The Therapists and Trainees with OCD and Related Disorders Special Interest Group was started in 2015, with the goal of developing a community of mental health providers who have a shared understanding of the unique challenges that may be present when working within the mental health/medical field while carrying your own personal experiences (current or past) with OCD/OC Spectrum disorders. The passion and purpose that can be derived from lived experience, when combined with appropriate clinical training can be an asset - driving motivation, compassion, and a shared understanding. Unfortunately, the subtle impacts of fear and stigma can result in hesitation for mental health providers to seek necessary consultation, guidance, or even personal treatment, for fear of colleagues, supervisors, or the community they serve finding out and resulting in potential clinical and career implications. We aim to provide a safe and confidential place for consultation and mentorship, connecting a community of mental health providers and trainees (who are currently completing their graduate training) with shared lived experiences. Through the SIGs online forum, monthly support meetings, and yearly conference gatherings, we address topics such as stigma in the mental health field, identifying/navigating professional challenges, balancing advocacy/clinical work/research, and how to use self-disclosure/lived experience effectively (without interfering with best practices). Additionally, the SIG serves as a place to share resources, insights, and lessons learned while seeking to challenge stigma around mental health experiences within the medical/behavioral health field in a purposeful and planned way.

SIG Leadership:

Nathaniel Van Kirk, PhD, Clinical Psychologist & Advocate
Hannah Breckenridge, LCSW-C, Clinical Social Worker & Advocate


The SIG started in 2015 as an informal meeting that took place at the annual IOCDF conference. Since that time, we have continued to grow into a community of nearly 100 members across our meetings, online forum (created to help the community to stay connected throughout the year), and our recently started monthly consultation meetings for mental health/behavioral health professionals.


In addition to our monthly consultation meetings, our SIG looks forward to continuing our annual newsletter and future initiatives around developing stigma reduction resources and collaborating on presentations and community outreach programs.

Want to Join the Therapists & Trainees with OCD SIG?

Given the importance of maintaining confidentiality, this SIG was designed specifically for those currently working in the behavioral health/medical field. We ask that those who are interested in joining the SIG be licensed/unlicensed providers or students completing their graduate/advanced training in mental health/behavioral health fields.

For more information please contact Nathaniel Van Kirk at