Contributors

  • Alison Dotson

    Alison Dotson

    I am the author of Being Me with OCD: How I Learned to Obsess Less and Live My Life, a nonfiction book for teens and young adults with OCD. Part memoir, part self-help guide, Being Me with OCD lets readers know they're not alone in their struggle to get better--and that there is hope.
  • Carly Bourne

    Carly Bourne

    Editor and Moderator of the IOCDF Blog. Director of Communications for the International OCD Foundation.
  • Elizabeth McIngvale, PhD, LMSW

    Elizabeth McIngvale, PhD, LMSW

    IOCDF Spokesperson... After her diagnosis at age 12 and treatment, which included both inpatient and outpatient therapy, Elizabeth has made it her life mission to make a difference in the lives of those living with OCD. Elizabeth began her advocacy platform at age 17 where she was featured on the first ever IOCDF public service campaign for OCD, titled “What does OCD Look Like? Me, my name is Elizabeth.” Elizabeth’s journey with OCD has been featured on international, national and local news outlets, including Good Morning America with Barbara Walters, Inside Edition, and The View. Elizabeth received her undergraduate and master’s degree from Loyola University Chicago and her PhD from the University of Houston in Social Work. Elizabeth is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the Houston Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center and began a faculty position at Baylor University’s school of social work this fall. Elizabeth is the founder of the Peace of Mind foundation, a nonprofit foundation dedicated to obsessive compulsive disorder, which runs ocdchallenge.org — a free interactive self-help website for obsessive compulsive disorder based on the principles of exposure with response prevention. Elizabeth is a therapist, advocate, and researcher who dedicates her time to OCD, mental health stigma, and issues surrounding access to care. In her lifetime she hopes to see everyone diagnosed with a mental illness have access to evidence-based treatment and to be a part of the movement that stamps out the stigma of mental illness.
  • Eric Steinert

    Eric Steinert

    Eric is the Fund Development Manager for the IOCDF, and is responsible for all aspects of fundraising for the foundation. He brings over a dozen years in Institutional advancement, having held fundraising management positions in healthcare and education. Eric says the best part about his job is working with all the wonderful people who make it a priority to support IOCDF and help all those affected by OCD to live fulfilling and productive lives. Eric holds a BA from Kenyon College and a Masters in Management from the Heller School at Brandeis University.
  • Ethan Smith

    Ethan Smith

    Ethan S. Smith is a professional Writer/Director/Producer/Actor currently living and working in the Los Angeles area. Born with severe OCD, Ethan struggled maintaining a normal life until he hit rock bottom at the age of 32. After seeking intensive inpatient and outpatient therapy for close to two years, both in South Florida (NBI) and Boston (OCDI McLean), Ethan's remarkable journey has led him to discover himself for the first time and lead a proactive happy and healthy adult life. Ethan moved to Los Angeles shortly after his ten months in Boston and has found incredible success, both personally and professionally.
  • Fran

    Fran Harrington

  • Jackie Lea Sommers

    Minneapolis YA author who rather enjoys Jesus, stories, cute nerds, and cranky teenagers. Jackie blogs about OCD, faith, and creativity at www.jackieleasommers.com.
  • Jeff Bell

    Jeff Bell is an author, health advocate, and radio news anchor. He is actively involved with the International OCD Foundation, for which he serves as a board member and national spokesman. In 2011, he co-founded the nonprofit A2A Alliance (www.A2Aalliance.org), aiming to showcase and foster the power of turning adversity into advocacy. Bell is a 20-year veteran of broadcast news and currently co-anchors the afternoon news at KCBS Radio in San Francisco.
  • Jeff Szymanski, PhD

    Jeff Szymanski, PhD, is the Executive Director of the International OCD Foundation and author of The Perfectionist’s Handbook. Dr. Szymanski, a clinical psychologist, previously worked at McLean Hospital’s Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Institute (OCDI), a residential facility for individuals with severe and refractory OCD. Dr. Szymanski also has a long track record of teaching and training. As a Clinical Instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School, he has supervised pre-doctoral psychology interns, psychiatry residents, and has run Cognitive Behavior Therapy seminars.
  • Marissa Keegan

    Marissa Keegan

    Program Director at International OCD Foundation.
  • Maru Gonzalez, EdD

    Maru Gonzalez, EdD

    Contributor to HuffingtonPost and a guest contributor to the IOCDF Blog.
  • Meghan Buco

    Meghan Buco

    Communication Manager
  • Melissa Smith

    Melissa Smith

  • Ro Vitale

    Ro Vitale

    Ro Vitale is an award-winning singer and songwriter from Argentina who suffers from severe OCD. Not long after her diagnosis she decided to go public with her struggles in a major magazine. The article made a huge impact (more than 40,000 hits), marking the beginning of an intense advocacy journey. She has since been featured on several TV shows, magazines (including the Spanish version of Newsweek), newspapers, and radio shows. Ro decided to combine both her musical career with her advocacy work, marking the importance of dis-identifying from the symptoms: she shows herself as an artist and a writer that happens to suffer from severe OCD. This differentiation is key to accurate communication, since one of her goals is to encourage people to rebuild confidence in their uniqueness (while battling the disorder through therapy). Ro is in the process of writing a book titled “TOCada” and creating a short film titled “A Little Taste of Freedom” to capture the process of OCD treatment. She was the keynote speaker of the Spanish Program at the 2014 Annual OCD Conference in Los Angeles, where she stole the show with her honesty and openness. Ro wrote the song "My Inspiration" especially for the 21st Annual OCD Conference, and is donating all of the proceeds from song sales to the International OCD Foundation.
  • Sam Bailey

    Sam is the Development Associate for the IOCDF, and is responsible in assisting in all aspects of fundraising for the foundation. He brings three years of development experience, having held positions in College Athletics and Intuitional Advancement. Sam says the best part about his job is getting to know the wonderful people who support the IOCDF. Sam is a native of Vermont and currently resides in Boston. Sam holds a Bachelors Degree in Sports Administration from Castleton University.
  • Stephanie Cogen

    Stephanie Cogen

    Education & Training Manager at the IOCDF.
  • Toni Palombi

    Toni Palombi

    Toni is an editor and writer. She has worked with international charities in Asia, the Middle East, and Australia.