on the clinical picture, prevalence, and treatment outcome of these disorders. Currently, Dr. Wilhelm is the principal investigator of several NIMH-funded clinical research studies. In addition, Dr. Wilhelm recently authored a treatment manual for OCD entitled: "Cognitive Therapy for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Guide for Professionals"
. She also recently wrote the self-help book "Feeling Good About the Way You Look: A Program for Overcoming Body Image Problem
s". Dr. Wilhelm serves on numerous editorial and advisory boards, as well as the Scientific Advisory Board of the International OCD Foundation, the International Obsessive Compulsive Cognitions Working Group (OCCWG), and the Tourette Syndrome Association Behavioral Science Consortium. Her areas of clinical and research interest include the development, maintenance, and treatment outcome of OCD, BDD and Tourette Syndrome/Tic Disorders. Click here to see Dr. Wilhelm describe BDD.
Robin Zasio, PsyD, LCSW
, is the Owner and Director of the Anxiety Treatment Center of Sacramento, and the Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center of Sacramento. She specializes in Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Exposure and Response Prevention Techniques, and also has a private practice offering individual, group, and family therapy services. Dr. Zasio is a strong advocate for reaching out to others to raise awareness for proper treatment for OCD and Anxiety Related Disorders, speaking on a national level through media, continuing education workshops, and presentations to local organizations. She was President of the Sacramento Valley Psychological Association from 2003-2005 and remains on the board as Past President and MCEP Chair. Dr. Zasio also serves on the advisory board of the Sacramento Chapter of the National Alliance of the Mentally Ill and is a member of the International OCD Foundation, California Psychological Association, American Psychological association, Trichotillomania Learning Center, and Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. Dr. Zasio has also appeared as a featured guest on the television program Lifestyle Magazine. Click here to see Dr. Zasio on KCRA TV in Sacramento.