International OCD Foundation Launches Much-Needed Pediatric OCD Training for Mental Health Professionals

OCONOMOWOC, Wisc. (September 11, 2013) — The International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) is launching its first-ever Pediatric Behavior Therapy Training Institute (BTTI) on September 13-15, 2013, hosted by Rogers Memorial Hospital in Oconomowoc, WI. The IOCDF’s Pediatric BTTI is an intensive three-day training course for mental health therapists providing in-depth education about how to accurately diagnose and treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and related disorders in children and teens.

One in 200 children in the U.S. suffers from OCD – that is about half a million kids, roughly the same amount of children as the population of Atlanta, GA. Yet many children go undiagnosed or receive ineffective treatment due to a lack of awareness about OCD and related disorders among families and even physicians. Up to 80 percent of adults who have OCD report that it started during childhood.

To address the lack of access to effective OCD treatment, the IOCDF established the BTTI in 1994 to provide continuing education to psychologists, social workers and mental health counselors about evidence-based treatment for OCD and related disorders. The program has trained approximately 100-150 professionals per year in the U.S. and Canada since its founding. Despite this progress, there still remains a shortage of therapists trained to treat OCD effectively, and that shortage becomes even more pronounced when looking for professionals to treat OCD in children and teens.

“Graduate programs alone cannot prepare mental health professionals to treat every type of disorder, which is why continuing education programs like our BTTI exist,” explained Jeff Szymanski, Ph.D., executive director of the IOCDF. “Treating children and teens is even more difficult, and this inaugural Pediatric BTTI is an opportunity for OCD specialists to learn more about treating children and for pediatric mental health professionals to learn more about treating OCD.”

Recognized for its expertise in OCD treatment in both adults and children, Rogers was selected to serve as a host site for the inaugural Pediatric BTTI. In addition, Rogers’ staff members Bradley C. Riemann, Ph.D., clinical director of the OCD Center and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Services, and Stephanie Eken, MD, FAAP, medical director of the Child Center, will serve among the nationally known and respected teaching faculty.

“We are honored to be the host of this innovative and much-needed training,” said Dr. Riemann. “We have hosted the IOCDF’s BTTIs in the past, but this year’s BTTI is a special privilege since it is the first one focused on pediatrics. We are proud to serve as a partner with the IOCDF in their work spreading awareness about OCD, helping to provide much-needed training and improving access to effective treatment.”

Other members of the esteemed Pediatric BTTI faculty include: Eric Storch, Ph.D.; clinical director of the Pediatric BTTI and professor of clinical psychology at the University of South Florida; C. Alec Pollard, Ph.D., clinical director of the IOCDF BTTI program and director of the Center for OCD and Anxiety Disorders at Saint Louis University; Martin E. Franklin, Ph.D., associate professor of clinical psychology at the University of Pennsylvania; Aureen P. Wagner, Ph.D., founder of The Anxiety Wellness Center in Cary, NC; and Karen L. Cassiday, Ph.D., ACT, clinical director and owner of Anxiety and Agoraphobia Treatment Center in Northbrook, Ill.

About the IOCDF

The mission of the International OCD Foundation is to help individuals with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and related disorders to live full and productive lives. Our aim is to increase access to effective treatment, end the stigma associated with mental health issues, and foster a community for those affected by OCD and the professionals who treat them. The IOCDF is a donor-supported nonprofit organization. Founded in 1986 by a small group of individuals with OCD, the IOCDF has grown into an international membership-based organization serving a broad community of individuals with OCD and related disorders, their family members and loved ones, and mental health professionals and researchers. We have affiliates in 22 states and territories in the U.S., in addition to partnerships with other OCD organizations around the world.

About Rogers Memorial Hospital

Rogers Memorial Hospital is a key corporation of Rogers Behavioral Health System, which also includes: Rogers Memorial Hospital Foundation, Inc.; Rogers Partners in Behavioral Health, LLC; Rogers Center for Research and Training; and Rogers InHealth. The hospital has become nationally recognized for its specialized residential treatment services and affiliations with academic institutions and teaching hospitals in the area. Rogers Memorial Hospital is currently Wisconsin’s largest not-for-profit, private behavioral health hospital, providing adults, children and adolescents with eating disorders treatment, addiction treatment, obsessive-compulsive and anxiety disorders treatment, as well as caring for a variety of child and adolescent mental health concerns. For more information, please visit